Strutz

This is the gig I am talkin about when I tell people we played “in the Barrowlands”. For those of you furth of Glesga, the Barrowlands is an extremely dingy former dancehall just east of the city centre. It’s a great place for a gig though and all the greats have played there. So when you say you’ve played “in the Barrowlands” people go “Oh! Really?”. This “Strutz” however was a downstairs area in the same building, more or less beneath the stage where all the top pop acts play. It was a largeish room with a stage protected by some kind of crash barrier I recall. Years later I saw Stump in there although they had changed it about a bit.

This gig took place in the afternoon for some reason. We were on a bill of about five bands, but strangely we didn’t encounter any of the other bands at all. The place was fairly deserted, a vista of wooden flooring.

The night before there had been some kind of a Bands Promotion Group bash in Dalmuir Community Centre. There had been copious amounts of virulent red wine in a box, of which I had partaken freely. Now in those days I wasn’t much of wine drinker, more of a vodka/lager kind of guy (jeez-o). So the next morning I woke up and thought I was dying, red wine can kill you if you are not used to it…and then I remembered we had this blasted gig. I was really sick, not that comedy “never again” hangover, I mean really sick. Some folk never seem to get truly bad hangovers but I’m not one of that happy band. I really suffer, this particular occasion my heid was practically hanging off and I wished I was in a coma.

The body is an amazing thing though. I was able to get it together to the stage where I could stand up and walk about. Now if I hadn’t had the gig there would have been no way, forget it, total write-off.

Lawrence’s mum gave us a loan of her car and Davy drove us to the gig. What a nightmare journey that was. The car was absolutely packed to the living end with the gear and all six of us. God it was hell! It was a Sunday yet there seemed to be loads of traffic about, we were jolting and stopping every five seconds. And of course there were the traffic lights.

At the Saltmarket, about five minutes away from the place, I had had it. One more jolt and I would have puked down the back of Davy’s neck. Then we nearly crashed into another car, and the brakes were slammed on. Christ on a bike, it’s a wonder I didn’t burst.

I sat at a table like a wounded thing in the venue. We did a soundcheck which more or less turned into the start of our perfomance. Once I was on-stage I was my usual chipper self, full of the rockin joys of spring and waving my leg like a madman. We put on a fairly good show. One highlight for me was our rendering of the Associates tune “Party Fears Two” which we played slowly with a harmony vocal from Lesley. I think this was her first live performance with the band. I ‘ve got a tape of this but I’m betting it sounds kind of pishy these days. Still, I enjoyed it at the time.

I’m pretty sure that this gig was the last to feature the outrageous keyboard talents of the great Stuart Duff. He got fed-up with it all and jacked it in not long after this.

There was a guy there with a video camera, still a bit of a novelty in those days. After endless phonecalls and a lenghty bus journey to the uttermost outskirts of Glasgow, Lawrence and I finally obtained a copy of the tape. Pretty funny it is, it’s only got the one song – “Hot Rock”, the rockabilly corker we ended with. We always used to stick loads of false endings on that song, STOP….Wait for audience to begin cheering wildy…START..play for a bit..STOP…pause for applause whilst running hand nonchalantly through hair…..START etc. etc. My weans loved the video especially the ridiculous leg waggling. It starts off with these titles saying They’re Coming!…..(an eon passes)….They’ll Be Here Soon!…..(further glaciation)…They’re Here Now! and then it gives all the stage names. O happy days.

There were more people there by the time we finished. My good friend Jim Byrne was there. I had only met him the night before and this was the first of our gigs he came to. As we walked out the building two lassies asked me for my autograph, there you go.

I took the train home, slumped against the window. It was a beautifully sunny day but I just wanted to get home and lie down in the dark.

Larry spotted some blatant bollocks in the above,  his comments:

The Strutz gig took place on a Saturday. The gig you are thinking of where we borrowed my mum’s car was the Priesthill gig. The BPG AGM was on the Friday night. At which you completely offended a startled woman with an impressive volley of expletives. One of the great moments in Charlies’ off stage history. There were many to choose from. Are you sure those Chubby Chesters pics were actually taken there? You seem to be wearing two different sets of clothes in them! Are the red shirt ones not from the Saints and Sinners gig? Incidentally an opportunity to talk about some extreme, and colourful hair, goes a begging on that one.(Proof of age and hair may be required).I noticed some other stuff but a weird fukd upness in my dome just appeared. Anyway do what you will with this information. Thank for listening. Wimpering Lord Lampie.

The Band that afternoon were:

R.Ruthven guitar and vocals
L.Alexander guitar
S.Craig bass
S.Duff keyboards
D.Kinnaird drums
L.Ruthven vocals