Review By Hollis

Calgary (Tequila’s), Tuesday Sept. 28th 2005 (30km round trip)

Tequilas was the smallest venue so far, it was about 1/2 the size of the Black Diamond Hotel with a tiny dance floor area. We got there at 8:30 and walked in with our Guest Passes, without having to wait in line. That’s so damn cool. We felt special already. Had a couple of beers as we stood to the right of the stage, right in front of where Pete will be playing and we were even closer than at Black Diamond. It was hard work trying to keep the spot we had because the place was packed and everyone wanted to get close, even before the support band, Stairwell, came on.

It was about 9:45 when Stairwell came on. It’s the first time we’ve seen them perform, even though they’ve been second billing to Nazareth at about 4 shows on this tour. They’re a 4 piece band that seemed pretty good and they knew we all just wanted Nazareth, but they sounded good and everyone seemed to enjoy the music. They played some of their own stuff and some well known songs, but nothing I really knew since I’m still stuck in the 70’s and I don’t listen to the radio much. Tom was on stage at 10:15 to tell them to finish up. I think they were a bit miffed at that so Tom went to ask the band how long they had left. It turned out that Stairwell could play 3 more songs before they had to go. As they were just rounding off, Tom spotted us and gave us a wave.

The Stage was cleared for Nazareth pretty quickly, but even Robert Kennedy, the drum tech and cow bell guy, had time to say hi to us. We’re beginning to feel more and more like good friends as the tour goes on. We also saw Steve, the lights guys, but he was busy trying to blind us once again with those heaters at the back of the stage. The set was so small that Lee had a hard time getting in behind the Marshall stack to the drums. There wasn’t much head room for him either, but just enough to get the job done I think. He even knocked over a mic as he was making his way off the set after he had setup the skins the way he wanted.

10:40 and show time!!! Len and Sarah had arrived earlier and promptly put their ear plugs in. Not sure were Terrence and Megan had got to, but I don’t think they would have found us anyway. I thought this was going to be louder than Black Diamond so I had my ear plugs at the ready too, but I didn’t want to use them just yet. I have to say, the sound tech, Phil, did a super job here tonight. They really did spend extra time setting up and it paid off. I didn’t need my ear plugs after all. I could hear everything so clearly, even when they ripped into “Miss Misery” and “Razamanaz”.

Jimmy’s guitar playing, for me anyway, is brilliant and on the level with Manny Charlton’s. Saying that, he “was” playing Manny’s music, so no disrespect intended if Manny fans should read this, or Manny himself. He took this band to glory for many years. But we have to acknowledge that Jimmy Murrison, that “ex-Trouble In Doggie land” lead guitarist from Aberdeen, Scotland, is now in the history books with one of the best rock bands in the world. 2 brilliant guitarists in their own right!

I was making sure I took advantage of our great position by taking as many photos as I could. As Dan McCafferty was taking a little break during “Razamanaz”, he was leaning on the stack of speaker’s right in front of Pete Agnew, when he looked down at me and Frances. We were nicely surprised when he reached down to shake our hands. Then Pete gave us the thumbs up and we were just in heaven. These guys are 100% genuine.

The set list was still the same, even though we were hoping they’re play “Changin’ Times”, but I could see the set-list on the drum stage and it was still crossed out. Maybe they’ll play it in Las Vegas. We can only hope. Without going through all the songs they played I’ll just mention the few highlights. One being “ Shanghai'd in Shanghai” because Pete Agnew’s singing in this one is great, especially when it’s only 3 feet in front of us. Frances and I sang along, as we did to all of them, but this is such a cool tune and you could tell Pete really got into it. He confirmed our expectations when he said “I love that f$%king song” when it was over. Pete sure does love to look into the crowd, even over to his far left; he was talking to people between songs. By this time Dan had shaken hand with most of the people up front by now, and was almost pulled into the front row at one point.

Dan introduced “Graeme Kirkpatrick”, who had just flown in from the UK today. We found out that Michael was supposed to go pick him up at the airport, but couldn’t get there in time so they sent a stretch limo instead. This very happy man, with a grin bigger than himself, walked proudly onto the stage and took his position behind Pete and between Lee on the drums and the stack of speaker’s Pete was using. Sorry, I can’t remember the name of them, but they’re not Marshall. Graeme was to play the cow bell in “Hair of the Dog”. It’s usually Robert that does this in the background and no-one ever sees him, just like when Tom plays the tambourine. Well, my word, Graeme was playing that cow bell like crazy and was beating the hell of it to this great song. It was an inspiration to see such excitement. Then came the bagpipes before we all joining in with “Son of a Bitch”…

As you may know, they started the encore with “Night Woman” again. Now, I love that f%^king song too. The place was really rockin’ hard and it reminded me of the Gremlin’s movie when they’re swinging from the lights and ceil fans. There was broken glass all over the floor and Frances had sore toes from trying to hang onto her spot all night. That’s how wild this place was. I’m not too old for this at all, especially since we behaved ourselves and didn’t get ripped like we did in Edmonton.

During “This Flight Tonight”, the second and final encore song, this crazy girl jumped on stage and gave Dan a big kiss and hug. Well, she wasn’t crazy, she was just happy to be there and Dan actually held her hand at some point when singing “Love Hurts”, so I can see why he just had to get on stage. She was pleasantly drunk and so happy, but Robert grabbed her and led her gently off the side of the stage, and it was only 2 minutes before she was back at the front again. Then during that last couple of lines of the song Dan held his hand out to this lovely lady, who promptly took hold so Dan could pull her up. He sang the last 2 lines of “This Flight Tonight” arm in arm with her. It was a thing of beauty to see. She got hugs and kisses from Dan and Pete when it was all over. The pretty lady took Dan’s towel with her as she followed them off the stage. Cute!

Michael was soon helping Tom and Robert pack up the equipment into the trailer behind the bus as Lee was hanging around with us and enjoying a beer and a smoke before taking off to the next gig in Prince George, BC. Lee was so laid back, as he usually is, and took a picture onto the bus for the band to sign for Michelle and Dave. Len and Sarah hung around a bit as we all surrounded the “cow bell guy”, Graeme. Frances managed to get yet another t-shirt signed by the band, including Graeme!

Nazareth ran out of t-shirts during the tour in Saskatchewan, which is what were told by the guy selling them, who happened to be from, guess where….yes…Dumfermline.

Graeme is such a bubbly character and just loved to chat about everything. We couldn’t talk enough before he had to get on the bus with the band. It was time for kisses and hugs, but just handshakes for me. It was 1:20am by the time we waved goodbye to the driver and they headed off to BC and we headed home. It was a nice warm night so the trek back to the van was pleasant.

Quote from Ian on the Nazareth Web Site: “A good friend of Lee's From Edinburgh (also a drummer) came over here for 4 days (or Gigs) and played cowbell with GUTSO on HOD the kid is amazing, very personable and a total headcase, and I hope he reads this cos I think he is Brilliant, what an entertainer, he had Everyone, Band, crew and fanz in stitches with his antics And I would love to meet him again, maybe someday in Embra perhaps.

How will be we get by until October 21st, when we see them in Vegas? CD’s and more CD’s…

Dave (a.k.a. Hollis Brown)
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.