Big Boy Bloater brings his wonderfully fun, dark, soulful blues-rock to Glasgow in support of his latest album Pills

Big Boy Bloater has been thrilling audiences with his charisma, talent, wit and charm around the world wherever he has played. With his band, known as The Limits, Big Boy Bloater continues to build upon his rhythm and blues roots whilst inventing a fresh, new sound delivered in his own unique powerful style.

With glowing references from the likes of Jools Holland, Mark Lamarr and Imelda May; Big Boy Bloater keeps on delivering and has recently released his latest album Pills to a whole host of glowing reviews. This UK tour sees Big Boy Bloater promoting his new album, and the material sounds as strong as ever.

Glaswegian singer-songwriter Melissa Kelly opens proceedings. Kelly normally performs with her band The Smokin’ Crows but tonight it’s just Kelly and her acoustic guitar.

Kelly’s songs are blissfully soulful and bluesy with a sassy edge. Think of Imelda May crossed with Amy Winehouse and you won’t go too far wrong. Kelly delivers a sublime cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” which booms throughout the room and demonstrates the power that she possesses. Kelly receives a thunderous applause for her impressive set before tonight’s main act.

This evening sees Big Boy Bloater showcasing most of his material from his incredible new album Pills. The title track starts off proceedings and Bloat points to those he recognises in the audience. “Friday Night’s Alright for Drinking” impresses with amazing grooves, fantastic rhythms from bass and drum, and sublime guitar by Bloater. This leads to some classic blues playing, with Bloat completely in his comfort zone during “Messing With The Booze”.

Bloater asks the crowd to get down and dirty while introducing a ‘song about serial killers’ and what may be described as one of Bloater’s darkest songs “Naturally Charming”. The material from Pills is very strong and this song sounds fantastic within the set. The darkest track of the night leads to one of the most upbeat numbers with “Oops Sorry”, which has many in attendance foot tapping, dancing and nodding their heads in approval.

“Saturday Night Desperation Shuffle”, comes complete with bluesy, swinging, dancing rhythms before the spectacular “Devils Not Angels”, continues with more great riff work and plenty of crowd participation. Everyone gets to shout out oi in pauses in between Bloats catchy guitar work. One of the highlights of the night. The rock and roll grooves of “I Love You (But I Can’t Stand Your Friends)” keeps the energy levels up.

Throughout the night drummer, Matt Cowley can’t help but smile all the way through the set. It’s very infectious as the Glasgow audience replicates it back. Bassist Steve Oates connects very tightly with stomping great rhythms, while Bloat mesmerises with fantastic blues playing. His whisky soaked gravelly voice booming through the night, with witty interludes and introductions, not to mention all the beer drinking opportunities.

The dark electronic organ tones kick in at the top of “It Came Outta The Swamp”, with several in the crowd wearing their Swamp T-shirts purchased at the merch desk, it certainly is a crowd pleaser. Swamp soul music at its finest.

Bloat ends the set with a tribute to blues legend Rufus Thomas with the aptly named song ‘This Ain’t Rufus”. He may not be Rufus but Bloat delivers an amazing set of blues, soul and rock and roll. Full of memorable guitar riffs and with fantastic booming soulful vocals, mixed with some witty banter in between. Everyone in the room is smiling well after the set closes, and the warm friendly Bloat immediately goes to the bar to chat with his friends and fans, old and new.

Big Boy Bloater
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Melissa Kelly
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Event Date: 08-Sept-2018

About The Author


Hailing from Northern Ireland and living in Glasgow, Scotland, I have been a lover of a wide range of different music for many many years. With a passion for photography I love combining writing about great music, with shooting great images of bands or artists, capturing the mood, atmosphere and painting an accurate picture of a gig for those who weren't there.

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