I love Guns N Roses - they were excellent - so I was curious (perhaps morbidly so) to check out Duff Mckagan's Loaded last night: As Duff McKagan strode on to the stage at Academy 2, it was hard not to think of the past. It’s over 20 years ago since he achieved worldwide fame as the hell-raising bassist in Guns ‘n’ Roses, the most popular and debauched rock band of the 1980s.

After leaving Axl’s crew, he formed Velvet Revolver with old bandmate Slash, picking up a Grammy award in the process and enjoying critical and commercial success for a second time.

So why do we need Loaded?

It’s a question with no easy answer. Flyers for the gig carried a quote from Duff, denying the band was a solo or vanity project and there’s no doubt that the small but vocal crowd of Steel City diehards at Academy 2 would agree.

Fists were dutifully pumped as the band fired an opening salvo of glam inspired rock, and Duff, to his credit, looked more than pleased to be playing to 100 fans on a damp Tuesday evening.

It’s difficult to criticise any man who beaten his addictions and played his part in selling nearly 100 million records - but Duff’s gang were a distinct disappointment.

The guitar squall of ‘Dark Days’ roused the crowd but ultimately flattered to deceive, with McKagan’s thin vocal all but drowned out by his band mates. Whilst the quartet are certainly adept at stringing three chords and a solo together, their punk comes across as dated and derivative – more Dad Religion than Bad Religion – and badly lacked memorable moments.

Duff is clearly enjoying the creative control of fronting his own band – and after years of putting up with Axl Rose, it’s difficult to begrudge him that. However, on the evidence of this performance it would seem he needs Loaded in his life a lot more than the rest of us.