BLACKIE Lawless is as old as yer da! Thus quoted one sage mind in Belfast on Sunday night.
True he is pushing on a bit, but he’s still able to rock it out!
WASP in the Spring and Airbrake was always going to be a wee but weird for us parents in the audience (even if Baal and I aren’t quite as old as Mr Lawless). After all those of us of a ‘certain age’ remember WASP ripping the Ulster Hall apart in the 80s.
But that said they are still a confident and competent live act, replete with every non-pc song lyric, except one, more of which later.
Arriving on stage astride an outrageous mic stand with On Your Knees, the band ripped through a set that apart from two tracks from Crimson Idol, was almost entirely drawn from early platters, when they were in their Chris Holmes heyday.
Hedonistic tracks aplenty were trotted out Wild Child, L.O.V.E Machine, along with Neutron Bomber and Headless Children. Piper’s solo on Crimson Idol was excellent, though it may have been in the set to give Lawless a break, given his advancing years.
And therein may be the problem. The voice is as strong as ever, but his engagement with the crowd apart from the odd shout out was lacking. The old bugger never broke a smile once.
Encore time saw the obligatory Blind in Texas chant along, but even Lawless must have noticed the crowd flagging. It was time to trot out Animal (Fuck Like A Beast) to send the sell-out crowd home grinning. Instead house lights up and good night, after less than 75 minutes.
WASP are still an excellent band, and while you can’t help loving it when they are on stage there is a hint that this is a pension tour for Lawless, not helped by the fact that no new, or even more recent material was on show.
Word for support acts – Sinnocence continue to deliver a solid set, building up their live talent, and as evidenced by the early crowd reaction getting together a solid fanbase.
Less can be said for Jaded, the all-girl act from the US. Metal by numbers, clichés aplenty (and not even the funny ones) and some God-awful lyrics (what was that about a jet car…c’mon love that lyric sounded like something Hawkwind would write when they can’t find any acid). If Jaded want to get anywhere, a radical re-think is needed and a pay rise for the guitarist who was the only bright spot.