This ‘Nordoff Robbins’ article was written by Greg Clark, a GIGsoup contributor. The title photo is by Andrew Laing Photography
The Dreadnought in Bathgate is something of a West Lothian institution amongst fans of rock music. From the early days where the Rock club was to be found around the back of a hotel to the latest incarnation where they can found in the heart of Bathgate offering a relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and some of the best Rock around, the focus has always been the music. So it came as no surprise to discover that The Dread were running a night of live music in aid of music charity Nordoff Robbins. Three top live acts for a tenner with the headline act being kept under wraps and some not so subtle hints being dropped as to their identity were promised.
Opening proceedings were Gordon’s Alive and almost immediately you were relieved that you didn’t arrive late. The three piece from the Southside of Glasgow were hugely entertaining and used their set to showcase songs available from their debut album “Strange Days”. They brought an energy and enthusiasm to the stage and it endeared them to the crowd that was quickly growing.
They were swiftly followed by Jojocoke. As they walked on stage your initial reaction would be “what’s fuckin’ happening here? A bunch of guys in their 40’s having some sort of mass mid life crisis?” However, one should never judge a book by its cover as the band entertained with rock classics ranging from ‘All Right Now’ to the closing wailing feedback of ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’, It was bizarrely captivating.
After a quick intermission to draw the raffle, A task carried out by Scottish Rock Radio legend “Uncle” Tom Russell, it was time for the main event and although everyone knew who the headliners were partly due to word of mouth and the fact that they kept emerging from their dressing room to watch the support acts or take advantage of the bar facilities, everyone all cheered and acted surprised as Scottish Rock Royalty GUN took to the stage.
Opening with Classics ‘Don’t say it’s over’ and ‘Better Days’ the band were on good form and appeared to be having a ball playing to a crowd that was threating to spill out onto the Bathgate streets it was so busy. Lead singer and founding member Dante Gizzi enjoyed some banter with the crowd and got into a playful slagging match with his guitarist brother Jules who was clearly enjoying himself, so much so at one point he jumped offstage to get a crowd eye view of what was going on. After a hit packed 40 minute set they finished up with traditional closer ‘Shame on You’ before disappearing offstage only to return ten minutes later for some post show drinks and selfies.
At last count I heard the gig had raised close to two grand which when you take into account the size of the venue is remarkable. All in all the night was a great mix showcasing new and established talent and proving that music can make a difference.
As we were leaving my mate Jimmy, a thirty year Dreadnought veteran said with a somewhat wistful look in his eye “Dreadnought you never let me down.” To be fair I couldn’t really argue with him.