The Irontown Diehards prove they are one of the slickest, most hard-hitting, sharpest-dressed rock bands around, complete with swagger and cabaret style showmanship.

Having only been formed in 2015, Northern Irish hard rock/metal band The Irontown Diehards have come a long way in a short time. With one full album already under their belt, the Irontown Diehards come to Glasgow to entertain for one night only!

The first support band to take the stage is Ayrshire-based country southern rock five-piece, Redwood Ridge. Things open delicately with an acoustic led track “Fall From Grace”. The first thing that hits you is how strong and powerful are the vocals of lead singer Jessica Hufton.

Things progress and get busier with southern country rocker “The Perfect Mistake”. The charismatic Stuart Robinson is energetic on the drums pairing well with the solid bass work of Caroline McGregor. The guitar section is anchored by the precise lead guitar play of Darren McClelland along with rhythm guitarist Adam McColl who keeps things ticking along smoothly.

Hufton announces the band are working on their debut album, which planned for release in January. The band play a selection from the forthcoming album, “Lifetime”, which sees McColl and Robinson leave the stage allowing Huston to shine on this folksy acoustic number. The rest of the band return and end with the highly energetic, “Low Lives and High Hopes”. Rock with catchy rhythms and a big chorus Uplifting make this number one of the highlights of their set.

The five-piece alt-metal/hard rock band from Glasgow, Evora, were up next. It is notable that this show is their first live performance as a band, though you wouldn-t think it. Their set is tight and onstage chemistry is evident. Their sound is reminiscent of Linkin Park, The Melvins, and The Beastie Boys: aggressive, melodic, and heavy. And the band sounded marvellous.

The audience had grown some as the band brought quite a few of their fans along with them. There was a buzz and a high energy about Evora tonight. Lead vocalist Jason Stewart has a fantastic voice with lot of charisma and character. Stewart gave it his all throughout the set, with genuine emotion and passion.

Guitarist Alan Blair contributed some fine vocal while also demonstrating his fretboard skill on this seven-string Ibanez guitar. The palpable energy between Blair and Stewart was evident as they shared vocals with five-string bass player Jay Jay McMeekin, who also contributed much head banging, hair swinging, and the gritty and gruff screaming vocals. Rounding out the lineup was the thunderous drumming of Logan White and the seven-string guitar work of Lewis Ritchie.

While it may have been their first gig, Evora made a big impression leaving no doubt with fans that this group have a successful future ahead of them!

The Irontown Diehards took the stage dressed in matching light brown overcoats with their band logo behind them. Once organised, the coats come off revealing sharp dressed three-piece suits and polished shoes, topped off with trilbies, with the exception of bassist Mark McCallion, who opts instead for the Duncher cap! One onlooker commented they looked like two Germans and a Yorkshireman!

Not to be outdone, Dixon strides confidently onto the stage in a green shirt, Tartan suit, and trilby, complete with feathers. There was a unique style and swagger to Dixon, who gives the impression of the perfect host and entertainer for the evening. He is an Irish circus ringleader and rock frontman with a touch of old fashioned villainous streak, chattering and muttering phrases between the songs.

The band do know how to entertain, playing their debut album in full, albeit in a different running order.

Gordy Gray is explosive on the drums, displaying tremendous technique an tonnes of energy and loads of character, all with a huge smile. His rhythm counterpart are the grooves of bassist McCallion, a talented but subtle player.

Guitarist Andrew Baxter can strike a pose and play many different styles with ease, all while executing meaty riff work and intricate solos. His jack-of-all showmanship compliments the overall style of the band.

A quick one-two of hard rocking numbers “My Pain” and “Sick” leads to the slower, bluesy “Fly High” with the swagger of Dixon really showing here. The sultry blues guitar playing by Baxter continues for the ballad “What I’ve Done”. The tight grooves with extended heavy jamming on “For The Rose” was a highlight, as was the penultimate song “I Am”, which featured an extended jam.

The crowd thinned out during their set, as many of whom came to see one of the openers leaving early. It was unfortunate as The Irontown Diehards put forth a high-energy set full of passion. Dixon however, pushed on donning his hat again for the finale of “Long Road Home”. The latest video released by the band not long before tonights gig.

The Irontown Diehards prove to Glasgow they can deliver the goods, with some cabaret and showmanship. With further promotion, awareness and more gigs under their belt, The Irontown Diehards surely should get the recognition they deserve.

The Irontown Diehards are Phil Dixon (vocals), Andrew Baxter (guitars), Mark McCallion (bass), and Gordy Gray (drums).

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The Irontown Diehards
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Event Date: 24-Oct-2016

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.