Goddamn Right, It’s A Beautiful Day. After being rescheduled, the day finally arrived and The Eels finally brought their Lockdown Hurricane tour to the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow.
Due to the previously postponed tour, The Eels promised to “rock you triply in 2023” and wow did they do just that in spades. Considering the band hadn’t toured since 2019, the Lockdown Hurricane tour was aptly named.
Opening the night was French Blues Rock duo Inspector Cluzo, taking to the stage I couldn’t help being reminded of Sparks. They wasted no time dispelling those thoughts by tearing into heavy blues-inspired riffs with energetic and unorthodox drumming, these guys might just have caught the Barrowland’s crowd off-guard. Drummer Mathieu raised the stakes, as he climbed onto the pit barrier and threw himself in the crowd, surfing halfway up the Ballroom before returning to the stage, helped by the security team. Despite most of his drum kit and cymbals now laying in the pit or strewn across that stage, he continued to play whilst standing on top of his kick drum skin and trashing at his snare. The Barrowland crowd was lapping it up. The raw intensity had the Ballroom cooking, ready for more and at the same time, I suspect they gained themselves a ton of new followers.
Mark “E” Everett took to the stage draped in a plum dinner jacket, and black bow tie, and sporting a new six-inch beard, he looked every part the rockstar. Joined by band members “Little Joe” on drums, “Big Al” on bass, and of course “TheChet” on guitar The Eels ripped onto the Barrowland’s stage to a traditional raucous Glasgow welcome.
“Steam Engine” from the “Extreme Witchcraft” album set the scene for the night to come. Everett addressed the crowd. “We have been locked up for four years”, jokingly, “you didn’t get to see us grow old, we might look like shit.. but we can still play like shit”.
“My Beloved Monster” was sung to the tune of The Kink’s “You Really Got Me”, and yes it worked, much to the disappointment of the old-school Shrek fans.
The show certainly had a few quirks, from the band’s step count milestones being projected on the backdrop, to Chet Facetiming Little Joe’s daughter during a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “Drummer Man”.
Photo Credit – Kevin Kerr
Needless to say, the classic “Novocaine For The Soul” didn’t show any signs of “sputtering out” anytime soon, with the Ballroom crowd joining in and singing along in appreciation.
The band left the stage for the first time after “Baby Let’s Make It Real“, with Everett pushing the decision to the crowd to see whether they would fulfill the charade of shouting for an encore. Of course, the charade was completed, and The Eels reappeared with “Friendly Ghost”. The Barrowland crowd then enthusiastically took over the chorus of “Last Stop: This Town” before the band left the stage for the second time.
After a short pause, charade number two was fulfilled and the band took the stage for the third time. Everett dedicated the wonderful “Earth To Dora” to the band’s lighting director. The night drew to a close after a two-hour performance, with a brilliant cover of Argent’s “God Gave Rock and Roll to You”, after a four-year break…they certainly did!
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Words and Pictures: Kevin Kerr