A sunny walk through Finnieston towards the Hydro, we see a crowd walking towards the show after waiting 20 years to see the Australian Rock band CrowRead More
This story starts on Sunday night. I had arrived home from Cardiff (BBC6 Music Festival) and went to my local bar Dukes, I was with my friend Wayne, it was a chilled night after 8 months of traveling around the world.
I got chatting to a girl at the bar, she was up from Aberdeen, her and her partner were down for Groove Armada on the Tuesday and decided on a holiday in Glasgow.
I am glad I asked what they were doing in town, as it reminded me that electronic stalwarts Groove Armada were playing the worlds greatest music venue, the excitement crept in 48 hours before they were meant to grace the stage, not exactly something I wanted to forget about.
With this, Tuesday came and so did the lights at the Barrowlands, the famous sign outside, the whole audience walking along the Gallowgate in fine fettle, this was going to be a good one, 25 years of Groove Armada were being celebrated tonight.
I have seen the band twice before, both times at Festivals, so this was a first for me seeing them inside, you can tell when a Glasgow crowd are really up for it and with everyone smiling and nodding along to the support DJ, this place was going to go off tonight.
As soon as the intro started, the whole place was HANDS IN THE AIR!
A mix of electronic, house, ska, reggae and soul had the Glasgow crowd dancing from the off. Nought to 60 in less than 3 seconds, the roars went up.
2010 brought Black Light to my attention, an album I loved, Look me in the Eye Sister and "I Wont Kneel" early in the set brought a singalong. It brought back great memories of DJing events and festivals, listening to this mature electronic sound with incredible vocals. I was hooked back then, this time I was part of the 2000 strong choir.
"My Friend" came with the colours of the flag of Ukraine, a poignant tribute in the middle of the set, as the lyrics "Its a sure fire way to ruin my day..." rung out from Song for Mutya was certainly not going to ruin anyones night here.
Groove Armada were celebrating their incredible career, that has been packed full of hits. The mixing between the songs gave us reminders of shows on the White Island, as the Ibiza balaeric beats kept us dancing. Close your eyes and you were transported to whatever festival you wanted to be at.
Paper Romance holds a special place in my heart, a song I loved DJing with, and one I have a whole festival site going crazy too. Its a mainstay in many of my playlists over the years, and hearing it live tonight was a thing of beauty.
Their smash hit I See You Baby had everyone going absolutely crazy, their most fun and poppy record. Not a soul in the place was standing still.
We met up with the two aforementioned women before the show, then preceded to dance throughout, one of them was experiencing a show in the venue for the first time, a feeling I wish we could bottle up and give to others who have not yet been. The Barrowlands is a special night and when you have a celebration from a band like Groove Armada, you can be sure the experience will be incredible. Especially when it is your first time. So I suppose seeing them inside for the first time gave me a small part of this excitement.
For many though, this was not their first time, the excitement rang out into the night long after the chilled At The River opened the encore.
A couple more songs followed before the set was closed, unsurprisingly with Superstylin an absolute epic closer, an absolute call to arms from the band.
With an up for a crowd, new friends, a first night out for a lot of people, a world famous Glasgow venue and a band celebrating a quarter of a century, all the ingredients were there.
This wasnt just one of the best Groove Armada shows I have seen, this was also one of the best Barrowlands shows I have ever been to.
You can view a photo gallery of the gig via the link below.
Review by Craig McGee, photography by Stewart Fullerton.
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