It’s half past midnight and as most of Glasgow’s gig-goers head for home or out to a club for the evening a select few dodge the bacchanalian carnage of Sauchiehall St tonight and gather in the basement of Broadcast for a rare live appearance from Strokes guitarist and son of rock royalty, Albert Hammond Jr.
First up are crunchy electro power-poppers Rey Pila, signed to Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records, they’ve toured with Ariel Pink and Interpol before being dispatched to warm-up for their label supremo’s brother in arms and do a great job though, delivering energetic and hooky tunes with style.
As the clock ticks ever closer to 1am a fevered (and possibly chemically altered) audience count down to the main event.
Albert Hammond Jr may not have penned quite as many classics as his father, a songwriter for Tina Turner, Diana Ross and The Hollies among others, and there are no Strokes tracks on display, but the audience still whirl themselves into a sweaty frenzy over tracks from both his lo-fi solo debut Yours to Keep and its rockier 2008 follow-up Como Te Llama? alongside tracks from this year’s AHJ EP.
Backed by a band comprising two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer, he’s the last onstage, emerging to roof-rattling cheers and looking sharp in a tight shirt and red braces.
The AHJ EP was far sharper than his more famous band’s rather soggy Comedown Machine, so it’s welcome that several of its tracks are given an airing here.
‘Cooker Ship’ in particular has the potential to be a real fan favourite; while most of the guitar work is left to his side musicians his blistering string-slinging outro solo is a delight.
Hammond may have shorn the famous curly locks he sported around the time of The Strokes breakthrough but he’s still a compelling presence and one who runs the risk of being dragged into the crowd such is the fan fervour and the proximity of the Broadcast stage to pawing hands.
‘In Transit’ and the hugely underrated gem ‘Back to the 101’ summon sing-alongs from the enthusiastic and remarkably energetic crowd.
Departing the stage at past 2am Albert Hammond Jr leaves behind a tired, sweaty but undeniably entertained audience.
Posing for photos, he seems genuinely impressed by the crowd response; a far cry from the somewhat sterile stadiums inhabited by The Strokes, maybe striking out alone was not such a bad idea?
Words: Max Sefton
Photos: Vito Andreoni