23 December 1994
Although advertised as a 'farewell' gig (Love and Money - R.I.P - 23.12.94), close followers knew that this would be nothing other than a final showcase under the band moniker especially as James Grant had remarked he wanted this to be a celebrative event rather than a wake.
On arrival at Barrowlands (half an hour before the doors opened) there were just a handful of enthusiastic fans present and my concern was that, with the band's ever shrinking popularity, this gig may fall considerably short of selling out. I needn't have worried.
Whilst 'loitering' downstairs in the venue, we met Graeme Skinner of support act Cowboymouth. This was an immense experience, having followed his previous outfits Hipsway and Witness for years.
When we entered the arena we were fortunate to have a great vantage point, right at the front, centre stage. Cowboymouth appeared soon after, consisting of the aforementioned Skinner (vocals and guitar), Love and Money ex-members Douglas McIntyre (guitar and bass), Paul McGeechan (keyboards), Gordon Wilson (drums) and guitarist Mick Slaven. They opened with "Son Of A Gun", "Since I Tasted Candy" and "Letter From L.A" from their fine dŽbut album "Life As A Dog" and were warmly applauded during their 40 minute appearance. The band are signed to German label Marina Records and their brand of music is moody, melancholic and downbeat - not dissimilar to Love and Money - and similarly they won't have much commercial appeal.
By the time the main act took the stage around 9.00 PM, the Barrowlands was almost full. James Grant appeared in an open- chested black shirt (a trademark of the Strange Kind Of Love days). When the band kicked into "Halleluiah Man" it became obvious that this show would be unique from recent live outings, with the inclusion of many of the band's older and best known songs. The set thereafter roughly comprised: "Johnny's Not Here", "Pray For Love", "Pappa Death", "Lips Like Ether", "Jocelyn Square", "Looking For Angeline", "Sometimes I Want To Give Up", "Walk The Last Mile", "Winter", "Wanderlust", "River Of People", "Last Ship On The River", "Up Escalator" and "Candybar Express".
The band encored with a poignant "You're Beautiful" and a final off-the-cuff cover of David Bowie's "Ziggy".
The show proved a fitting finale for the band who were as tight and melodic as ever and the fans were left to ponder over what might have been had the music business been kinder and had more people listened.
Fortunately we haven't been bereft of Love and Money's talents for long - there have already been various incantations of the group, most recently at The Renfrew Ferry which reunited 3three of the group's initial members under 'James Grant and Friends'.
During the Barrowlands performance James Grant intimated that Radio Scotland were recording the event for possible future broadcast, although I'm not sure they ever aired it. The show was also being recorded with a view to possible release as a live album, but this idea was probably scrapped - oh well!!
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