Music review: Hollywood Vampires, Hydro, Glasgow

Despite the star power on his flanks, the Holywood Vampires were at their Hammer Horror best when frontman Alice Cooper was leading the charge, writes Fiona Shepherd

Hollywood Vampires, Hydro, Glasgow ****

Rock ’n’ roll was undead and well at the Hydro as Alice Cooper corralled his celebrity mates Johnny Depp and Joe Perry to raise a musical glass to his erstwhile LA drinking club, a Seventies Sunset Strip wrecking crew who numbered John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilssen and Keith Moon (of course) in their original ranks.

A thoroughly charming opening set from veteran power pop new wave performance punks (that just about covers it) The Tubes greased the wheels thanks to the theatrical likes of snotty rocky horror White Punks on Dope and What Do You Want From Life, featuring a plaintive narration from frontman Fee Waybill, still a committed performer even if he has ditched his more outrageous garb…

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Hollywood Vampires PIC: David Jackson.Hollywood Vampires PIC: David Jackson.
Hollywood Vampires PIC: David Jackson.

…unlike Cooper who cleaves to his gothic ringmaster look and still looks quite the fright. At 75, Cooper remains a mightily effective vocalist and MC.

Despite the star power on his flanks, the Vampires were at their Hammer Horror best when he was leading the charge. I Want My Now was typical toys out the pram satire from Cooper, Let’s Raise the Dead a hoary punk boogie, I’m Eighteen still a pertinent slice of teenage angst and My Dead Drunk Friends both a celebration and condemnation of rock’s drinking casualty culture.

The tributes to the fallen rock stars came thick and fast, including a hefty Doors medley, a low power You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory fronted by Perry and a Jeff Beck homage – with Perry shredding Beck’s own guitar.

Depp playing David Bowie may be a role many would pay to see but his version of Heroes was underwhelming; he was far better suited to fronting Killing Joke’s infernal Death and Resurrection Show, while these Vampires’ own resurrection for an encore of the immortal School’s Out was to die for.

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