The B-52s - ABC, Glasgow, Mon 12 Aug 2013
Familiarity is key for lovers of the surf-pop posse's look back at a 30-plus year career
'First we were punks, then we helped create New Wave,’ declared Fred Schneider, matter of factly, ‘but this is a punk song.’ The full range of the Georgia outfit’s 30-plus year career was explored here, but judging by crowd volume, it was the dayglo late-80s pop goliaths everyone was here to see. Despite Schneider’s understandably bitchy grievance about ‘some rag in England’ revealing that ‘we’ve gotten older since the 1980s’, they appeared little changed, with slick-quiffed Schneider looking bright in a lurid green T-shirt and fellow singer Kate Pierson sporting the brightest red hair.
Best of all, their voices are still there, especially Pierson and Cindy Wilson’s big, raw 80s power hollers. There was the vigorously uplifting ‘Roam’, of course, the mighty ‘Love Shack’ and the buzzsaw horror rock of the finale ‘Rock Lobster’. There were plenty of other good bits too, including the surf grind of ‘Private Idaho’, the strangely Postcard Records-sounding ‘Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland’ and lesser-known hit ‘Whammy Kiss’, but for most in the room familiarity seemed to be the key.