The Salty Dog, Northwich
May 11th 2019
a wind of change blowing through the world of gigs & venues in the
UK, with new vibrant locations springing up well away from the
traditional city centres. The Salty Dog in Northwich is a prime example
- within two years it has helped breathe life into a sleepy Cheshire
town. With the arrival of Glen Matlock and his band, it has now come of
Announced a little over a fortnight previously, the show quickly sold
out, and the day arrived.
Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of small town gigs, is the level of
appreciation from the crowd - it's a different mentality to the big
city vibe, and often more enjoyable for it.
Glen's set was enthusiastically received throughout -
from the rockers to the bluesy numbers - with the opening Won't Put The
Breaks On Me and Wanderlust illustrating both styles perfectly and
setting the tone for the evening.
But what of the band? Earl Slick adds an extra layer of magic, it's as
simple as that. Whether it's the Brooklyn swagger, the immense
pedigree, or merely the fact he is so damn good. And unique. The
panache he added to Montague Terrace was stunning, drawing the crowd
into the mini-movie landscape of the song. It's not just the
atmospherics in which he excels, it's the rockers also. He effortlessly
puts his own stamp on the songs, reworking the guitar on Pretty Vacant
to electrifying effect. Who else could pin down and expand the licks on
Blank Generation so majestically? The trusted rhythm section of drum
maestro Chris Musto and top record producer Jim Lowe on bass, both hold
and improvise the grooves allowing Glen the freedom he needs to deliver
the goods and interact with the eager Northwich audience.
New material such as Couldn't Give A Damn, Speak Too Soon, and the
crowd sing-along Sexy Beast ensured energy and banter flowed
freely both ways to and from the stage. Although the set was drawn
his current Good To Go album, Glen dipped into his solo back catalogue
and gave us Born Running and, especially for tonight, one of my all
time favourites, On Something, perfect for Earl Slick's dreamy guitar.
We also got treated to a brand new song, Empty Heart.
Keep On Pushing closed the main set in energetic style while the epic
All Or Nothing brought the encore, and the evening, to an end in
customary rousing fashion.
The best way to find out what punters really think is to eavesdrop at
the end of the show. One local lady had emblazoned on the
back of her jacket "I dream of Bowie". She expressed
her feelings by the merchandise table. "I can't believe Glen Matlock
came to MY town. And Earl Slick - he played with Bowie! They came to
The Salty Dog!" Her enthusiasm was shared by all. 100% positivity, 100%
appreciation. From both the fans and the group.
Finally, well done The Salty Dog for leading the way in a new type of
venue - long may you succeed.
pictures by Phil Singleton