Live review and photo credit : Adrian Hextall (Writer \ Reviewer \ Photographer – Myglobalmind Webzine)
Photos Copyright: MindHex Media
A rescheduled show due to guitar player Jeremy Brown’s passing, meant that fans who had been expecting to see the band live back in April were chomping at the bit by the time Scott Weiland & Co. returned to the UK. The passing of a band mate is never easy and oftens results in the band splintering before finally dissolving. Not so Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts. Whilst Weiland has always got other ‘projects’ on the go, this band / incarnation does seem to have some staying power and a sold out Garage in London’s Highbury and Islington district suggests the fans are still eager to see what the man can deliver.
Weiland’s pedigree cannot be challenged, Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, two of rock’s beacons over the last few decades have ensured he has the songs and the persona to draw a crowd. The only fear is where he stands with his constant personal battles and whether he will be able to perform. Certainly some fears were raised as press coverage wasn’t confirmed for the show until 8pm on the night of the event itself. The call to confirm all was good was gratefully received and we headed into the venue just in time to see opening act The Last Internationale.
The Last Internationale
An interesting mix of art and rock, formed by New York City guitarist Edgey Pires and vocalist Delila Paz, the band have delivered four albums to date including 2014’s ‘We Will Reign’. Their blend of psychedelic art rock harks back to a time when life was simpler, full of colours, flowers, drugs and marches in support of causes like the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King and more. They would have found a perfect home at Woodstock and the crowd would (assuming they were awake, heard them and remembered them) have loved every minute of their set.
Delila Paz cuts quite the front woman figure in her patterned catsuit and her voice works perfectly alongside some great guitar work from Edgey. He sadly hits some ‘connectivity’ issues with various leads to amps to guitar which does interrupt the flow for a while but once sorted he plays some subliminal, haunting tunes with stay with you for a long time after the show has finished.
They are joined on stage by Scott Weiland’s bass player Tommy Black for while during the set and the whole thing closes very nicely. They finish with a song I believe is called 1968 which carries one of Dr King’s speeches as an intro.
Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts
And so to our headline act. As the lights dim a roar emanates from the room and Weiland and the Wildabouts take to the stage. He’s carrying not a glass of spirit and ice onto the stage but a good old fashioned hot cup of tea. It would be at that moment that the whole rock ‘n’ roll persona could be destroyed if not for the fact that his appearance of skinny rock god remains undiminished and the swagger (or slight stagger perhaps!) with which he arrives on stage suggests he still is every inch living the rock lifestyle.
Opening with Stone Temple Pilots ‘Crackerman’ from debut ‘Core‘ he immediately sets the bar high and a quick look across the floor at the crowd sees a lot of fans glazed over in rapture.
Naturally material from the latest solo album ‘Blaster’ is added to his set list tonight and it’s encouraging to hear and see how well it slots in between all of the classics from his STP days that he’s so well known for. The album takes up almost half of the tracks on offer and whilst they are well received by the crowd it would have been good to see either a slightly longer set or a better mix as he’s got 4 solo albums (although perhaps a few Christmas tunes would have been out of place!) , material from STP and of course the VR music as well. Sadly, a perhaps not surprisingly, there’s nothing from the two albums that he fronted with Velvet Revolver.
What he does do and do well though is twist, turn, shake, shimmy and generally glide and sway around the stage, effortlessly looking every inch the skinny rock star that he (and his lifestyle) have typified for the last 25 or so years.
The megaphone of course makes the obligatory appearance on more than one occasion and sees the crowd visibly reengage with him every time it does. It’s almost like a talisman for Weiland who uses it to great effect to hook the crowd onto his every word as he and the band run through the set.
With a David Bowie cover of ‘Jean Jeanie’ and STP’s ‘Dead and Bloated’ the main set draws to a close and the band depart only to return minutes later for a final track off ‘Blaster’ , ‘Circles’ before finishing the night with STP’s ‘Dead & Bloated’.
Crackerman (STP) / Modzilla / Amethyst / Meatplow (STP) / Way She Moves / Big Bang Baby (STP) / Hotel Rio / Parachutes / White Lightning / Vasoline (STP)/ Jean Jeanie (David Bowie) / Dead & Bloated (STP)
Circles / Unglued (STP)