Lynyrd Skynyrd - SECC, Glasgow, Wed 27 May
Anysley Lister proves the perfect warm-up for the old school stomp of Lynyrd Skynyrd, a phenomenal guitarist rooted in classic blues rock. An instant hit with the dyed in the wool rock audience, however, aside from his sheer talent, he adds nothing new to the template .
With guitarist Gary Rossington being the only original member alongside Rickey Medlocke (now on guitar but he drummed for Skynyrd for a brief period back in 1970) it’s easy to get bogged down in debates about reunions and revivals. But for any band struck with such unexpected tragedy as Skynyrd were back in 1977 - when a much documented plane crash left three members dead (vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and backing singer Cassie Gaines) and the rest of the band injured - it can only be with the utmost respect that Ronnie’s younger brother, Johnny Van Zant, stepped up to the mic for their reunion in 1987. And with tracks as good as ‘Simple Man’, ‘Tuesday's Gone’ and ‘That Smell’ it’s hard to argue with their good time southern rock boogie. At times it felt like going through the motions, but their energy never flagged and their distinctive swamp rock and bayou blues never fails to entertain, Medlocke proving to be not just an unparalleled guitarist but a consummate joker with a demonic glint in his eye.
Ending with redneck anthem ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ followed by an extended ‘Freebird’ (clocking in at well over 15 minutes) building to a suitably frenzied finale. there’s life in the old dogs yet.