I’ve not been to any heavy metal gigs for a long time now so when I saw Girlschool were playing in Blyth and I would be home for the gig I got a ticket straight away. I paired it up with another gig on the same night, Folk Rock band Lilliput playing in PopRecsLtd, Frankie and the Heartstrings record shop in Sunderland. They were a little late starting their set so as soon as they finished I legged it out the door back to the car to hare up the A19 to try and make the start of the Girlschool set who were due on stage at 8:30. Never having been to Blyth before I took a few minutes to find the venue, parked up and entered the pub at 8:32. Not even stopping for a drink at the bar it was straight through the back to see Denise putting the final touches to the drums and then 2 minutes later the rest of the band were on stage so only made the start of the gig by the skin of my teeth. A siren started up, someone down the front shouted out “I Love You Enid” (and she still is as outrageously gorgeous as she was when I last saw the band on the Screaming Blue Murder tour in 1982) and Jax started teasing the crowd by playing short bits of the intro to Demolition. After five false starts they powered into ‘Demolition’, ‘C’Mon Lets Go’ and ‘The Hunter’. They took a break for a couple of minutes to say they had never played Blyth before and then it was straight into ‘Hit and Run’ and then the first of the new stuff, a song called ‘I Spy’ from their album Legacy followed by ‘Never Say Never’. Back to the 70/80’s with a huge string of old classics starting off with ‘Screaming Blue Murder’, ‘Future Flash’, an absolutely storming ‘Kick it Down’, ‘Watch Your Step’, ‘Nothing to Lose’, ‘Race With The Devil’ and finally finishing the set with ‘Emergency’.
Another fantastic gig, the last few weeks have been just amazing! Girlschool were brilliant on the night, Jax has slotted into the lead guitar position effortlessly after the tragic death of Kelly Johnson in 2007 from Cancer and to think I nearly missed the start! I definitely won’t be cutting another Girlschool gig so close in the future. It was a short set at just over 50 minutes but that’s because Raven were headlining. Lots of great songs such as Tush, Take it all Away, Yeah Right etc were not included in the set tonight as there just wasn’t enough time, the gig finished approaching 11:30 as it was and there was a steady drift of people away from just before 11 to catch last buses home.
First time I’ve been to the Blyth and Tyne and it was a great small venue, stage was a couple of feet high with raised areas increasingly high towards the back so most people could have a really good view of the band. Girlschool excelled in this small venue, much better than in the larger venues such as the City Hall in Newcastle where I saw them several times. I’ll be sure to catch them again in a similar sized venue in the future, when hopefully they’ll be headlining and doing a longer set.