The penultimate night of Graham Bonnet’s Rainbow Classics Tour is going rather well.
The ‘most powerful voice in rock’ has torn through an extended version of All Night Long and led an enthusiastic singalong of Love’s No Friend before the man who will become Bonnet’s nemesis in Glasgow makes himself known.
“Graham, Graham, Graham…..Graham,” he squeals endlessly – and in what is a rather more intimate venue than Bonnet is used to, he is certainly making himself heard.
The star attraction should really tell him to fuck off, but just as it seems he is building up to doing exactly that, Shouty McPisshead whips off his jumper and hands it to the singer, with a look on his face that says, “take care of her, and you will understand.” Taken aback, Bonnet thanks the least popular man in the room and gets on with the job.
Tonight, the job includes a run through of all the songs you’d expect from Down To Earth – Bonnet’s sole album with Rainbow – as well as a Beatles cover and a thoughtful rendition of Will Fyffe’s I Belong To Glasgow.
That old song – written in 1920 – raises the volume in the room enough to drown out Shouty, but it’s not long before he finds his voice again and changes his chant to “Alcatrazz, Alcatrazz.”
Perhaps feeling he owes the man for the glorious gift of a sweatshop sweater, Bonnet leads a powerful version of Night Games that reminds us just what an impressive career he has had.
Making Love is introduced by Bonnet insisting he “doesn’t need Viagra” and talking up his “unusually high levels of testosterone.” Shouty McPisshead isn’t sure what to make of this revelation and retires to the bar.
A cover of Eight Days A Week seems a little unnecessary, but not half as pointless as a 10-minute instrumental featuring just drums and guitar. Bonnet and bass player Beth-Ami Heavenstone disappear while this is going on, with guitarist Conrado Pesinato assuring the crowd they’ll be back once Bonnet has “tied his shoelaces.”
A strange night then, but one that proves definitively Bonnet can still wail and that set closer Since You’ve Been Gone is as catchy a rock song as pretty much anything written before it or since.
No-one is sure what became of the jumper, but Shouty was seen arguing with a pint as he waited in the queue for the meet-and-greet.