Wednesday, 8 February, 2023 in Culture, Live Reviews, Music

Into Music Live Review: The Bluebells

Concert: The Bluebells
Venue: Glasgow Oran Mor
Date: 3 February 2023

“How come I love them now? How come I love them more”? Not so much a question but a statement which all in the sold out audience would likely agree with if asked their opinion on The Bluebells. As Ken McCluskey stood front and centre of stage, conducting the crowd in a mass singalong to the closing Young at Heart, those same fans bellowed those lines back at The Bluebells singer in what can only be described as a triumph of a gig. 

Things have come full circle for the band with their upcoming new album, The Bluebells in the 21st Century due to land in a few months time, a mere 39 years after debut long player Sisters. The show was part of the Celtic Connections Festival and given it was sold out is tantamount to the band’s enduring appeal. 

The set included five new tracks from the hotly anticipated new album and the fact they fitted like a glove with the more familiar songs from their back catalogue bodes well. New single, Gone Tomorrow, has already been released and featured early. Set opener, Daddy Was An Engineer, is an instant earworm with personable lyrics courtesy of Bobby Bluebell while the excellent Blue Train rolls along with rocking guitars. Both tracks are propelled by some excellent harmonica wizardry courtesy of Ken McCluskey. 

Thereafter we are treated to some classic Bluebells tracks including Red Guitars, Cath and a stunning version of I’m Falling by which point the temperature in the room was somewhat hot but that didn’t deter the band or the crowd who were happy to ride the crest of the wave. 

A cover of I Saw The Light went down a treat before two further new songs in Anyone can be a Buzzcock and Ballad of the Bells finished off the set, the former allowing the band to rock out to the sound of 1977, the latter featuring clever lyrics, while both showcased lead guitar intricacies, courtesy of Mick Slaven. 

Back to the set closing Young At Heart. THAT bassline from Campbell Owens coupled with some hard hitting drumming from Dave McCluskey and rhythm guitars from Douglas MacIntyre and Bobby Bluebell set the scene for the mass sing-a-long. 

A Friday night in Glasgow doesn’t get better than this. The Bluebells are back with new music and have an album launch gig at St.Luke’s on 4 June 2023. You should go. 

For details on the new album and the gig, head over to the Last Night Form Glasgow website here


 John Welsh




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