It was a cold, wet, miserable night when Vintage Caravan brought their latest tour for the album Arrival to Glasgow. The Audio is a small, intimate venue set underneath the train tracks leading into Glasgow, however with amps cranked up and big heavy grooves being blasted out, that doesn't interfere with the music.
Local band Bacchus Baracus opened the evening in good style with their Sabbath and COC influences on show. They are also one of those unusual outfits where the drummer does the vocals. On record that might work quite well, but live it does mean the lyrics are not as clear as they could be, although when another member joins in it becomes better. They certainly held their own on the night and warmed the crowd up for what was to come. The main support were Swedish band Dead Lord, who were much more impressive in a small indoor environment than on a festival stage ala Sweden Rock. When they are right in the face they are excellent. The best tracks on the night were the more '70s-inspired dual guitar Thin Lizzy sounding ones along with a couple that certainly leaned toward early AC/DC, which really seemed to get the crowd going. They were very professional and a lot of fun especially when they described the audience as "whiskey drinking, haggis eating, sons of bitches," to loud cheers of approval.
Finally the headliners took to the small stage with their usual enthusiasm and friendliness. They focused more on the latest album with much of the set taken from Arrival and just a few cuts from their 2014 album Voyage. Regardless of course, the songs were played with shed loads of energy, with lots of hard-hitting riffs seeing plenty of headbanging and jumping around by both óskar Ágústsson and Alexander Númason (guitar and bass) as they encouraged the crowd to join in. Babylon was the first track to get the audience singing whilst punching the air and generally rocking out, and the easy going nature of in-between song chat is enjoyable too, even the opening comment asking "You want to hear some live music tonight?" leading to "well you've come to the right place" with a cheeky but knowing smile. Although simple and perhaps seemingly cheesy, it worked nicely in the context of who they are and what they are about.
The guitar solo on Let Me Be was superb, underpinned by some incredible drumming from Stefán Stefánsson. Innerverse has a lovely haunting, and gentle reflective opening, showing another side to what they can do musically, while the change over to the heavy second section is immaculate, with lots of riffs and time changes showing their prog leanings. Cocaine Sally starts with a mad guitar freak out and the US national anthem, before a forced vomiting impression, probably as a reaction to the result of the election in the Presidential election. Oskar said that given the state they were in from three nights gigging, physically, that they were relieved that they refrained from the local delicacy of "deep fried pizza" as they might have been incapable of movement, and made it safely through the Last Day of Light, which has one of the best riffs they have written.
Sadly the set was cut slightly short due to an actual cut. Alexander sliced his finger badly enough that they were struggling to stop the bleeding. They sadly had to stop before doing an encore, but with the state of his finger it was understandable. It was a real shame as it was such a good show, however to make amends the band told everyone that they would spend as much time at the merchandise stall as possible.
It was a very good night, and The Vintage Caravan are improving with each tour. They have the riffs and the musicianship, along with youthful vitality to compliment those, and they are certainly a band worth seeing. Hopefully on the next tour they might be able to make the jump to a bigger venue.
“ shed loads of energy ”
Setlist: Craving / Babylon / Shaken Beliefs / Let Me Be / Innerverse / Crazy Horses / Cocaine Sally / Carousel / M.A.R.S.W.A.T.T / Last Day of Light / Expand Your Mind
Black Sabbath London set #2 • Black Sabbath London set #1 • Black Sabbath Manchester set • Anthrax 2017 London setlist • Exodus tour 2017 • Helloween tour 2017 • Annihilator tour 2017 • Crowbar tour 2017 • Megadeth tour 2017 • Glenn Hughes tour 2017 •
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