Live Carnage: Airbourne/Orange Goblin/The Treatment (Glasgow ABC 06/12/13)

Posted: December 9, 2013 in Live Reviews
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For my first gig in a long time, and long meaning that I can’t remember the last one (it was 2013, but what it was escapes me at this moment), I picked a doozy. Airbourne, the young, speed infused version of AC/DC, supported by the triumphant power of Orange Goblin? Life can be beautiful sometimes.

We arrived at the venue in time to catch the final two tracks by The Treatment, a young English rock and roll band who sounded pretty decent but hard to tell from just two tracks. Probably worth checking out, although their leather jacket-clad, tousled hair look felt a bit forced. You don’t need to look the part if your music is good lads, all I’m saying.

When Ben Ward, titanic frontman/monolith of rock of Orange Goblin strode on stage to huge cheers, my friends turned round to me and said, ‘aye, he does look like you!’ I had the fortune of meeting the man at the merch stand during Airbourne and he’s bigger than me. Like, I’m 6 foot 4 and I had to look up. He looked proud when I told him I’d be wearing my newly purchased Orange Goblin shirt to get me through what inevitably turned out to be a massive hangover. On stage, he’s engaging, blessed with a titan roar and loads of charisma. He’s smiling, waving his arms and encouraging everyone to party. The man seriously loves life. His band were excellent, from the barrelling ‘Scorpionica’ through the epic ‘Saruman’s Wish’. If you’re unfortunate enough to be unfamiliar with Orange Goblin, imagine Motorhead where Lemmy smoked weed instead of doing speed. When Ward dedicates their final track ‘Red Tide Rising’ to the victims of the Clutha disaster, it rounds off what has just been 30 minutes of pure class, rock and roll at its finest.

Airbourne had a lot to follow, but if there’s a band that personify the feeling of good old fashioned rock and roll, its them. Endlessly energetic, with a setlist packed with sing-a-long anthems that only the dead wouldn’t enjoy, they are a band to be appreciated in their live form. On record, I’ve always enjoyed them but live they are something else. Frontman Joel O’Keefe is a hyperactive Angus Young, bounding around stage, going for trips through the crowd on somebody’s shoulders, pulling off guitar solos while perched on the merch stand, smashing beer cans off his head and hurling them into the crowd, and just generally conducting rock and roll chaos. Airbourne are simply huge, and they deserve it. From fist pumping anthems like ‘Stand Up for Rock and Roll’ and ‘Running Wild’, to sleaze rockers like ‘Chewing the Fat’ and ‘Girls in Black’, not a single moment in their set is boring or cliche. Yeah, they sound like AC/DC, but since when was that a fucking problem? Airbourne slay, and that’s the end of the tale. We were ready to rock, and rock we did.

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