What can you say about a band that arrived in Montreal amid little fanfare and left with little fanfare?
The Bay City Rollers may have been the best kept secret among forty – something year old women. A secret because it appeared that the majority of these women did not let on to anyone that the mid – seventies boy band was in Montreal. Can you blame them?
Cute Scottish boys held a special place in girls hearts. Posters were on the walls, teen magazine cut-outs scattered across the floor. Lipstick – stained drinking cups were strewn about – it was a special time for the Rollers’ fans.
Last night at the Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, Les McKeown ( the sole original Roller), led his 2013 version of the band into Montreal for the first time ever. Hard to believe the group never ventured into these parts considering the amount of bubble – gum songs that were, at one time – universally adored.
That’s the problem.
The songs were – a very long time ago, adored. A lot has changed since the days of Roller-mania gathered speed faster than a Justin Bieber collapse.
Problem is – the audience which attended the show last night, were stuck in those days. Rightly or wobbly so.
Starting with ‘I Only Want to be Like You’, the opening number – all the way until the group’s biggest hit; ‘ Saturday Night’, a high school dance took place. All that was missing were the chaperones. Sadly – passed away following a ninety – two year existence.
Not all the tunes felt as if a high school senior was on stage playing guitar for his Mom’s friends in attendance. ‘Money Honey’ bordered on ‘Heavy Metal’. Well – ‘Heavy Tin” perhaps. Regardless of the musical moniker, the song was played with energy and power.
‘You Made me Believe in Magic’ carried on the teen magazine feel – spreading the catchy chorus throughout the Corona while the predominantly female audience sang and danced. Music does not have to be ‘in the time’ or technically great, The Bay City Rollers proved that catchy lyrics and non – threatening riffs transcend time.
The Rollers, combined with singer Les Mckeown’s story telling and self – depreciating humor, sent everyone a couple of decades back. Sometimes, in these days of confusion as the world spins digitally at a fast pace, a trip backwards through time – not necessarily a bad thing.
Too bad it was not Saturday night. There would have been a little more fanfare.