Nazareth’s no-frills guitar-rock gets Vancouver hopping on a Sunday night

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 1987

By Steve Newton

No-frills rock ‘n’ roll is something that’s always been close to this scribbler’s heart. From the basic guitar/bass/drums sound to the jeans/-t-shirt/runners wardrobe, it’s the type of music that makes the ordinary person on the street think: “Yeah, I can relate to that.”

AC/DC is a prime example, and Nazareth is another. Since Angus Young and his buddies from Down Under weren’t around last Sunday (September 20), it was up to Dan McCafferty and his gang from Scotland to provide a little bit of that honest, nuthin’ fancy guitar-rock these ears thirst for every now and then.

And honest is the key word here. After opening with the gritty “Close Enough for Rock ‘n’ Roll”, McCafferty explained that the band members had partied themselves silly the night before. Now a band with a hangover is not what paying customers really want to see, but luckily Nazareth has been through enough rough nights in its 19 years to know how to bounce back.

“Here’s one you might know,” said Dan, and when guitarist Manny Charlton ripped into the familiar chords of “Razamanaz” the crowd of 850 decided it was time to do some parting of its own–Sunday night or not.

Nazareth’s set included such hits as “This Flight Tonight”, which got the boogiers on the floor, and “Love Hurts”, which went over well with the slow-dancers. “Hair of the Dog” included a swell talk-box effect played on the bagpipes, and J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine” was given a funky, reggaefied treatment.

The band’s two encores featured three fast rockers, “Teenage Nervous Breakdown”, “Bad Bad Boy”, and ZZ Top’s “Tush”. Charlton closed things down with a jam that included licks from “Sunshine of Your Love”, “Smoke On the Water”, “Satisfaction”, and “Cat Scratch Fever”.

 

 

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