Thursday, 22 August 2019


King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow. Entered and greeted by a girl, white t-shirt, shaggy short hair, who took my ticket. Suddenly aware the floor was constructed of elaborate bright lights indicating pathways through the crowd which, to my disappointment, was both huge and seated. It seemed King Tuts was only a "front", and had been landfilled into a vast amphitheatre-

On entry the place was dark, the elaborate lighting suggesting at the size of the enclosure as it streaked here and there, but currently it was daylit, the ground dry, grassy, the seating formed from packed earth built up against a large building to the rear, stopping at the underside of the boarded-up top floor windows. The crowd was very large, stretching this way and that, and justifiably heaving with anticipation-

As I made my way to the front I saw the seating stopped to form a small mosh-pit, an enclosure hemmed in by the amps to the side and ceasing before the tiny stage. I remember thinking not so many people had bothered to turn up just after doors opening (7.30) last time! I ended up sitting as close to the stage as I could, resting my head on a pre-fabricated barrier, akin to the plastic efforts used for roadworks demarkation crossed with a canvas camping chair. This gave me a good view, considering my being short-sighted and having forgotten my glasses-

Peter Hayes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club arrived on stage shortly thereafter. The mosh-pit had disappeared by this time, and there seemed to be a surplus of stage hands and crew; two big 'dudes' appeared to be acting as both security and the synth player/drummer. Two girls in casual leather with sharp bobs sat on the grass and lamely sang backing (?) as and when required. Peter played the first song on acoustic guitar, but the singing wasn't up to much, the crowd were bored and listless and the picking was more akin to him tuning up. Towards the conclusion of this song I was among a group of people who were now virtually on the stage in what had become a small, dark, intimate setting. As Peter, now visibly bored or stoned himself, finished up the song he sat his guitar face-up on his lap, inviting – to my annoyance – some guy to take over his right-hand duties, allowing him to perform some sort of slide guitar action he had hitherto been mimicking-

At the end of this Peter mumbled that his bandmate Robert Levon Been was playing a song "around the corner", prompting a modest rush to witness this. As I made my way over I became aware that the stage was in fact immense, and that Peter and Robert had chosen to play at opposite corners, preferring cramped conditions and thereby leaving the majority of the (centre) stage curtained off for the moment when the two presumably united- 

When I arrived Robert seemed to be playing directly into the back of a tent pitched in a field, and not facing his supporters. He looked very skinny, in his loose white t-shirt, and had a long, very fine wispy beard on his chin. His song was also inaudible and the gathering crowd seemed to impede his playing even more. I met an old school friend, Pee Dee at this point, and struggled to hear the music over his constant mantra of "f*cking Wednesday", which I deduced my friend Kay Cee had organised as some sort of post-university studies celebration. This continued for the duration of Robert's song-

Returning to my seat I saw a band – of sorts – had taken to Peter's stage. Though, as he indicated, the main players did not seem to have much of a role, deferring to other, generic backing musicians. As they later played a rendition of what sounded like 'Spread Your Love' I went to the toilet, recognising UK underground comics artist Richard Cowdry on the way. The toilets were situated in a long wood-panelled corridor, each w.c. Half-sunk into the wall, a door you could not hope to close flapping hopelessly. I urinated carelessly into what was a very small and awkwardly angled toilet, keenly aware that I did not fancy being caught in the act. As such, I directed my magenta coloured, lumpen piss all over the toilet bowl and surrounding boxing and shelving. I quickly mopped up this mess, realising I must by now be missing the second song-

As I ran back to the stage I passed the comedian Lee Evans, who was using a toilet in the corridor, and I congratulated him on his support act(?), asking him how much of BRMC I'd missed. He noted me but did not reply, and as I continued on my way I could hear what I suspected was the violent snorting of cocaine- 

On my return I met my friend Dee who told me I hadn't missed much. A song called 'Tenerife' had ended in the band fighting, and another song, that they were just finishing up. This took the form of less than interesting feedback, evidenced by the crowd already heading home and murmurings of displeasure at the 7 song set. They played one final number to the exiting droves and I remember thinking of the 2 hour or more set they treated us to on their last visit-

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