Who and Small Faces tribute bands rock The Garage in Glasgow

Who’s Who (pictured above), a tribute band to The Who, and The Small Fakers, a Small Faces tribute act, formed a fantastic double bill at The Garage in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday, October 18th.

Who’s Who (pictured above), a tribute band to The Who, and The Small Fakers, a Small Faces tribute act, formed a fantastic double bill at The Garage in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday, October 18th.

By John Curley

On my recent trip to the UK, I was very fortunate to enjoy some great live music. I saw the New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow and UK guitar legend Johnny Marr at the O2 Brixton Academy in London. One of the most raucous and fun nights of my trip started with a tribute concert that I attended with several friends from the Glasgow area. The show was held at The Garage on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow on Saturday, October 18th and featured tribute acts to The Who and The Small Faces. These tribute bands—Who’s Who and The Small Fakers—were both fantastic, and had the crowd roaring and pumping their fists into the air. The atmosphere for the show was fantastic.

My friends and I had a nice dinner out at an Italian restaurant in Glasgow that night, and we arrived at The Garage just as Who’s Who were taking the stage. We were climbing the steps to the performance area when we heard the opening chords to the first song, “I Can’t Explain,” and, before we even saw the band, I turned to one of my friends and said, “These guys sound like The Who around the Live At Leeds era.” When we arrived at the performance area and got to see the band, it was quite astonishing. They had The Who’s style down pat. Bassist Terry Wyatt was wearing a John Entwistle-style skeleton suit and standing rock solid. Lead singer Gary O’Donnell has Roger Daltrey’s stage moves, including twirling the microphone by its lead, down to a science. Guitarist Pete Dixon’s windmills and leaping scissor kicks evoke Pete Townshend four decades ago. And drummer Paul “Moonie” Kemp looks and moves so much like Keith Moon onstage that one could easily believe that they were watching a Moon hologram performing with the band. O’Donnell told me later that the current lineup has been in place for over 12 years. It showed in the performance. I remarked at one point that Who’s Who sound more like The Who in their prime than The Who now do.

Who’s Who set contained only material from The Who’s Keith Moon era. Given Kemp’s uncanny simulation of Moon’s style on the drums, it made perfect sense. The crowd loved the performance by Who’s Who, making that clear with loud cheers and fists pumped in the air. I first saw The Who live in 1982, four years after Keith Moon’s death, so I never saw the band in its prime. But after witnessing the stellar set by Who’s Who at The Garage, I finally felt like I had. They were that good.

The second half of the tribute show at The Garage that evening featured The Small Fakers and they, too, were amazing. The Small Fakers are comprised of Matt Bond (guitar and lead vocals), Neil Runalis (bass and vocals), Dean Rees (organ, piano, and vocals), and Dan Taylor (drums). Bond moves and sounds so much like The Small Faces’ Steve Marriott onstage that it is jaw dropping. Their set contained such Small Faces classics as “Itchycoo Park,” Tin Soldier,” “All Or Nothing,” and “Whatcha Gonna Do About It.” The crowd loved them. After the show, Runalis told me in an e-mail that “Glasgow is always one of our better crowds (in terms of numbers and their enthusiasm) and brings out the best in us.”

As the happy crowd filed out of The Garage after the performance, some of them headed to the Mod-themed Quadrophenia Night that was taking place at the ABC2 on Sauchiehall Street while others went to the afterparty at The Admiral on Waterloo Street. My friends and I opted for The Admiral, and it was a good choice. The DJ that was spinning at The Admiral played a good bit of Northern Soul as well as choice cuts from The Who, The Small Faces, The Kinks, The Jam, and The Rolling Stones. It was a great deal of fun, and there was much dancing to the fantastic tunes.

The set list for Who’s Who at The Garage in Glasgow on Saturday, October 18th was as follows:

I Can’t Explain
Pictures of Lily
I Can See For Miles
Baba O’Riley
Squeezebox
5.15
Love, Reign O’er Me
Substitute
Happy Jack
I’m a Boy
Pinball Wizard
I’m Free
Tommy’s Holiday Camp
We’re Not Gonna Take It / See Me Feel Me
Behind Blue Eyes
My Generation
Won’t Get Fooled Again

The Small Fakers’ set list at The Garage in Glasgow on Saturday, October 18th was as follows:

Whatcha Gonna Do About It
Sha La La La Lee
Grow Your Own
I Can’t Dance With You
All Or Nothing
My Minds Eye
Understanding
Shake
Jump Back
I Can’t Make It
Get Yourself Together
Here Come The Nice
Happy Boys Happy
Itchycoo Park
Song Of A Baker
Rene
Rollin Over
Don’t Burst My Bubble
Tin Soldier

Encore:
Lazy Sunday
Afterglow (of your love)

For additional information, go to:
http://www.thewhotribute.com
http://www.smallfakers.co.uk

Small Faces tribute band The Small Fakers put on a great performance at The Garage in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday, October 18th. (Photo by Phil Weedon)

Small Faces tribute band The Small Fakers put on a great performance at The Garage in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday, October 18th. (Photo by Phil Weedon)

 

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