LIKE other bands of their 1980s vintage, Glasgow’s Love and Money have found the reunion route has been kind to them.
Love & Money
A one-off gig for Celtic Connections has led to subsequent shows and a new album, The Devil’s Debt, which reconstitutes unreleased material from back in the day. Even without this stylistic connection to their heyday, the years crumbled away as the band returned to Barrowland, the scene of their farewell gig almost 20 years ago, with their soul- and blues-infused Scotpop sound preserved.
James Grant retains his booming baritone and at times self-indulgent delivery, the latter extending to his guitar playing. Some songs were more laboured than others but, without that element of overstatement, The Last Ship On The River would not be such a rousing slab of Celtic soul.
He was also quite justified in laying it on thick during the theatrical strut of Papa Death, goaded on by Fraser Spiers’ lonesome bluesy harmonica and Monica Queen’s brimstone-tinged backing vocals. Spiers again unleashed some virtuoso licks on the stripped-down Looking For Angeline, the raw catharsis of which caused some inhibition-shedding among men of a certain age in the crowd.
Strange Kind Of Love was a more sultry affair, while the strident funk rock stylings of Candybar Express and Halleluiah Man and a brass-soaked cover of Stretch’s Why Did You Do It also came over well – as did Grant’s droll story involving Motorhead frontman Lemmy and the sad fate of an apocryphal stage prop.