Q Factory Amsterdam
To Amsterdam’s suburbs and the multi-resource centre named the Q Factory, for an evening on the famed Essex band’s latest tour. The black clad, box-like club draws a modest but enthusiastic crowd tonight, from as far afield as Berlin and London.
The band’s career, dating back over forty years (with hiatus) to the pub rock era of the mid 1970’s has equipped them with plenty of chops and their love of great, raucous rock and roll is undimmed-even enhanced-by the passage of time.
Singer Barrie Masters takes the stage, looking like Roger Daltrey’s long lost brother, and the band follow, chipper as ever. A short ‘Hello how are ya’ and we’re straight into the kind of riffs that made their mid-70’s heyday such an exciting place to be. ‘Teenage Depression’ gets an early airing, and then, as if that wasn’t enough to light the fires, ‘I Might be Lying’s braggadocio and ‘Quit This Town’s powerful statement of youthful intent get rolled out, to great crowd reaction.
‘Better Without You’ s macho grumble and growling guitars please well, followed by the light, riffy ‘Life on the Line’ and the raucous, anthemic ‘Why Should I Care Anymore?’, helped along by plenty of surging, if rather wobbly dancing upfront from the crowd.
The cover of The Young Rascals’ ‘You Better Run’ represents a change of pace here and with Barrie in fan mode, as he introduces it as an all-time favourite of the bands. It would be the first of a number of heartfelt covers, followed by a scorching version of The Monkees’ ‘Stepping Stone.’ The unashamed HM riff of ‘High Society’ shakes the floor and the crowd, and then we’re into Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs’ eternal proto-punk classic, ‘Woolly Bully’.
The band is on a roll, trotting out ‘Hard Driving Man,’ ‘The Power and the Glory’ and their magnificent, winner’s-chords-all-the-way bona-fide hit ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do.’ All good things must end, and their encore, Steppenwolf chestnut ‘Born to be Wild’ is worthy and untainted by years of use by other more lumpen rock acts. The Hot Rods can roll on forever.
By Scenester 1964