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Monday, 2 December 2013

Dregen / Imperial State Electric - Glasgow Cathouse - 01/12/13

People know that Glasgow rocks.
They can't but help realize that as week after week the city hosts quality acts and warmly embraces them all.
We simply love our rock and roll.
Bands have shouted it from the rooftops, and there's been a credible amount of live albums recorded in venues across the city to back up why they just bloody love us.
Yet tonight I am mystified as to why the double header of Dregen and Imperial State Electric failed to draw a larger crowd than it did.
Maybe it's just me, but if you put Dregen and Nick Royale on a bill I would expect that they could very easily fill 250 to 350 capacity venues.
Yet that wasn't the case.
It would be easy to say that this is other peoples loss - as it is - but maybe some questions should be asked as to why such a sterling line up failed to draw an audience.
Answers on a postcard as they say.

Now regardless of the woefully poor attendance it has to be said that both bands didn't pull any punches and the sets they delivered were beyond criticizing.
On a professional level this is the sort of show that musicians aspire towards.
Dregen was on fire and his backing band are hitting the ground running.
With a very impressive solo debut under his belt he's looking to draw attention to the material and doing it in fine style.
It would be easy to just have a quick run through of the songs, but that would probably be too easy and instead everything is treated as an organic entity that is still growing.
Every song that I was thinking I had become familiar with has taken a few steps away from the studio version and are living and breathing beasts that are hungry to take over some unexplored ground.
One highlight of the performance is the blues heavy 'Flat tire on a muddy road', but for me there was a section of the set that surpassed that, and this was when Dregen took the opportunity to introduce the band and as part of that there was an off the cuff bit of guitar duelling between him and Michel Santunione that could be described as a you had to be there moment.
There was nothing really that flashy about it, and neither would be looking to be called guitar heroes based on it, but the natural flow between the two of them was a joy to behold.
Full plaudits have to go to Michel for his over all contribution to the performance and I am sure Dregen will be aware that in this young man he has a perfect foil for him to work with.

The last time I seen Nick Royale was when he was playing with the MC5, so this was a bit of a treat for me to see him opening his UK tour with Imperial State Electric, and I wasn't disappointed.
It's like KISS without the make up.
Full on rock, and unlike Simmons and Stanley, who if we are honest can be a bit hit and miss, this was all killer and no filler.
You can imagine the guys stomping onto a stadium stage as fireworks go off and nothing about that would jar with the music.
It's big, it's ballsy and it's pretty much in your face unashamedly good time rock and roll and sometimes that just exactly what we could all do with a bit of.
I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't kept up to date with the band and I don;t even have their two albums, but give me a day or two and that will be rectified.

It's been a quick week that has encompassed shows from Buckcherry, Hardcore Superstar, Girlschool and Michael Monroe, bit if I was to list them in order of personal preference this one just slips in behind Michael Monroe.

Strange how Buchcherry and Hardcore Superstar can command a four figure audience when this outing very easily left both of those bands in the dust, even though there was nothing wrong with their shows.


  1. It was a great rockin' show, but yeah, poor crowd. May have been a combination of it being a Sunday, Imperial State Electric being pretty much unknown over here and with Michael Monroe playing only 2 nights before, he may have stolen Dregen's thunder and Scandanavian Rock Pound a little bit.

  2. People often look to nail one reason for a poor turn out when it is often a combination of many.
    For sure all you have listed will have had an impact.
    Even the tragedy on the Friday night will have taken the wind out of some peoples sails.
    In addition I've not been that impressed with the amount of promotion surrounding both shows.
    Posters seemed to appear very late in the day and I noticed a half page ad in the metro a few weeks ago didn't mention the MM gig at all even though the tickets were on sale and had been for a while.
    Not sure of the Dregen show was and wouldn't like to make a false claim on that.
    It's tough out there and getting tougher and promoters of any size really do need to be on top of things like that.
    I should add that within the seven days it wasn't just Michael Monroe playing, but Buckcherry/Hardcore Superstar/venrez, Then Girlschool and Raven before MM on the friday.
    Include the Glaswegians who would have attended hard Rock Hell as well and the cumulative impact probably didn't do Dregen and ISE any good at all.
    A great shame as it was a fantastic show.