WHEN I was younger I seemed destined to miss all of my favourite bands and musicians.

Either it was because they died (Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley), got murdered (Dimebag Darrell), split up (Pantera) or simply became rubbish (too many to name).

So this year is shaping up to be the year to make up for it all with two of my all-time idols playing Scotland.

Last week I had my first chance to see Phil Anselmo, formerly of Pantera, play with his band Down (albeit at the third time of asking having missed them for the past two years).

And in August the mighty Faith No More, a band responsible for influencing a host of great and not so great music, return north after almost 12 years.

I only really understood how jaded I had become with bands recently when Down hit the stage at the QMU last Friday.

Okay, they aren't Pantera, but their southern rock/blues-inflected metal gets the groove going in exactly the type of way I love.

I'm normally a bit of a sombre fella when it comes to watching most gigs, so I was expecting just to nod my head along like usual (particularly since I hadn't touched a drop to drink).

So I was one of the most surprised when I began 'throwing the horns' like a demented teen when Phil wandered on stage and the first chords of the night hit the air.

Part of the excitement must have come from my low expectations. Yup, Phil is my favourite vocalist by some distance.

But his stock had fallen since his heady days of the mid-90s when Pantera ruled metal.

Drugs, drink and the frying of his voice in a series of 'extreme' side-projects looked to have left him a shadow of his former self. I was expecting something more along the lines of the Phil you would see stumbling across the stage and spouting aimless drunken nonsense on youtube than the powerhouse of 92.

So the wave of electricity which struck when Phil came out rocking the Cowboys from Hell look complete with mohican was palpable.

And somehow he has returned to good voice. It may be fine to maintain your health and talent, but when Paradise is lost and regained it is a level above.

Down may all be in the 40s age bracket but they still show the kids how metal should be done. Featuring the combined talents of Crowbar's Kirk Windstein and Jimmy Bowers, Corrosion of Conformity's Pepper Keenan and Pantera's Rex Brown, this is the ultimate Southern Rock supergroup and they live up to that rep.

No gimmicks, no stage show to get round the fact that this is a group which has decided to enjoy itself in its later years, yet still retain the aggression that youngsters would kill to have.

If you like rock and metal and haven't heard or seen Down, use yr damn google and then say thanks.