I'll be honest: on this bill of hot young bands, the Black Stars are, well, somewhat older than I'd expected. (I know, I know, I have looked in a mirror recently…) Possessed of a fine set of rock'n'roll tunes that to me had the stamp of the Soho Roses ground in with a size 12 stiletto their short set is certainly enjoyable, but vocally, musically and indeed, sartorially, they don't quite hit the mark. Sorry!
BlackRain, on the other hand, not only hit the mark, they obliterate it with a scattergun explosion of rock'n'roll excess. The moment this bunch of leatherclad walking wigs leap onto the stage like the last thirty years never happened, I wonder why I've never seen them before. The guitarist is a deadringer for CC Deville, the singer a mini-me Robin Black, the legend 'F**k off' tattooed across his six-pack. Bless!
The reason, it transpires, is because Black Rain have never played Scotland before, hailing as they do from that glam metal Mecca, France. Mixing the in-yer-face attitude of Buckcherry with the geetar lixx of Poison, the vocal style of Vince Neil, dense harmonies of the aforementioned Robin Black and the hair of Tygertailz, these guys are slick, technically skilled musicians and kickass rock'n'roll artistes. Who needs Steel Panther? Formidable!
And finally, the return of the lovely Peepshow. Shrugging off the cock rock label like an old fur coat, the band are back with a brand new album, called, appropriately, Brand New Breed, and a bid to be taken more seriously.
Does that word belong in rock'n'roll? I dunno. Because while the band have clearly progressed both musically and technically in the last three years, it's come at the expense of the raggedy-arsed, shambolic charm that made them so initially appealing.
Still, mustn't grumble, Glama Nana. Tearing ferociously through current single 'Let Go', the band make it clear from the off that the new Peepshow is a force to be reckoned with: not so much young, dumb and full of cum any more but young, determined and full of anger, pissed off with bankers and fat cats and, you know, stuff. Vive la revolution! (Or something.)
Swaggering Nikki Sixx lookalike Johnny Gunn is an energetic frontman with attitude to spare (although less of the 'boring bastards' if you don't mind!), the new material powerful and gutsy, anthemic call to arms written with stadiums in mind; so all in all, the band look to end their set on a high, seguing into the new album's title track when… the sounds conks out and the band troupe from the stage looking most, to steal a word from Alice, pissedoffistic.
WTF? That's no way to end a high octane night of antiestablishment r'n'r! Sacré bleu! Still, I've enjoyed over three hours of entertaining tunes and got to bed by midnight and ça, as they say, est plein pour moi.