Another Sunday evening draws up and yet again I'm ensconced by the bar at The Cathouse waiting for the evenings entertainment to take to the stage.
As the lights go down and the band saunter on stage they're greeted with huge applause and it's clear from the off that this band are on very safe ground tonight - as well they should be since they are based in Glasgow. Tonight was always going to be a party, though, because with their new album, 'Omega' recently released after they signed to Off Yer Rocka Recordings, Afterlife are a band who have everything to play for as they venture up the rock n' roll ladder.
The bands signature song, 'Afterlife' has vocalist Pete McCoy in good voice and good humour as he mentally sizes up the crowd in the opening few bars. It's not long before the band and audience are in full swing with guitarist Stewart 'Raggy' Brown head banging his way through 'Energy' while the crowd at the front have their hands in the air affording those towards the back of the venue a bit more space to head bang away.
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McCoy is in his element joking with the crowd and really trying to get the very best from them but he doesn't really have to work that hard to get a response and by 'Way Back Home' the party is in full swing.
The title track of the bands latest EP, 'Masters Of Reality' (available as a digital download only we're informed) gets an airing and has the dandruff flying down the front as bass player Steve Reilly patrols the front of the stage before the audiences hands are thrust skywards once more at the behest of McCoy. Not even feedback from a microphone can dampen the enthusiasm of the band or audience tonight as guitarist Al Reilly throws out a final flourish after his solo to a rapturous reception.
The audience doesn't need to be asked to join in with 'Raise Your Fist' which has another great guitar hook as drummer Iain Stratton really comes into his own as he pummels the drums within an inch of their life. The middle section gives the audience another chance to put their fists in the air as they shout "Raise. Your. Fist" which they manage to bellow louder than McCoy!
'Act Of Defiance' has a sudden influx of folk from the back of the venue rushing forward but you have to wonder why they left it so late to join the party. McCoy has an informal chat with Brown in a short break while they decide what they want to play next. Now I could be wrong but it seems to me that the band are so good together that they haven't actually got a fixed set list and play pretty much what they want. If this is indeed the case than all power to them as their set goes down an absolute storm.
'War Machine' has McCoy encouraging the crowd to get their hands on the air but they seem more interested in head banging away as the track gets the biggest reaction of the night by far. A sing-along of 'Happy Birthday' suitably embarrasses one of their biggest fans before the band bow out with 'Lost' which is a great heavy number to end with.
Maybe the local factor accounts for the great reception the band are afforded here, but I can't help but put it down to the fact that this is a top notch band who really are on the upward spiral, so if you like talented British Hard Rock bands, I suggest you go online and see for yourself how good these guys are.
Way Back Home
Masters of Reality
Raise Your Fist
Act of Defiance
Don't Come Cryin' To Me
Pete McCoy - Vocals
Al Reilly - Lead Guitar
Stewart 'Raggy' Brown - Guitar
Steve Reilly - Bass
Iain Stratton - Drums
Official Website: http://www.afterlifeband.co.uk
All photos (c) Backstage Whitelight Photography
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