Into Live Music Review: Spear of Destiny/Derek Forbes & The Dark
Date: 7 December 2023
While Derek Forbes has graced the stage playing with the likes of tonight’s headline band Spear of Destiny, Big Country and The Alarm, it is his work with seminal Glasgow band Simple Minds that he is best known for. Playing bass on their first six albums, their output is still lauded to this day and it was from that catalogue of work that The Dark mined their set.
Just seven songs yet I doubt anyone in the audience could disagree with the the tracks played. Early on, a blistering I Travel was delivered with pomp while The American saw a sizeable amount of the crowd throw some shapes before a sensational Theme For Great Cities was the perfect closure.
Suitably warmed up, the crowd were more than up for Spear of Destiny, the current five-piece have been together for some time now and while it would be easy to play a similar set, they don’t, changing the songs from tour to tour which really keeps things fresh for both the band and the crowd.
Opener Rocket Ship was the perfect platform for Clive’s Osborne’s saxophone while Strangers In Our Town saw Adrian Portas in his element, low slung guitar, mean and menacing, the sound reverberating around the room.
The middle section of the gig led to perhaps more seldom heard tracks such as Junkman and The Melancholy of Walter Sickert and pleasingly the band (and the crowd) did not let up in their enthusiasm, the show going from one high to the next.
An epic Flying Scotsman was next up, the rhythm section tight as a nut. Indeed, bass player Craig Adams was looking particularly dapper, his headgear perhaps borrowed from Jamiroquai!
One other thing, Kirk Brandon’s vocal range refuses to diminish with time. It almost felt as if the ceiling would crack as he reached the heights on Never Take Me Alive, a huge, cavernous vocal which summed up perfectly what the audience were there to see and hear.
The closing Liberator was just insane, intense and boiling over with musical fizz. A song the band are synonyms with, but as we learned from the preceding hour or so, there is so much more to Spear of Destiny and long may that continue to be the case.