CLUTCHING a silver heart shaped medallion bearing the imprint of Marti Pellow’s thumb, for which she had bid £471 on ebay, Liz Burns wept tears of joy as Wet Wet Wet announced a major concert at Glasgow Green to mark their 25th anniversary.
She was one of a select group of loyal fans invited to Glasgow City Chambers on Monday to listen to the band play three of their classic tracks, including ‘Goodnight Girl’ and hear the announcement that the band would play their first show in almost five years on 20 July, 2012 in Glasgow.
After filming the band with her iPhone, complete with customised cover featuring a photograph of herself embracing Mr Pellow, Ms Burns spoke for the band’s legion of followers when she said: “I can’t wait. It is magic that they are coming back to Glasgow.” The announcement of a new gig and the tantalising prospect of a new album were raised by the band who rose from Clydebank to become one of the biggest live acts of the 1990s and whose cover version ‘Love Is All Around” spent 15 weeks at number one.
The band took to a small stage at Glasgow City Chambers exactly 25 years to the week since the release of their debut single “Wishing I Was Lucky” which was recorded for £400 using funds saved up from odd jobs and their unemployment benefit. As Tommy Cunningham, the band’s drummer said: “It was school, the dole and then the record business for us.”
The band last played Glasgow Green in 1989 at the height of their success which would see them sell over 15 million albums and spend over 508 weeks in the singles and albums charts over the course of their long career. While the rest of the band are showing streaks of grey, Marti Pellow, who has established an alternative career as a critically acclaimed actor in musicals, remains as lithe, sinewy and dark-haired as when he was pinned onto every teenage girl’s wall.
Speaking at the event, Mr Pellow said that they soon hoped to record a new album. “This event is about marking our achievements and, of course, there is a touch of nostalgia but I don’t want it to be all about yesterday, we want to look to tomorrow. This is not an isolated gig. We are blessed with a successful back catalogue of songs, but we want to work on a new album.”
Graeme Clark, the bassist revealed that they currently had material for “six and a half” songs and hoped to soon record a follow up to their last album, Timeless, which was released in 2007. However he said he was also looking forward to the forthcoming concert: “Glasgow’s where it all started for us and playing there is always special.” While Tommy Cunningham, the drummer, explained: “It was a major honour and career highlight when we took to the stage at Glasgow Green some 20 years ago. We feel humbled and even more honoured to have that opportunity again.”
For Neil Mitchell, the keyboard player, said the concert was an opportunity to mark the band’s achievements over the years: “We’re going out to celebrate our career in the homeland with friends and to do it on this scale some 25 years after it started is amazing.”
The memory of that first Glasgow Green concert has not faded for Liz Burns. “I can still see the crowds and hear the songs and come July I will be first in line when the gates open.”
• Tickets are priced at £36.50 plus booking fee and go on sale at 9 am on Wednesday morning at www.ticketline.co.uk or by calling 0844 888 9991.