CENTURIAN

1988

LA PAZ/CENTURIAN – CRYSTALS, EAST KILBRIDE

WHAT A night! In years to come, when La Paz are massive, legend will tell of a time when they strutted their stuff in nothing more than Y-fronts and strategically placed guitars. It’s quite amazing what people will do to raise money for charity, Cash For Kids in this case.

If Crystals had burned down on the night of this extravaganza, it would have taken the future of Scottish rock with it. As well as La Paz and Centurion onstage, the crowd included Heavy Pettin, Glasgow, Lyin Rampant, Trixx, Trident, Ransom and Radio Clyde’s Tom Russell. Zero Zero would have missed the disaster – they pulled the gig at the last moment.

La Paz made the most of their extra time with a 90-minute set full of their own melodic masterpieces like ‘Still In Love’, ‘Just One Look’ and ‘What Do You Say’ (but no ‘Amy’, and classics like Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ and Gary Glitter’s ‘Do You Wanna Touch’. As the covers continued, so the stage gear was unashamedly stripped off and the shutters clicked. By the time ‘Johnny B Goode’ and Thin Lizzy’s Black Rose’ had come and gone
there was naked flesh literally everywhere as vocalist Dougie White mounted tables, chairs, the drum riser and almost few willing members of the audience, A born exhibitionist and entertainer with a voice you have to hear to believe.

“How do you follow that,” said Centurion’s Jim Jamieson. Well, doing what they do best, they followed it with honest hard rock played tighter than the lock on a sporran and louder than Scott Ian’s shorts. Again covers abounded keeping the party spirit swinging with promoter and local celebrity Robert Fields joining Centurion onstage for Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ and a totally spontaneous ‘Blue Suede Shoes’.

AC/DC’s ‘Sin City’ and ‘Let There Be Rock’ really sent shivers down the spine with Jamieson and guitarist Alisdair McWalter pulling an uncanny Bon Scott & Angus Young impersonation to close the show with Centurion proving you don’t have to take your clothes off to have a good time.

Gigs like this are few and far between and are all the more precious for that.

One day, those over exposed La Paz shots will be worth a fortune.

RICHARD HEGGIE

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