LIVE REVIEW: Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons (Glasgow SECC)

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By Eric Mackinnon

eric@newrocktimes.com

Glasgow rock fans were treated to an evening of rock n roll royalty at the weekend as two pillars of Guns N' Roses and Motorhead respectively provided our Sunday night delight.

While the guru of guitar and the Top-hatted titan Slash may have been at the top of the bill and the bluesy sauce for a meal of glorious groovy rock and metal – the satisfying, soul filling foundation of the best musical meal I've had in years was the balls-out, pedal to the metal riff-led deliciousness of Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons.

And what a feast for our ravenous lugs that Campbell and his boys had on their ten-track menu.

Glasgow's famous SECC, now in a triumvirate of superb live music arenas alongside the Armadillo and the Hydro, welcomed more than 10,000 into her warm belly for the show which saw Campbell on top form.

Their set begins at a frightening pace as 'Big Mouth' explodes into life like a ravenous beast emerging on the hunt for prey. The crowd surge forward as the opening bars of the high energy opener wash over their heads and the pace doesn't let up.

This is a rock show with the pedal firmly welded onto the metal.

'Step Into The Fire' and 'Freak Show' follow before Campbell gives a nod to the band with whom he spent so much of his life with a blistering cover of Motorhead's 'Born To Raise Hell.'

Alongside Campbell in the band – who stands in his traditional stage right spot - are his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla - and Neil Starr on vocals and the chemistry between this gang of bastards is undeniable.

Starr is a captivating frontman and he does the Motorhead cover more than well enough to bring an eardrum piercing growl of approval from the floor.

'Get On Your Knees' is a nose bursting, snot flying body shaker and a highlight of the set. A cover of Hawkwind (of course Lemmy's first band) follows with 'Silver Machine' a poignant and heartfelt tribute to all the members of the legendary Motorhead sadly now in the moshpit in the sky.

'Dark Days' is – as always – the ultimate rock n roll track with audience participation as the band split in two camps while also splitting the crowd in two to gauge the louder half cheering for their on stage heroes. All wrapped around a sea of raised middle digits, finger fucking the sky – to borrow a line from Mr Durst.

A cover of 'Ace of Spades' turns the speedometer up to 160 mph again before the black curtain falls on their set with 'High Rules.'

Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons dropped 'The Age of Absurdity' last year to great acclaim and they are proving they are a band with their eye on the long haul.

While some will have expected the band to be a short lived venture, in the embers of the sad demise of Motorhead, they are proving they have the balls, the licks and the tunes to leave their own bootprints – while retaining a knowing nod to the bands which he was part of for so long - on the metal landscape in 2019 and beyond

From my spot at the back of the crowd with my beer in my paw and a grin on my dish I couldn't see side stage but I wouldn't bet against Slash and Myles Kennedy having their heads poking through the curtain, jaws slack, thinking 'how do we follow that?'