Music review: Hollywood Vampires

HOLLYWOOD Vampires are an LA rock supergroup named in memory of the notorious 1970s drinking club/wrecking crew whose numbers included John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson.

Alice Cooper and Aerosmiths Joe Perry play and pay tribute
Alice Cooper and Aerosmiths Joe Perry play and pay tribute

Hydro, Glasgow ***

This musical iteration serves to pay tribute to their “dead drunk friends” and features original surviving Vampire and keen golfer Alice Cooper, plus Aerosmith’s Joe Perry on lead guitar and one Johnny Depp playing the Sunset Strip rocker role to the hilt in what looked like Ian Astbury’s stage gear circa 1984.

Their tribute to rock’n’roll’s fallen immortals has extended its reach to encompass some of the many recent departures. AC/DC and Motorhead classics cut to the chase but Cooper, still playing the confused petulant teenage outsider on I’m Eighteen and in fine voice throughout, was particularly suited to the LA helter skelter of Love’s Seven and Seven Is and The Doors’ Break On Through.

Theirs is a kind of high-end credible tribute act which would go down a storm at a private party in Depp’s Viper Room club but has touring legs simply thanks to the pedigree of the players, including some veteran sidemen from Cooper’s and Perry’s bands.
However, their own songs were poor and weighed down proceedings, as did the mundane catharsis of Depp’s cover of The Jim Carroll Band’s People Who Died. He made a decent fist of Bowie’s Heroes but was upstaged by images of the Starman on the screens and it took an encore of School’s Out with Cooper in his element, declaring “we love Scottish blood”, to raise the stakes.