Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Nimmo Brothers - Oran Mor, Glasgow, 2 November 2018

No prizes for guessing what music accompanies the Nimmo Brothers as they take the stage.   And they’re not just back in town, they’re in their hometown, in front of a packed sell-out crowd that is ready for a good time. Which the brothers duly supply.
They light the blue touch paper with hard-hitting twin-guitar riffing on ‘Bad Luck’, and follow it up with the ZZ Top-like boogie of ‘The Shape I’m In’, including the first singalong of the night, of which Alan Nimmo comments “That’s fucking garbage”, before demanding an improved effort.  It’s indicative of an atmosphere where there’s already smiles all round, and big fun going down onstage.
The Chuckle Brothers
But the Nimmo boys can deliver emotionally charged material as well as rockers, as with the ‘Long Way From Everything’, which starts off sensitively before Stevie delivers a searing solo - knackered arm and all - over the solid rhythm foundations provided by Craig Bacon’s drums and Mat Beable’s bass.  Alan then chips in with his trademark pin-drop solo to total hush, ahead of a howling conclusion.  Similarly 'If I Could See Through Your Eyes' is a lovely ballad that clearly comes from the heart, matched by Peter Green-like subtlety on his guitar solo.  ‘Waiting For My Heart To Fall’ meanwhile, is heralded by spangly guitar work, and peaks with four successive, impassioned solos, two from each brother.  It’s an epic, barnstorming affair, that suggests these guys were born to be here, doing this, right now.  And on material like this the fact that they are both excellent, soulful vocalists also shines through.
They can funk it up too of course, on the likes of the breezy ‘Gotta Slow Down’, with meaty chords in the middle eight, and a lengthy party time solo that makes laughter and dancing unavoidable, while ‘Still Here Strumming’ is a tougher brand of street funk.
They go all the way back to their Backwater Blues Band days for a song that’s new to me, featuring a sledgehammer riff and Stevie on slide, as well as a guitar face-off that displays well nigh telepathic understanding.
A funky bass intro from Mat Beable announces the arrival of set closer ‘Black Cat Bone’, a ten minute affair full of lick trading and of course their octopus-like “I’ll play your guitar, you play mine” signature moment, to top off an irresistible show.
Just how irresistible is demonstrated by the scorching encore of ‘Ain’t No Love (In The Heart Of The City)’, on which the crowd bawl out the singalong section in a manner that defies Alan Nimmo to repeat his earlier banter.  And as it ends Craig Bacon immediately cracks out a brisk tempo to ignite their spanking reading of the Allman Brothers’ ‘One Way Out’.
It’s not quite Guy Fawkes Night, but the Nimmo Brothers delivered bucket loads of fireworks with this performance.  It was a show brimming with simple enthusiasm, that gave the punters exactly the reunion celebration they wanted.  And it does make you sigh over the fact that they didn’t achieve more success back in the day, because in all seriousness they produce a twin guitar blues rock experience to rival just about anyone.  Both Stevie and Alan Nimmo have other fish to fry of course, but let’s hope the Nimmo Brothers project resurfaces again in due course.  Altogether now, we’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when . . . .

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