As previously mentioned, there was a certain sadness attached to this run of gigs by Bellshill's finest. My fear was that the imminent departure of Gerry Love would change the atmosphere from one of celebration to regret. Fortunately this was not to be the case. Whilst the atmosphere WAS different from a normal Fannies gig, that had more to do with the set list and personnel on stage.
Billed as 'The Creation Years- Songs From 1994-1997', this was exactly as advertised. What we got was "Grand Prix" and "Songs From Northern Britain", (SFNB), top to tail and in order.
Given that those two albums are the finest work the band produced, there were no complaints from me. What it did highlight was the difference between a live show and an album in terms of sequencing. Whereas most gigs will build to a big finish, "Grand Prix" for example finishes with "Hardcore/Ballad", a mash up of the early raw sound cutting immediately into a heartfelt solo acoustic number from Norman. Somewhat different from the mighty "Everything Flows". On a side note, in the fourteen shows that I've seen, this is only the second time that they've not played the traditional set closer.
Happily "Speed Of Light" closes SFNB and it was fitting that a typically upbeat Gerry song would wrap up a wonderful night of nostalgia. Having previous drummers Paul Quinn, (in the drum seat throughout), and Brendan O'Hare on stage with regular sticks man Francis MacDonald was a real joy.
If this really is the end with Gerry, and let's hope not, then a fine way to go out.
Messrs. Blake, McGinley, MacDonald, O'Hare, Quinn, McGowan and especially Love, I salute you.