Rock ‘n’ roll seems to be a gateway to madness. It makes you do things that no ordinary human being would do on a Wednesday night. I know this only too well, having thrown my papers to the floor, binned my inhibitions and journeyed to Broadcast to see Barrence Whitfield & The Savages.
The gig began with a set from the Vagabond Poets, a band seemingly from another place and time, but apparently from Cumbernauld. Despite this setback, the gutsy trio melded blues, rock and country to great effect in what was an immensely enjoyable set. Points were deducted due to repetitive chat between songs, but these guys will still win the fight in the end.
And then came the main event.
It is my belief that the great Barrence Whitfield neither knows nor cares to know his age. Instead of wasting time in life’s ditch, the big man instead spends his time screaming and hollering like some jubilant pugilist relative of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. On this occasion, Whitfield and his band took the Glasgow crowd on a 90-minute rock ‘n’ roll joyride, channelling Ike Turner at his musical (and I stress musical!) best, Chuck Berry at his noisiest and maybe even a little Willy DeVille. Frenzy was the order of the evening, and the band and the crowd alike were more than happy to indulge.
Tonight was truly a sign that rock ‘n’ roll makes people crazy, and that crazy people (with exceptions) are far better than non-crazies. Barrence Whitfield & The Savages must be insane to have travelled to Glasgow on a rainy Wednesday night, but the brand of insanity they offer is one that can and should be embraced by the rocking masses. Easily one of the best bands you’ll ever see.