THE grass was probably green, and the girls may have been pretty. But we will never know, as the trip to Paradise City was off and the only thing being taken down on Tuesday was Guns N’ Roses backline, after the iconic US heavy rockers pulled their long-awaited rescheduled show due to the sudden illness of their enigmatic frontman Axl Rose.

A last-minute cancellation left many of their gutted fans seriously out of pocket, after they had laid out on tickets, travel and accommodation. Hardly the magical Welcome to the Jungle that any of them had planned for.

It came just days after the US funk rockers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, had cancelled their show at Bellahouston Park, again due to illness, just hours before they were meant to take to the stage. This left legions of angry “californicating” ticket-holders on The Other Side of the security fencing and heading home Under the Bridge early.

Despite these cancellations, it’s not been all doom and gloom for Scotland’s live music scene. Far from it.

After being shut down and silenced for so long, the road back to normality for this £450m sector and employer of over 15,000 people was always going to be a long and hazardous path. The Covid hangover will be with us for years to come, and never more so than now – the first full summer of sound since oppressive government restrictions were lifted.

As Geoff Ellis, head honcho of promoters DF Concerts and TRNSMT festival (which starts today, featuring headliners such as Paulo Nutini, Lewis Capaldi, The Strokes and The Snuts) said: “It’s the busiest summer ever in Scotland for live music, a tough climate as we all know, and event organisers certainly don’t have their troubles to seek in terms of challenges, but what’s really encouraging is that live music fans are still showing an amazing appetite for concerts and festivals. I’m delighted that TRNSMT has pretty much sold out with literally only a handful of Saturday and Sunday tickets left”.

Mark Mackie, MD of Regular Music was equally upbeat: “We are very excited to be back at the Kelvingrove Bandstand for a fantastic sell-out run of shows including The Waterboys, The Pixies, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Altered Images. It’s been a long wait for us all, artists and fans alike, so let’s roll three years of fun into one memorable series of Summer Nights at the Bandstand 2022.”

Sentiments echoed by a delighted but exhausted Billy Coyle, crew boss of Scotia Events. “It’s been hectic, an unbelievable amount of work. I’ve been doing crew work for 40 years and I have never known it to be so busy. This summer we’ll be providing crew for over 200 gigs, shows and events including Harry Styles, Liam Gallagher, Primal Scream, Calvin Harris, Green Day, TRNSMT, The Bandstand and Coldplay.”

However, a more cautious and measured tone was set by Lindsay McIntyre, director of KSG Acoustics, specialists in environmental and entertainment noise.

“Restrictions have been lifted, allowing events to proceed which were effectively impossible last year. However, the events industry is now besieged with shortages and red tape following the Covid shutdown and other confounding issues, not least the increased costs of equipment and labour, and staff shortages. So while we’re delighted with an overflow of events, it still has the feeling of dancing on a pinhead”

Despite those issues, and others including debilitating warnings from the government of new Covid variants, as well as the utter failure of our lamentable nationalised railway operator ScotRail, who couldn’t grant the wishes of GNR fans to “please take them home” even if the show had gone ahead, confidence amongst gig goers is now returning.

John Richardson, promoter of Party at the Palace in Linlithgow, hit the right note, when he said “It’s been an incredibly tough couple of years, but we have come back with a bang with over 70 performances across four stages. And we’re now heading for another sell-out event”.

Music to the ears for everyone wishing for a summer that’s alive and kicking, and reverberating with the sound of music, song and dance.