Logan are a band I’ve been following for a number of years. Since I first got hold of First Leaf Fallen back in 2004 or 2005 following an Alter Bridge gig I’ve been hooked on these guys. Seeing a band mature and grow over a period of about five years as quickly as these guys did was pretty incredible and I’m glad to have been one of the “Loganites” growing up. After some time away and with three new members, Logan have returned. And it’s a bittersweet affair.
October 14, 2012. Logan’s first show since returning was opening for Mark Tremonti at The Garage in Glasgow. And as I said, the first time I came across Logan was at an Alter Bridge gig I found it fitting that I witness their return opening for Tremonti before he tore Glasgow a new one.
But first, let me rewind a little bit. The original Logan, at least as I first witnessed it, was Kenny Collins on vocals, Al Reilly and Mick Coll on lead and rhythm guitar respectively, Iain Stratton on drums and Mike Wilson on bass guitar. Later, Logan’s “6th member” Steve Reilly was promoted to Logan’s 5th member and took over bass duties around 2006 or 2007 when Mike left the band. Up until this point Steve had been better known as the band’s producer having recorded and mixed the first three Logan albums. He was a key cog in the Logan machine.
After three studio albums, a live DVD, an acoustic album and following a series of brilliant support slots with Alter Bridge, playing with the legendary Thunder at their 20 Years & Out tour, a slot and Download and not forgetting opening for Bon Jovi at Scotland’s national stadium Logan took to the studio to record The Great Unknown.
When I first got my hands on The Great Unknown I wasn’t the biggest fan. It never really caught the magic that Cruel Little World was, it sounded a little too tight and over produced. But that’s just the opinion of one man as Cruel Little World in my Top 10 albums of all time. Recently though, I’ve been listening to it a lot in the car and I really wish I’d given it more of a chance back then as it’s a brilliant album from start to finish. Although I do still prefer the earlier versions of When I Get Down and Lost & Found but that’s just down to personal taste.
Soon after the release of The Great Unknown the band hit the road to tour the album, before going suddenly silent. Fast forward to 2012 and Logan are back with an almighty roar. The big question is, how do they compare to before?
Now keep in mind that this isn’t the same Logan as upon their return, they where three members light. For what is basically being described as musical differences, Iain, Al and Steve left the band and they went on to form Afterlife with one time Logan artist Stewart “Raggy“ Brown and the glorious voice of one Pete McCoy. I have to admit I really do love Afterlife, they’re a band which I believe have both the talent and ability to go far. I’m not going to get into an Afterlife vs. Logan debate that as lot of people seem to be having that debate all on their own, I’m not going to contribute to it. I genuinely love the music both bands have produced thus far and instead of one great band to enjoy, I now have two and it doesn’t get much better than that.
So back to the Garage with Tremonti. When they took to the stage I must say I wasn’t sold on Logan 2.0. But, to their credit they sounded incredible. The three newcomers, Max McPherson, Calum Blair and Stef Lach where spot on in their performances.
Kenny’s vocal ability have not faded an ounce during his time away and are as great as ever while Mick Coll’s guitar playing has came leaps and bounds and comes across as a more confident and accomplished player then ever before.
Calum first of all, 16 years old and was playing like a pro, not a nerve in sight. The kid’s got talent and once he combines that with the experience he’s about to get playing with seasoned guys like Kenny and Mick he’s going to be an unstoppable drumming machine and he’s certainly going to be a credit to the band going forward.
New bassist Stef was spot on although I do feel nerves got the better of him on the night as he just faded into the background, while his playing was perfect, his stage presence was a little lacking and I can’t say I blame the man. It takes time to build up confidence to jump around when taking on the kind of role he is in an established band.
Lastly axe man Max certainly knows how to play. The Les Paul wielding lead player tore the roof off of the Garage. He’s playing is proficient, professional and he plays from the heart. There isn’t as much tonal differences between Al’s set up and Max’s isn’t as much as I’d actually expected which was a nice little surprise.
When you stick these three new guys together with Mick and Kenny, combine it with the amazing songs in the Logan arsenal and you have a hell of a mix. While not the band I initially fell in love with as a spotty teenager, they certainly are a band I can see myself getting behind as they move forward in the next chapter.
To check out all things Logan check out: www.logan-net.com
And for Afterlife lovers: www.afterlifeband.co.uk