I had no idea what to expect last night. All I had ever heard were a few songs, seen band photos on some vinyl and knew of the hysteria that had taken place all those years ago. Legendary 70’s pop/glam music icons Bay City Rollers are so deserving of their status that I now consider myself a bit of a Rollermania member. Last night’s Revesby Workers Club concert was an eye opener, not just because Les McKeown is such a wonderful singer and performer but because the music is so timeless and fun. It really was a night for music and memories and I found myself smack bang in the middle of the throng. All you BCR fans should be proud, you brought it last night.
As the support act ‘Rock Bottom’ supplied the crowd with some golden oldie rock’n roll tracks, I watched the sold out and mostly female crowd begin to swarm the stage before the support even finished. There was this feeling of teenage craziness simmering underneath the adult personas, tartan scarves scattered throughout the crowd with some even more hard core tartan clothing on some. Many fans had been waiting a long time for this, that when Les McKeown and band finally made it on stage, there were simultaneous screams as the familiar tune of ‘Summer Love Sensation’ filled the venue. This didn’t stop for the whole set.
From there we heard a great rendition of ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ and then another fan favourite ‘Rock’n Roll Love Letter’. Les is such a perfect front man – a former teen heart throb with an awesome voice, charismatic, funny and, apart from still handsome, he’s quite a hunk. I can totally understand the adulation and lusting. Ladies (and gentlemen if you like a bit of Les too), you got that one right. I was very much enjoying the younger BCR photos being shown behind the band. The dancing across the balcony was not missed, neither was it at the back of the venue and also within any space between the tables, apart from the BCR mosh pit at the front. Everyone just let loose and it was like being given a tiny glimpse into the mid 70’s when BCR ruled the radio and many fans’ hearts.
Once ‘Be My Baby’ finished and it was on to ‘Give A Little Love’, I noticed some BCR vinyl being thrust into Les’ face at the front of the stage. This is what I’m talking about. Unbridled adoration. ‘Love Me Like I Love You’ continued the craziness as did the dance craze song ‘The Bump’. Some innuendo accompanied this song, of course, with some leg grabbing of Les and no doubt many crowd dwellers wishing they could do the Bump with the man himself. ‘Beautiful’ and the break-up tear-jerker ‘Please Stay’ just rounded out more of what was to come.
I love seeing grown ups relive their youth. In a world crammed with way too much adult stress, this is just one way we can get back to the pure basics of joy; of which music and dance would be the two main components. Once this next song started ‘S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night’, it was hysteria time once again. The whole concert felt like I could have been in Al’s Diner on the 70’s sitcom Happy Days, even though the show itself was set in an earlier era. This would be the timeless effect, where old school rock’n roll doesn’t need to be boxed in just one place in time. A rocked up version of the traditional ‘The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond’ kept the venue pumping whilst displaying much Scottish patriotism, until a great 70’s tribute medley featuring some Bolan, Bowie and Mercury (among others) brought out even more childhood memories. Now I know why this is yet another sold out gig on a very successful Australian tour. With such great rock’n’roll tunes and a wonderful and receptive crowd, you just can’t go wrong.
Another cover, ‘Have I The Right’, kept everyone on the floor and then once ‘Shang-a-Lang’ started, that true 70’s sound rang through the venue. It was non-stop dancing, smiling and screaming. Real boy band frenzy at it’s finest and this is over 40 years later. Our encore of ‘Bye, Bye, Baby’ was just the ideal ending to this wildly triumphant evening. There were some last minute high fives and yes, more leg grabbing. I’m surprised Les didn’t get pulled into the BCR mosh pit but I’m sure he might be sporting some slight calf bruises today from failed attempts.
Crazy, crazy, crazy… but I get it and I can imagine what the scenes were like in the 70’s by watching this loyal display all these years later. Gosh to be a fly on the wall during the next gigs….. Bay City Rollers featuring Les McKeown, you were fantastic and you have brought so many wonderful memories back for so many people. It was a night of classic and flawless rock’n’roll, intermingled with personality, humour and ‘hotness’… I will be looking at those BCR images a little differently from now on.