Reviews: John Verity Band | DreadnoughtRock Bathgate  | Fri 10th November 2017

John Verity Band tickets

DreadnoughtRock in Bathgate

Friday 10th November 2017

7:00pm til 11:00pm

Minimum Age: 18

Another opportunity to see this awesome trio at Dreadnoughtrock that have been working flat out on the road this year. A Scottish ALBUM LAUNCH night !


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Review of John Verity Band

Overall rating: 4.5 Verified review

Fantastic guitar player and singer, enjoyed every minute of it despite the low turnout, Nice venue, will definitely go and see The John Verity band again.

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Review of John Verity Band

Overall rating: 4.5 Verified review

JV is a master of his art and never fails to impress.. Dreadnought Rocks is a great venue, although on the night the Bathgate rockers stayed at home which was a shame.
great night for those of us who did attend.

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Would you recommended: Yes

Review of John Verity Band

Overall rating: 5 Verified review

Excellent night great venue with a great rock artist called John Verity,well recommended.

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Would you recommended: Yes

Review of John Verity Band

Overall rating: 4.5 Verified review

There was a touch of déjà blues vu when the John Verity Band travelled north of the border to come calling on the DreadnoughtRock in the West Lothian town of Bathgate.

Scotland’s longest running music club played host to a cracking little gig that doubled as the album launch for John Verity’s latest album, the tasty and multi-textured Blue To My Soul, but there were positive and negative similarities to the band’s previous foray across the border, specifically Cottiers Theatre in Glasgow.

At Cottiers, in June of this year, the same line-up (John Verity, bassist John Gordon and drummer Liam James Gray) delivered a set built around a choice selection of blues standards and classic rock covers mixed with a selection of John Verity back catalogue numbers and songs from then current album, the excellent My Religion.

It’s a live formula and two performances with intermission setup that works very well, as it also did at the DreadnoughtRock, the main difference being the switch of My Religion material for new Blue To My Soul numbers (and a slight variation on the covers selected).
The performance positives in Glasgow however were countered by the negative of an extremely low turnout; something that also, sadly, manifested itself in Bathgate.

Fortunately it was a much larger crowd than Cottiers experienced but still lower than anticipated (around half the size of the turnout for the band’s previous DreadnoughtRock appearance).
One reason was a number of rock fans from neig*bouring areas heading in to Glasgow for Kane’d and Stoneface but, other gigs elsewhere notwithstanding, the reality of the ticket selling situation is top quality players such as John Verity are now looking carefully at specific venues, target areas and future tour routing.

For those that did turn out, and those that didn’t, the former witnessed and the latter missed another great two-set showcase from one of the most consistent performers on the blues rock circuit – and a guitarist who carries one of the smoothest and fluid six-string tones around, primarily from preferred weapon of choice, his Fret-King signature Corona JV.

The opening triple salvo of Sonny Boy Williamson's purposeful twelve-bar 'Help Me,' the Otis Rush slow blues 'Double Trouble' and a looser, foot-tapping 'n' fun rendition of John Mayall’s 'Looking Back' set the blues standard(s) before Blue To My Soul material introduced itself in the shape of the strutting, throwback blues of 'This Old Dog,' one of many songs on the new album that typify John Verity and/ or musically underline the album’s title ("This old dog, he ain’t done yet!" emphatically declares Verity, still as effective in mid and upper range voice as he is rippling off a run of melodic notes on the fretboard).

Blue To My Soul also includes a handful of covers, something of a John Verity trait (for every new album Verity records a number of covers he loves to play live, or is currently playing live, mixing and matching them with his own material).
Covers aired from the new album included the later era Etta James classic 'Blues Is My Business' (another song that musically defines Verity) and Buddy Guy number 'Never Gonna Change.'

Set One closed as Set Two opened, with songs that were written for, and dedicated to, Carole Verity, John Verity’s wife and right-hand gal on the road.
The cheeky little romp 'Too Hot (to Hug)' closed out the first set while the funky little blues 'Nothing’s Changed' (from the Tone Hound album) opened the second set, a longer 60 minute performance that featured JV gems a plenty.

'Say Why' was one such highlight. A slow and more serious blues, the song's lyric implores us to ask more questions and not be accepting of the answers given ("People, it’s all fake…" sings John Verity from the song he recorded ten years ago, putting paid to The Donald’s nonsensical belief that he came up with that particular F word – although ol' #45 has certainly inspired the use of a couple of others).

Other second set standouts included 'Hope For the Best' (the feel behind the emotive spray of guitar notes on the song seeming to bear out Verity’s lyrical explanation that "I just let my heart tell my guitar what to do…) and a couple of classic rock covers in the shape of 'Rocky Mountain Way' and 'Hold Your Head Up.'

On the former Joe Walsh’s famous talk box solo was replaced by pedal driven growls and howls from John Verity in full rock guitar mode while the latter was an anthemic nod to John Verity’s classic rock past (Verity was the man chosen to replace the departing Russ Ballard in Argent in 1974).

​John Verity’s penchant for opening and closing his sets with favourite standards audiences will be familiar with held true at the DreadnoughtRock, but with a six string twist.

Swapping out his favoured Fret King for a Les Paul SG Standard (borrowed from his good friend Mally Jackson), the ice white Gibson looked cool and sounded sweet on the delicate, downplayed version of 'Need Your Love So Bad' but had its volume knob turned to 11 for the rapid-fire, power chord finish that closed out 'Old Time Rock and Roll.'

But the Bob Seger classic didn’t close out the show as intended – an impromptu rendition of 'Johnny B. Goode' (the small but vocal crowd demanding one more song from the band) was as raucous as it was rockin'.

But as far as that Old Time Rock and Roll?
It’s just a pity more people didn’t come calling to the DreadnoughtRock to share that Rock and Roll with the rest of us.

Ross Muir

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