McSorleys is too busy for the Prof who’s getting to that age where he likes, if not demands, a seat everywhere we go. Therefore, en-route we are diverted to The Crystal Palace for our pre-gig cocktails. Not normally a favourite watering hole, by a long chalk, tonight however it is a fortunate choice as already ensconced in there is ‘Mac’ and ‘Ither Willie’. They’re off to The Classic Grand to see Okkervil River. It’s a busy night, in Glasgow, as Besnard Lakes are also on at KTWWH, while The Vaccines are serenading at Barrowlands.Tonight the Happy Gigsters are some seven strong, Prof and WA, Spanner and Mrs Bed, Shields, me and The Man In The Long Suede Coat.
Before the show starts, Bill and I are met by the Ferry chef Captain Jack. In amongst heady facts about the number of Xmas Dinners he’s cooking in December, he tells us that, on the strength of the soundcheck, the band are on top form and just as he sidles into the night, here they come onstage and prove his assessment to be absolutely correct. A two hour celebration of their fifty year long career draws tunes from early singles, never released demos, the latest album, a brand new song and most importantly a heavy smattering of selections throughout the set from Odessey and Oracle. A certain amount of energy is dissipated from the performance by the sometimes lengthy, but always interesting, stories that act as a preface to most of the evening’s songs. Indeed, I may have imagined it but at one point Argent claims that the cuttlefish is a distant relation of the horse and that he can sing harmonies from a small hole in the top of his head. Another fine night, however on the way out I overhear that Colin Blunstone is back here in February and, while I’ve enjoyed his shows over the last three years, I also realise I’m Zombied out for the time being!
Rod Argent the Narwhal displays how to sing from his blow-hole.
Hold Your Head Up, indeed!