Rhinos Revenge at Ivory Blacks in Glasgow was a date that was pencilled into our diaries the moment we got wind of it, then rubbed out, then moved, then pencilled in again. OK, the the date may have slipped by a few months but there was no way on earth we were going to be anywhere else other than here for this one.
And the reason we were so keen to be there? Well that would be last year’s arrival of Rhino’s Revenge 2. We didn’t have any great expectations one way or the other when Rhino’s second solo album dropped into our inbox but, with one spin, we were hooked. To say we weren’t expecting anything quite that good from the long time Quo bassist was an understatement and it’s an album that’s still pretty damn near the top of our “tunes for a long road trip” playlist. The album was recorded with Rhino roping in the kids to lend their musical talents, but for the tour he has put together something of a rock’n’roll super group (or, as he calls it, a soupergroup.. chicken noodle.. but we digress). So the diminutive stage at Ivory Blacks was graced by members of FM, Uriah Heap and, of course, Status Quo.
We arrived at the venue bright and early for an interview appointment with the great man, and we were well looked after by tour manager Mike who asked us in to catch the sound check along with all the VIP meet and greet package folk who definitely got their money’s worth..
Actually, the trip into Glasgow for the soundcheck alone. It’s always at these things that you get a feel for the chemistry, or lack of it, in a band and we got to see first hand the real passion and camaraderie between the band members. There were some gremlins to iron out as Rhino had wireless mic problems and had to get his flight bag out looking for batterie… Two minutes later we had the unusual sight of a rock’n’roll legend standing, boxers on his head, running some tasty bass riffs to check everything is working.
We like this man. We like him a lot.
Impromptu chats and ad-lib between the sound guy, band members and his special guests, we knew this was gonna be a HUGE thumbs up. We were treated to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock’n’roll” and no fewer than three attempts at nailing “My name is Stan”. One of which came to an abrupt end with a *motorboats* ppfpfpfpfpfphhhhhht..
The Soundcheck over Rhino went round the assembled fans and took the time to chat to each and every one of them. Honestly, he couldn’t have been nicer to these people and many autographs and selfies followed.
After that it was interview time, which you can read elsewhere This guy, it’s fair to say, has been about the block a few times. The interview was a joy to do, even though he’d probably answered our questions a million times before.
We headed out for a coffee, and by the time we got back the place was pretty packed for such a small venue. Unsurprisingly there were a lot of fans of the Quo, judging by t-shirts, and what we shall call a more mature audience. We watched on as support band Quo No (a tribute band, believe it or not) blasted through some Quo standards. This certainly got the crowd going but for us it was all a bit too much Quo… a quoverdose :))
(I had to get that line in, it made me laugh at the time. Is there a band called Quoverdose? and if not, why not??)
After Quo-No’s performance, the crowd where geared up for the main event and the place was buzzing.
Let’s do this.
Things kicked off with Rocker and went straight into a raucous performance of My Name Is Stan (go spotify it, you will not be disappointed). The band members once again looked as though they were having a blast on stage. Over the evening we were treated to Rhino’s Revenge tunes mixed in with a few covers from Quo and others, with Lucinda in particular getting the place bouncing. No complaints from us about the fact that there was loads of materiel from the latest album. Busy Doing Nothing and New New New went down like a storm in an Ivory Blacks sized tea cup! That all too familiar riff at the start of Secretary made us jump about and dance like looneys. Rhino’s music has always had a vein of social commentary and Spend Spend Spend was a welcome addition to the set list, encouraging us to part with our money and talk to the merch man and buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have. A few more Quo songs including Paper Plane and Jam Side Down. But we were still hungry for more…
by the time we reached the encore there was still something missing, Black Widows. They HAVE to do Black Widows right?. Maybe they have just forgotten. I guess that tales of Chechen suicide bombers may have dampened the atmosphere a bit but as we ended on a high for an encore of “Roll over Beethoven” we’ll let him off.
A homage to pioneer of rock n roll, Mr Chuck Berry, what a way to round things off. Superb. That is how it is done. Of course Rhino is the center of attention but this was simply one of the best bands we’ve ever seen in Glasgow. Uriah Heep’s Russel Gilbrook the crazy animal drummer laying down the beat. Long time Rhino mate Matthew Starritt on guitar and then there’s Jim Kirkpatrick, guitarist of the mighty FM, who riffed and soloed like a bonafide guitar hero. This doesn’t feel like Rhino and hired guns, it feels like a genuine good time Rock’n’Roll band. As the great man put it himself, “WE ARE RHINO’S REVENGE”…
And they nailed it! Cackblabbath never tire of wee gems like this and it was one of the best nights out in Glasgow we’ve had in a while. Safe travels guys and hope the remainder of the tour is as awesome as Glasgow was, you made a lot of people extremely happy.
Til next time….
Tomorrow is Today!