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Auctioneers Live @ Ivory Blacks – 1st November 2014

It’s not every day that you get to see the frontman of a rock band make a heartfelt dedication to his wife and throw out cheese jokes at the audience with gay abandon all in one set, but that’s exactly what I got when I caught the Auctioneers live last month.

The band themselves are a pretty straightforward rock group from Glasgow so that intro has made them sound a little bit more off the wall than they actually are, but who said rock and slightly random light comedy couldn’t mix?

I think the sum total of my knowledge of the band prior to this rather rainy night north of the boarder was the single You Got It Bad which I reviewed a few months previously so I walked into Ivory Blacks not really knowing what to expect. Thankfully after such a long trip what I found was a band right at the top of their game.

I always like bands to really come out of the blocks firing and that’s exactly what Auctioneers did with their opening gambit Feel It. Thin Lizzy-esque dulling guitars punctuated what was a really strong start both musically and tempo wise. No sign of nerves or anything like that, the band just hit the ground running at tremendous speed. It was at the conclusion of another all action effort Breathe where the first of the cheese jokes made an appearance and you could tell that everyone was in a good mood because it actually went down very well.

Following tune Your Misery was characterised by some great guitar work from guitarist Greg Leighton as frontman Kev Murray continued to dominate the stage and hold the audience’s attention with his all action style. The only blemish was that this time his attempt at cheese based comedy didn’t go down quite as well. I mentioned in my introduction that there was dedication thrown into the set and that dedication came in the form of a rendition of American Girl. As with any dedication it was a tad self-indulgent but I’m willing to let it go as I’m not totally heartless. (Contrary to popular belief) For those of you wondering the back story was that Murray had been married to his American wife for 5 years on 1st November… See what he did there?

I mentioned earlier that I had previously reviewed You Git It Bad when it came out and it sounded as good live as I had hoped. The intro riff still carried the same impact, the vocal was absolutely spot on and the guitar solo delivered on every level. As the opening strains of ballad Grace drifted around the room the smoke machine lifted its head and smoke slowly drifted across the stage. It was all very atmospheric in that 1990’s disco kind of way, it was slightly bizarre but added to what was quiet a poignant moment in the set.

The penultimate track of the set Hello My Old Friend presented me with a gig going first. Mid-way through the song the whole band froze and frontman Murray chatted to the audience, and when I say the band froze, I really mean exactly that, for this 2 minute or so interlude no one moved an inch or strummed a note of any kind. As I say it was something that I had never seen before and I thought it was a great little touch, it just gave the band something extra to help them stand out.

For the grand finale Something You Want Murray ditched his guitar and for a few moments while on his knees shared vocal duties with bassist Suv. These guys left absolutely everything on the stage and had put on a great show for those in attendance, and as a paying customer you really can’t ask for anything more than that.

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