- 09 Aug 19
Bagpipes boomed from the dark stage. Suddenly, out of a sea of tartan arose the famed ‘70s rock band. The Bay City Rollers are back.
“I wanna stay here and sing forever and ever,” Bay City Rollers frontman Les McKeown exclaimed halfway through the legendary ‘70s rock band’s set for Live at Leopardstown. The crowd screamed in agreement. If he really could have stayed all night, I don’t doubt he would. And the crowd would surely stay there right with him, rain or shine, dancing and singing wildly to every song.
From the first note of ‘Summer Love Sensation’ to their final bow, the Rollers and their fans alike showed unabating energy as if only a day had passed since their 1974 hit was released. With a set full of over 15 songs, McKeown and crew still managed to come up for air every so often, taking requests from the crowd and thanking their songwriters and producers on numerous occasions.
The funky bass line in ‘Remember’ brought the crowd right back as if it was the first time the Rollers were performing it. Even the few children that were dragged along by their parents despite probably never hearing the song were sha-la-la-ing along and swinging to the beat.
Next was ‘Keep On Dancing’, which the band dedicated to founding member and bassist Alan Longmuir, who fell ill and passed away last summer while on holiday with his wife in Mexico. The end of the song drew loud cheers which marked a tasteful and cheerful celebration of life for Longmuir.
The Bay City Rollers took a few crowd requests, including ‘Rock and Roll Love Letter’ and ‘Let’s Go’ which got people moving. There wasn’t a moment that people sat down or stopped moving, but the infectious guitar melody and clappable beat in ‘Let’s Go’ really had people grooving.
The second half of the show was chock-full of hits, including fan-favourite ‘Saturday’ which was levelled up with dramatic lighting and a rock and roll finish. The Rollers also pulled out a cover of The Monkees’ ‘Daydream Believer’ which had the swarm of tartan-clad fans swaying in union and singing to their drunken hearts’ content.
McKeown said he never wanted it to end, but unfortunately it did. After thanking his producers and songwriters and band, he told the crowd they’d normally leave the stage and make them cheer him back for an encore. He wasn’t down to play games tonight, though. McKeown and the Rollers dove right into their final song, ‘Bye Bye Baby’ to which everyone sang along at the top of their lungs.
Although the rain was coming down by the time the set wrapped up, people hung around to savour the moment. Luckily for us, the Bay City Rollers will be back in Ireland in December with a show at the Olympia Theatre!