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Whippet out – Big Audio Dynamite, Glasgow ABC

Some of those ensconced here at ELM Towers were cynical about this gig. As the Whippet shows, though, we needn’t have been….

Glasgow and Mick Jones go back a long way. The seminal Clash gigs at The Apollo (supports included Suicide and The Specials!), the footage in Rude Boy (“Let’s get out of this fuckin’ city”), BAD at the QMU in 1985 and at The Tunnel the same year. There are at least two generations of Glaswegian blokes who still base their style on The Clash circa London Calling. Personally, I’m saying nothing…..

So the reformed, original line-up Big Audio Dynamite tour for the first time in 25 years. A recent Guardian article mooted, “BAD, more influential than The Clash?” Me, I’m less than convinced.

The problem with being at the vanguard of technology is that it tends to date you quite quickly. Some of the cutting-edge noise of early BAD just sounds clunky now. Listening back to the albums in 2011 makes you realise they all have at least three stinkers on them. “Ticket” anyone? That said, the great tracks are, well, great.

So, to the gig. The be-suited Jones is sporting sunglasses to disguise a nice big black eye. “I had a fall” he tells a packed ABC. Don Letts remains the sharpest looking 50-year old dread in Christendom.

The set opens with Medicine Show. BAD sound lean, mean, and way rockier than I remember them. They’re clearly a little rusty, Letts and Jones making eye contact to cue each others vocal parts. It IS only the second gig in 25 years I suppose. Straight into Beyond the Pale and it’s all clicking. This is a group who clearly love playing together.

Jones points out the old-skool style backdrop with a laugh “We wanted it to look authentic” he tells us. A tremendous Battle of All Saints Road follows with Jones struggling to remember the Duelling Banjo part. It all adds to the good fun vibe coming off the stage, however, and no one in the crowd minds a bit.

C’mon Every Beatbox and Just Play Music have everyone singing along and V. Thirteen sparks an outbreak of pogo-a-gogo.

Encores of E=MC2 and The Bottom Line continue the wild moshpit (honestly!) and a few men in their 40’s are gonna be suffering Thursday morning. There is clearly a great deal of fondness in Glasgow for Jones et al and they respond brilliantly.

Nostalgia?  Maybe. Whippet’s best gig of the year so far?  Definitely.

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for your repport mate

    I’ll be ate the sheperd Bush satuday night

    I can tell you that i hardly wait for this

    Nostalgia ? Sure there is some but WHO CARES !!!

  2. You’ll love it, they’re actually better now. Greatest hits set? You betcha….

  3. Much as I love BAD I think Id forgotten just how many great singles they had.

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