Made the trip up to Inverness to see Naz last night and here's my review (******with spoilers - do not read if you do not want to know the setlist*******)
For me The Ironworks (along with Glasgow's ABC & Dunfermline's Alhambra) has got to be one of the best venues to see a band in Scotland. Due to this gig being announced just a few weeks ago I didn't expect it to sell out however the turnout was slightly disappointing, it would have been nice to see a few more in for the bands sole UK outing, I'd say there were around 120-150 people in a hall that holds 1,000 however enough of that, those that were there certainly had a blast! I saw a whole bunch of people singing along and grooving to more or less the whole set.
Now like many others on this forum I had listened to the 5 re-recordings of the 'golden oldies' over the last few days and was thoroughly impressed with Linton's vocals, still as a die hard Naz fan I had no idea what to expect as the lights went down... cue Celtic intro tape that we all know and love...
On walked Jimmy, Lee and Pete. Jimmy starts up a familiar riff and in the darkness I can see a figure casually moving towards and modestly grabbing the mic. Linton in smart/casual attire looked the part and has a cool natural vibe about him. Telegram has remained as the opener and I can tell you they sounded bloody powerful! Pete's bass was so strong it shook the room, awesome sound all round.
What followed was a mean, lean, tight performance of the bands greatest hits plus a few well known album tracks.
Up next were Holiday, Razamanaz, Turn On Your Receiver, Love Leads To Madness and Dream On, whilst it was nice to hear them I fully agree with the bands comments in the news section, the gig really sparked into life after this and Linton then really started to flex his vocal chords. He just totally nailed Bad Bad Boy and Shanghai'd In Shanghai, Miss Misery & Beggars Day rocked the house down! His voice is such a great fit for these songs.
You've all heard the re-recorded White Bike (another highlight) but I must also mention Hearts Grown Cold, it was executed beautifully and for the first time in decades on acoustic guitar no less, Linton harmonised really well with Pete & Lee, a flawless performance and sure to be a highlight of the show for fans who see this tour. I was pleasantly surprised at just how tight the band were last night given it was their first show since last summer and there's a neat 'new' solo in HOTD from Jimmy - a fitting homage to Dan's legendary bagpipes and a wise move, Linton is not Dan McCafferty and isn't trying to be. He also proved himself to be a very funny man and was cracking jokes between songs, here's one he delivered whilst swigging from a Coca Cola can "sorry but I've got this terrible coke habit" haha!
As for the rest of the gig, This Flight Tonight, a blistering Expect No Mercy and Love Hurts all featured, Naz closing their new look inaugural show with their first hit Broken Down Angel which sure sent the Inverness folk home happy.
You know I was thinking as I'm typing this review it would have been nice to hear a song which Jimmy and Lee were involved in (most recent track aired was 1982's Dream On) but to be honest the band gave the people what they wanted. I'm sure if they do decide to throw in say God Of The Mountain (or anything from the last few albums) it will go down well but a set jampacked with classics is what 95% of most audiences want.
I look at this tour as a celebration of the bands most popular music, I think Linton will only get better over the coming weeks as he settles in, those of you going to see the band soon that find yourselves badly in need of your Naz fix will be duly rewarded with hit after hit of pure rock!