Garbage, Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow 04/07/12

Well the Fourth of July has finally arrived and an early morning e-mail giving final confirmation that I would be heading to Glasgow to shoot and review what for me must be one of the most iconic bands of the Ninety’s defiantly put a smile on my face the one and only Garbage fronted by Scotland’s very own Shirley Manson.


What wiped the smile partly off my face was the weather it was doing its usual Scottish summer best in other words it was chucking it down! Thankfully a break appeared in the weather and camera bag packed it was off to the train station and Glasgow. What happened next I wouldn’t have believed possible in Scotland on leaving the Solid Rock where I had dived into for a quick pint and a bite to eat before the gig started I was greeted with a river on exiting where the road had been an hour earlier when I entered! To say it was chucking it down is an understatement and a half the last time I saw rain this heavy I was in Australia!


But time was marching on so there was nothing left to do but brave the elements and head towards the famous Barrowland Ballroom, so it was a somewhat wet rock tog that arrived outside the venue to collect his pass and enter what has to be Scotland’s No. 1 music venue. Due to the weather it took a while for the crowd to start to appear for what was a sell out show tonight, but by the time the support band for tonight The Jezebels from Sydney Australia walk on stage there was a decent size crowd growing by the minute.


The Jezebels are a quartet comprising of Nik Kaloper – Drums, Samuel Lockwood – Guitars and girls Hayley Mary – Vocals and Heather Shannon on Keyboards with a melodic soul searching shoe gazing vibe that as their set went on was clearly going down quite well with the Glasgow audience and was very much in stark contrast to the brash up front sound of tonight’s headliners Garbage. All too soon there short support set was over and a now almost full venue was getting ready for the first Scottish Garbage show in seven years.


We didn’t have long to wait before the lights dimmed and the guys from Garbage walked onto a empty stage and Butch Vig started playing the opening drumbeat of “Supervixen” and Shirley walked on stage to raptures applause and cheers before launching into her vocal. Supervixen was quickly followed by “I Think I’m Paranoid” and it was clear that the 7 year interval since their last gig in Shirley’s home country hadn’t diminished their appetite this was classic Garbage and the audience was lapping up every moment. “Shut Your Mouth” from Beautiful  Garbage was next a personal favourite and my  all too short time in the photo pit was over as the band played “Metal Heart” myself and the other photographers clambered out of the Barrowland’s photo pit.


Before playing the next song Shirley has the first of several chats with the audience informing us that all her family were here tonight and that it had been too long and a lot of shit had happened in the intervening years both for her and everybody in the audience but she was really glad that we were all there to see the show before launching into “Queer”, one of the differences of Scottish Garbage shows to shows elsewhere that Shirley openly admits to is that she speaks too much to the audience which I rather like as it means the shows are unique and tonight was no different with shout outs for her family, stories about her father’s passion for Robert Louis Stevenson,  her first time playing in the Barrowland Ballroom with Goodbye Mr McKenzie   and how she got her musical education while in  Goodbye Mr McKenzie to name but a few. After one of these chats we get the first new song of the evening “Not Your Kind Of People” from the album of the same name promptly followed by “Control” which fitted in very well with the older material.


Much too soon and we are on to the final songs of the main set with the classics “Push It” and “Vow” with the band leave to raptures applause after a short break the band reappear for their encore which starts with Automatic Systematic Habit from the new album before Shirley come to the mic to inform us that though she hates to say it but the Manchester show the previous night was louder! Well that’s like waving a red rag to a bull and the very partisan Scottish crowd soon sorted that little matter out and reclaimed our rightful title of the nosiest buggers around before the band kicked into “The Trick is to keep Breathing” followed by what I thought was a very apt song considering the weather outside “Only Happy When It Rains” to finish their triumphant return to a live stage in Scotland.


The band were tight and played very well Shirley was her charismatic self and her voice was on fine forum let’s just hope I don’t have to wait another 7 years before I have the pleasure of watching Ms Manson and the guys on stage again.


Set List

    1. Supervixen
    2. I Think I’m Paranoid
    3. Shut Your Mouth
    4. Metal Heart
    5. Queer
    6. Stupid Girl
    7. Why Do You Love Me
    8. Not Your Kind of People
    9. Control
    10. Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
    11. Blood for Poppies
    12. Special
    13. #1 Crush
    14. Battle In Me
    15. Big Bright World
    16. Bad Boyfriend
    17. Push It
    18. Vow
    19. Encore:
    20. Automatic Systematic Habit
    21. The Trick Is to Keep Breathing
    22. Only Happy When It Rains




Garbage website

The Jezebels website






Pictures from the gig



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The Jezebels

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About Neil Henderson

The other half of the Scottish duo :) Failing miserably at keeping Sheila in line ;)