Bonafide kicked off their UK tour at Glasgow’s O2 ABC with Aussie power trio Tequila Mockingbyrd, and Swedish/Canadian ‘old school’ rockers Killer Bee. Glasgow has a long and rich rock history, and, in my opinion, this gig added to it. First up, Killer Bee….
Made up of Brian Frank (vocals), Christoffer Sjostrom (guitar), Andre Hagglund (guitar and backing vocals), Anders LA Ronnblom (bass), Shawn Duncan (drums), Killer Bee could be described as old-school rockers with a new lease of life, playing in-yer-face rock ‘n roll that both the older and younger patrons quickly bought in to. Kicking off with the Deep Purple influenced ‘Eye In The Sky’, the band quickly set about winning some new fans. A short, polished set, the powerful performance ended with the crowd fist-pumping and head-banging to ‘Hell And Back’. As Brian Frank said: “Us old farts can rock”, to the delight of a couple of slightly older rockers right at the front.
Killer Bee Set List: Eye in the Sky, All Night Long, Get on Board, Scream It, Rock ‘n Roll, Hell and Back.
Next up, Aussie power trio, Tequila Mockingbyrd. After relocating to these shores last year, the “TByrds” have quickly made a name for themselves through some incredible live performances. Featuring Estelle Artois (Vocals and guitar), Josie O’Toole (Drums) and Keira (bass, filling in for Jess Reily). Keira may only have had 14 days to learn all the songs, but she didn’t let the side down. Introductions over, Tequila Mockingbyrd start with ‘Money Tree’, and we’re off and running TByrd style… strong riffs, memorable choruses, and their own brand of rock with a punky edge to it. ‘Why Are We Still Friends’ hits a nerve with a lot of us. This song is about stalking your ex on Facebook. There seemed to be a few faces in the crowd that understood the relevance. We all like songs that we can relate to in some way or other, and who doesn’t like a drinking song? So the girls strike up ‘Jager Bomb’ and the crowd started rocking in unison. All too soon, we reach the final song ‘I Smell Rock ‘n Roll’, one of the highlights of the debut album ‘Fight And Flight’ which gets it’s official UK release on March 24th. These girls are on the radar of many promoters throughout the UK and Europe, and tonight we witnessed why. I’m sure Glasgow will certainly hear the songs of these Mockingbyrds again.
Tequila Mockingbyrd set list: Money Tree, Shut Me Down, Everyone Down, Why Are We Still Friends, This Ain’t Dead, Somebody, Good Time, Jager Bomb, Never Go Home, So Not Me, I Smell Rock ‘n Roll.
Bonafide are kicking off their extensive tour of the UK and Europe… a punishing 14 gigs in 14 days! Pontus Snibb (lead guitar and vocals), Anders Rosell (guitar, or, as Snibb calls it ‘second fiddle’), Martin Ekelund (bass), Niklas Matsson (the ‘Master of Drums’). Pontus Snibb, no stranger to Glasgow, acknowledged the rock heritage of the city, and promised to add to it tonight. Bonafide got the set off and running with ‘Back In Flames’. Deep riffs from Snibb, with excellent exchanges with Rosell, let the fans know it was going to be hot in here tonight! As always the eccentric Martin Ekelund dashed from side to side of the stage, keeping the momentum going with his solid and entertaining bass playing. Not forgetting, of course, Matsson holding it all together like glue with his energetic, precise, and solid drumming. ‘Peg Legged Pete’ is a showcase for Bonafide’s ability, not just as a band, but as individuals, and the crowd were in the zone.
Ekelund has a scary look at times, demonstrating deep backing vocals on ‘No Doubt About It’, then that cheeky smile and his flick and grab guitar pick trick brings back his fun-loving side. Rosell is solid taking several leads throughout the set, as well as backing up on vocals. We found out after the show that he has been suffering from food poisoning, so hats off to him for monstering on through.‘Rock ‘n Roll Skal’ is let loose on the ears, and the catchy line is reverberated back from the crowd. Again, a song with excellent interaction between Snibb and Rosell. I said earlier, the temperature was rising, and in time-honoured fashion, a few members of the crowd have their tops off, bare chested and rocking it big style along with everyone else. Snibb has a powerful rock voice, but can also has a sideline in the blues, as demonstrated on ‘Rag And Bone Man’. It opens with a riff some would associate with Angus Young, but Snibb has his own twist on it, showing yet another facet of his talents.
So… to Bonafide’s iconic show-stopper ‘Fill Your Head With Rock’, a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. They take the volume down, and Snibb, without a microphone, sings to the crowd “When you feel like your sinking like a stone” and the hall reverberates with “FILL YOUR HEAD WITH ROCK!” A few more rounds, then Bonafide blast back in, and the crowd go wild! A powerful anthem any band would be proud to have in their arsenal. Who said Sunday nights out listening to live music are a bad idea? I, and everyone at the O2 ABC tonight, would beg to differ.
Bonafide set list: Back In Flames, Hold Down The Fort, Dirt Bound, One Kiss, Peg Legged Pete, Smoke And Fire, 50/50, No Doubt About It, Can’t Get Through, Rock ‘n Roll Skal, Rag And Bone Man, Power Down, Loud Band, Hard Living Man, Fill Your Head With Rock, 50 Cent Millionaire, Butter You Up
Review and images: Dave Jamieson