Glam Rock star returns to Manchester

Wednesday evening saw Night and Day play host to former Glam Rock star Alan Merrill

Wednesday evening saw Night and Day play host to former Glam Rock star Alan Merrill a New York musician who many of you will probably have never heard of , but who co-wrote one of the most iconic rock and roll songs of the last 40 years and who’s band hosted a 28 episode music show made by Granada TV aimed at challenging Top Of The Pops.

The Arrows was the name of the band and TV series ,with many of the top music acts of the seventies appearing on the show and glam rockers The Arrows getting to play their songs, one of which I Love Rock And Roll became worldwide hit for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts in 1982 selling over 2 million copies.

A quick read of Merrill’s cv is exhausting, in 1968 he was the first domestic pop star in Japan, he has had a regular roll in a Japanese soap opera, he’s starred in horror films and has worked with some of the biggest names in the music businees such as Mick Taylor, Steve Winwood and Meat Loaf.

Tonight however its about the music and Merrill is joined on stage by bassist Dave Glover once of The Sweet and Slade, and drummer Ray Lawrence. Its clear that the band are a tight well rehearsed outfit, with over 12 solo albums and more with Arrows, Merrill and his band have plenty of material to go at and the set is a mix of hard rock, blues and of course the glam rock hits. Interestingly the set features a couple of Merrill’s Japenese hits, the opener Automatic Pilot and later in the set Sands of Time both recorded with the Japanese band Vodka Collins. The Arrow’s hits Touch Too Much and Last Night With You are well received by a group at the front who may well have original Arrows fans and there is recognition that the song Moving Next Door To You was used by the BBC’s Under The Hammer TV show.

The climax of the show is of course I Love Rock And Roll and whilst this song may pay the bills, Alan Merrill is clearly a song writer and guitarist of some talent as his latest album Demo Graphic demonstrates and you can’t help feeling there may be more to come from this versatile musician.