IT’S SAFE to say Dunoon aint the centre of the rock’n’roll universe. At twenty miles and a ferry trip west of Glasgow it’s not exactly the outback, but events of this scale don’t come along every week. No wonder! The Queen’s Hall resembles a psychedelic aircraft hangar with a Grand Canyon echo — an immense cavity which virtually swallowed up what would have been an ample audience in any average club venue. Not the perfect setting for tonight’s heavy bevy festival but nobody seemed too bothered.

AcidIe smashed open the evening with a brief session of Thrash taking in Diamond Head’s ‘Am I Evil’ and Holocaust’s ‘The Small Hours’, with the Metallica influence always obvious. Hailing from the local US Navy base, Acidle are unlikely to mount an attack on the wider Thrash scene despite their ability to plough a solid groove.

The Gentlemen Rogues are a slightly better bet assuming their songwriting matures as they outgrow their obvious youth. More material like ‘Mind’s Eye’ is essential because the set is currently carried by covers ranging from Girlschool’s ‘Kick It Down’ and Crüe’s ‘Smokin’ In The Boys Room’ through to Mama’s Boys ‘Lenin’ Go’. There’s a Rogues track, ‘Rockin’ On’, included on a forthcoming compilation on Ebony Records which may be
worth a listen, but if they dedicate ‘Poch Mah Hone’ to you, don’t get excited — it’s Gaelic for ‘Kiss My Ass’.

Supported by a low-budget but surprisingly effective light show reminiscent of Rush’s ‘Moving Pictures’ tour, headliners Onyx (previously the Destroyers) proved to be an eager animal stalking Y&T/Scorpions territory with some style. A few healthy home-grown tunes like ‘It’s Gonna Happen

Tonight’ and ‘The Chosen Ones’ shone out between the over-abundant covers, (of which the Scorpions’‘Always Somewhere’ impressed most) but the 90-minute set suffered from a lack of variety.

Despite these reservations, Onyx have a professional approach and a promising image which places them in the ‘possibles’ squad. Promotion to ‘probable’ status will depend on their ability to fulfil their undoubted potential. How many bands are one spark short of a fire?


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