Glasgow has always had an affinity for country music. Hell, it’s even got its own Grand Ole Opry so it is no surprise to find out that The Hellfire Club are haunted by the ghosts of both Nashville and the ever trendy Americana but this band are more than mere pretenders with the inherent irony of wearing check shirts in this no mean, culturally bankrupt, city giving “A Different Song” much of its appeal.
Benefitting from the strong hands of the redoubtable Johnny Smillie in the producers’ chair, The Hellfire Club walk tall in their cowboy boots and simultaneously demonstrate that they have the courage to pull in some saxophones – surely an act of heresy south of the Mason Dixon line – and take it down home for a soul stroll and a guitar solo. As you might therefore expect, diversions like that duly fill this album with more variety than the Barbara Mandrell show and, with that dry, west of Scotland, humour never far from the banjos, “A Different Song” also has much to offer those who don’t even know who Barbara Mandrell is.
The Hellfire Club make music for more than Saturday night cowboys and “A Different Song” provides the proof of that.
Best song? The Stax flavoured “Hadn’t Been For You”.
The Verdict? It’s country except when it’s not which it is quite a lot.