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This was my first visit to the world famous King Tuts Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow, voted ‘Best UK Live Venue’ by Radio 1. The printed linoleum steps leading up to the concert room read like an encyclopaedia of rock and you get the feeling you are indeed on hallowed ground.

Entering the room for the first time, I was shocked at how small it was, but with a few bodies to pack the place, it makes for an electrifying atmosphere. I sneaked in a couple of hours early before the doors officially opened at 8:30PM and grabbed a quick chat with the ‘Grinners’.  It transpired that I and bass player, Joe, share a passion for Warwick basses, as I own a heavily gigged 1995 five string Fortress. After chewing the fat with Joe, Pat and Kristian for a few minutes, I returned to the downstairs bar until the official opening time. More on Grinspoon later).  Support tonight, and the whole 12 date tour, was from London based rock outfit JETTBLACK and tonight only, Ayrshire lads Sucioperro.

JETTBLACK took to the stage at 8:45PM to a reasonably sized crowd for an half hour set and hit the crowd right between the eyes with their 80’s tinged metal rock (think Def Leppard, Skid Row). Will Stapleton, Jon Dow, Matt Oliver and Tom Wright delivered a highly polished set which included their new single ‘Get your hands dirty’. Will and Jon traded guitar riffs effortlessly, over the top of a solid bass and drum engine room. They were well received by the Glasgow crowd and are definitely worth checking out if you get the chance.

SUCIOPERRO who share members with Biffy Clyro in the band Marmaduke Duke, release their new single ‘Reflexes of the dead’ on February 28th with a new album out in March. The all bearded Sucioperro consist of JP Reid (vocals/guitar) Fergus Munro (drums/vocals) and Stewart Chown (bass/vocals) and for a three piece, have a big sound. I have to admit, I didn’t know what to make of them during the first three songs.The room had started to fill and the excitement building in the crowd indicated I must be missing something. The boys delivered a melodic, intense set and I started to appreciate what all the fuss was about. This is a band to keep a close eye on…I predict they are destined for bigger pastures.

The reason most of us were here tonight was to witness the Wizards of Oz known as Grinspoon cast their magic spell. Charismatic frontman Phil Jaimeson, guitarist Pat Davern, bassist Joe Hansen and drummer Kristian Hopes have a massive following in their native Australia with platinum and double platinum selling albums under their belt spanning 15 years of relentless touring.

The Grinners released their latest gold selling album Six To Midnight back home last year and were here to promote its release in the UK, with 4 added bonus tracks. I’ve seen the YouTube videos of them playing to giant mosh pits at huge stadium gigs and was curious what the reaction of the Glasgow crowd would be tonight. I have to admit I had never heard of the band before, although, if you own PlayStation game Gran Turismo 3, you will be familiar with their monster hit ‘Champion’.By the time I had completed my research on the band, I had become an enthusiastic fan and was really looking forward to catching them live. I spotted a couple of Grinners t-shirts in the audience, and an Australian girl claiming her spot at the crowd barrier pronouncing ‘oh my god, there he is’ before letting out a deafening scream as Phil Jaimeson surveyed the crowd from the wings. The band walked on to the small stage to a huge cheer and kicked off with ‘Run’ - the first of five tracks from their new album.  The full and meaty guitar sound from Pat filled the room with a solid backline helping to collectively shake the rafters. Hit after hit from various albums came with Phil keeping the in-between banter short and to the point. He didn’t really need to say a word, he exudes charisma.


Halfway through the set, Pat, Joe and Kristian left the stage whilst Phil performed an acoustic version of the normally heavy and fast paced ‘Just Ace’ with just an acoustic guitar and harmonica. The guys returned to the stage and resumed the ear pummelling with the multi-tempo ‘Pedestrian’. Phil informed us that it was Pat’s birthday that night to an impromptu Happy Birthday sing-along from the audience. The heavy melodic riffs continued with bassist Joe flailing around the stage and performing double jumps as if he had swallowed a fire cracker…no-one could accuse Joe of being a shoe gazer! Collectively, they know how to work an audience, and despite their past differences and low points, the knowing glances and smiles between them demonstrate they really enjoy playing live together. Phil jumped down from the stage and climbed the crowd barrier, leaning right into the crowd whilst still playing guitar and at one point completely disappeared right into the middle of the audience, out of sight of the security guys, who were getting a little twitchy by now! Then came the point of the show I had personally been looking forward to… their performance of ‘Champion’. This song has really grown on me and I had to keep the car cruise control on for the two and a half hour journey home to stop myself from flooring it ‘Gran Turismo’ style. The crowd clearly appreciated it too and went nuts. Phil introduced ‘Dogs’ from the new album, explaining it was the last song of the set where they pretend to finish but come back to do another one. Of course, they had no problem with the audience shouting for more and they returned to the stage to deliver ‘DC x 3’. Joe left the stage after planting his Warwick bass into the drum kit, then slinging it across the stage (sacrilege!) whilst Pat similarly threw his guitar to the floor, still feeding back and leaving the tech dashing across the stage for the volume knob.

Tonight, Grinspoon brought it and the enthusiastic Tuts audience gave it them right back. The guys were aware that I was reviewing the show and their tech, Adam, invited me on to the tour bus. I asked ‘Is that so you can vet the review before you let me leave?’ He replied, ‘No it’s so we can lock you in and write the review ourselves’. I couldn’t help thinking they may have read Andy Barnes’ review of their album - Gulp!

Set List

Ready 1
Hard Act
Takes One
No Reason
Sweet as sugar
1000 Miles
Just Ace
Lost Control
More than you
DC x 3

YouTube video embed code for Champion Live at Sydney BDO

Review & photos by Steve Perks