Chvrches – The Barrowlands, Glasgow 04/11/14

Having missed out on seeing the band at their debut Glasgow show many moons ago, it was finally time to see the three strut their stuff on stage. Having missed that gig and thinking about how far the band had come since then. Part of me couldn’t help but feel that maybe this was going to be something a bit more spectacular. Chvrches have come a long way in such a short space of time, learning on the road about their craft and perfecting their stage performance. The timing felt right.

Having heard that the previous night’s light show was “intense and spectacular”. I was excited. I’m a bit obsessed with light shows. The way they pull together a show, having your eyes and ears pleased at the same time. Transforming that song you know every word of to the next level and pulling it to an unforgettable height. That’s what it’s all about.

The night kicked off with We Sink, rumbling and no doubt loosening a few screws in the grand old lady that is The Barrowlands. Having only one album of music to play live means having to gig some tracks that haven’t maybe been as well received by the public. Credit to Chvrches for powering through their set, hammering out each song from the album with as much passion as they deserved. I’ve always thought it may be a weird feeling coming back to a stage to play the same songs as before because of now more popular tour lengths. With it being their hometown stage maybe it was a feeling of accomplishment. If not, then it should be.

Their live sound encapsulated perfectly the track perfection and attention to detail from their album. Each song being lifted by the big room, a setting doing the songs major justice.

For most Glasgow artists, playing The Barrowlands isn’t a stepping stone to success it’s a major career/life goal. Lauren highlighting famous artists that she has now walked in the foot steps of. Martin also telling the crowd how much it meant to him to be standing where he was before belting out his moment song ‘Under The Tide’. Watching them take in the moment and enjoy what is no doubt a night not to be forgotten easily for those watching and playing.

Live Review: Baby Strange @ The Barrowland, Glasgow

Not many bands play a sold out Barrowland gig. It’s usually reserved for bands that are stuck in between playing two shows in a sold out Barrowland or one night at the SECC. Luckily for Baby Strange they got picked to play not one but two sold out Barrowland shows. Considering it was their 4th and 5th gig ever, it’s a rather big achievement and a pretty high point in their so far early careers.

Having only played a hand full of shows in front of smaller crowds, you would expect three pretty nervous musicians to walk on stage, star struck and a sense of overwhelming fear of the massive crowd on their faces, it was the exact opposite of that. Baby Strange did none of those things. Never have you seen such a young band take a show like this in their stride. They walked straight on and let it rip like they had already done it a million times before.

For just a three piece they had no bother producing a full sounding set in such a large venue, kissing every corner of the history soaked walls with their own straight up rock and roll sound. Baby Strange aren’t very well known but it was no surprise to see everyone’s eyes and ears firmly directed towards the stage. Usually unknown artists at bigger gigs have their whole set partially drowned out with chatter but between songs, it was clear I wasn’t the only one loving the sweet rock.

Baby Strange dreamed through their set, producing one hit after another. Some songs currently unreleased, produced a strong indicator for what the band has to offer next year and to their powerful and catchy song writing abilities. ‘Pure Evil’ played and sounded like it was written for this occasion and only hearing it in a packed out Barrowland could you understand its full potential. ‘Get By Me’ just tore the venue a new one.

I am now a devoted stranger.


Photo Credit: Natalie Whitehill

Live Review: Vukovi @ King Tuts, Glasgow

Hi Fishinasub readers! My name’s Anthony Jenkins and from time to time I’ll be typing some stuff for your reading pleasure/disgust.

Anyway last night, I ventured out in the borderline Siberian weather to have a swatch at Vukovi at King Tuts. Great combination for me, as I love the band and the venue. For those not aware, Vukovi are a four piece from Kilwining/Troon. They have released 3 EPs, “It looked so good on me…”, “…. But I won’t Wear You Again” and “Sweet Swears”. Each of these three EPs are fantastic. Anyway this was to be the third time I had went to see Vukovi in 2012, and the last (sob).

Vukovi were supported by The King Hats and The Mirror Trap. Both were good, and seemed to be well received by the crowd. Keep a look out for both of them.
Vukovi came on stage around 10 and blasted straight into ‘Obsessions’ from ‘Sweet Swears’. They sound even better live than they do recorded and Janine (Singer) seems to have loads of energy, constantly bouncing around on stage. I was surprised to see Jason (Bass Player) on stage as I had seen him walking about the venue in crutches earlier that evening. Clearly the guy is very rock and roll, and a fucking hero!

I stood a fair bit from stage, mainly because I am a bit on the tall side so could see anyway. Also I was driving so didn’t indulge in alcohol that would usually make me want to bounce about. That said, the crowd were going mental and bouncing about for Vukovi. Rightly so, they were on fire! The band were the best I’ve seen them, working their way through songs from each of their three EPs and a newbie (which sounded awesome, can’t wait to hear it again already), oh and they played a Katy Perry cover, giving it more balls than Ms Perry ever could. Throughout the crowd were lapping it up, which is always a sign that the band is doing everything right. The highlight for me had to be the slow motion wall of death that Janine managed to get the crowd to partake in. The only complaint I could possibly have was a lack of a festive cover. However that’s something the band can’t be blamed for just my own current obsession with Christmas songs (sad, I know!).

Vukovi are a great live band and they have the songs that you’d just love to dance to (if only I could dance!). I really believe bigger and better things await Janine, Hamish, Jason and Colin. Based on the vibe from the crowd last night could easily be a game changer for them and see them propelled to those dizzy heights. If that’s the case I’ll be proud to say I saw them last night and previously.

They’re a brilliant band, go check them out at www.twitter.com/vukoviband and http://www.facebook.com/vukoviband/
Thanks for reading!

Vukovi – We Are Robots

Live Review: The Black Keys @ The SECC, Glasgow

The Black Keys arrived with their entourage in full spirit as they embraced a sold out Glasgow audience with their presence. It’s no surprise they were in full spirit after last week’s announcement of 5 Grammy nominations was made public. The duo has made their name over the last 10 years through consistent releases of great blues inspired records which have gained them a considerably large following. They were give a warm and thunderous reception as they took to the stage with set opener “Howlin’ For You”, taken from their critically acclaimed 2010 album “Brothers”.

All the hits were aired including tracks from their new album “El Camino” which caused some raucousness and much beer spillage. The best moments were when the touring band members exited the stage and left the duo to perform older tracks from their repertoire proving that minimalism is most effective when it comes to putting on a great rock show. The music itself is exceptional and furthermore proves that the Black Keys are worthy and more than ready to perform to larger crowds; this being their first arena tour of the UK. Overall it was a great show and no doubt there will be more great shows and music to come from one of the best rock bands around.

Live Review: Fidlar @ The Cathouse, Glasgow

Whilst many hold the opinion that punk is politically motivated, the musical catalogue of punk band Fidlar shows they do not follow this philosophy as their songs are primarily about partying and drugs. This was something the front man made clear throughout the entire set introducing every song with a reference to a different substance which became quite monotonous very quickly. On a positive note, the band when playing delivered a high level of energy and a good vibe which did please a somewhat half empty venue where many a beer was spilled and some moshing occurred. Furthermore, they did play well musically together.

However, I raise the question… Is good punk rock inspired only by politics? By breaking social barriers? Causing anarchy? Can it be simply about getting fucked up on “cocaine, acid, weed, heroin…” and partying until the wee hours? It probably could but the continuous drug references and frat boy banter with the crowd was tedious and it let down what could’ve been an excellent punk rock show as their energy level and spirit was impressive and considerably rare to find nowadays with modern music.

Personally, highlight of the night for me came from the supporting act Secret Motorbikes who, despite sound problems and a small turnout, delivered a good vibe and displayed excellent musicianship. A Glasgow based band whom are well worth checking out to say the least.

The Crookes @ King Tuts, Glasgow

‘Isn’t Glasgow supposed to be rowdy?’ asks The Crookes frontman George Waite, ‘you’re the politest crowd we’ve ever played to’. Doesn’t he know Ed Sheeran’s playing his second, of three, sold out Barrowland shows tonight? Where else would the ‘rowdy Glaswegians’ be? Whilst the idea of Sheeran faithfully recreating an album The Guardian once described as ‘a 12-bore shit gun’ sounds totally thrilling, that’s not what tonight’s really about. At King Tuts, The Crookes are playing to a far more modest crowd and making us all wonder how the hell they’ve managed to release two albums and tour the country extensively several times without making a proper breakthrough.

Much of The Crookes’ recorded work thrives around guitarist Daniel Hopewell’s intelligent literary-inspired stories, delivered by George Waite’s suitably poetic croon and hidden beneath endless, indelible melodies. Live, it’s probably more about Daniel’s nifty footwork than his sharp lyricism. The band put everything into ensuring their audience is having the best possible time, no matter how lacklustre this particular audience may be. Daniel’s on-stage shuffling is complimented by George’s enthusiastic headbanging whilst Tom Dakin encourages clapping and crowd participation. They are irresistible: so outrageously charming it’s difficult to disguise a permanently present smile throughout their hour long set. Their entire mentality is perhaps best summed up when George turns the microphone to the crowd during encore track ‘Yes, Yes, We Are Magicians’ and allows someone in the front row to sing the acapella intro before jumping off stage and performing the rest of the song facing his bandmates. ‘Are you missing me lads? I’ve found some new friends anyway’, he says. It’s a gesture which shows The Crookes are more than willing to blur the boundaries between band and crowd and it’s one which which helps explain why, though not huge in numbers, their fanbase is almost unmatched when it comes to dedication and adoration.

Before that, though, we’re treated to a selection of tracks taken from both albums, 2011’s ‘Chasing After Ghosts’ and this year’s ‘Hold Fast’, and EP, ‘Dreams of Another Day’. Recent single ‘Afterglow’ sounds like a more endearing, and less annoying, Two Door Cinema Club and should probably be pummelling the airwaves, whilst ‘Sal Paradise’ is yearning and resonant but still so completely enchanting. Other tracks recall 50’s Americana and ‘City of Lights’ shows off a more tender side but, amidst all the conflicting influences and disparate styles, one essential thing lies at the heart of everything The Crookes play; believable, intelligent pop sensibility. ‘New Pop’, they call it: the idea that music can be infectious and frivolous whilst still harbouring a deeper meaning and stemming from hard graft. Whatever it is, it manages to be, at once, vigorously fresh and beautifully timeless.

Midway through the set, they play a recording of spoken word track ‘Northern Soul For The 21st Century’. Howard Marks tells us to ‘keep that faith’ and we can only hope The Crookes do too. Maybe one day they’ll mimic Ed Sheeran’s success and sell out large venues. Maybe the next time they come to Glasgow they’ll at least have someone to set up their instruments for them. For now, though, they’ll have to settle with bringing a little bit of joy to discerning music fans across the country – one hundred or so people at a time.

Jack White @ Usher Hall, Edinburgh

“It’s quite possible that I’m your third man girl, but it’s a fact that I’m the seventh son.”

Modern day guitar hero Jack White; founder of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, brought his entourage to the sold out Usher Hall venue in Edinburgh. Fully equipped with both an all female and all male band (The Peacocks and the Buzzardos); White powered through an array of tracks from his critically acclaimed solo debut “Blunderbuss” and his back catalogue of hits from previous bands. After opening with “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”, it was plain to see that Jack White was back.

Having being lucky enough to see The White Stripes back in the day, my expectations were high and prior to the gig, there wasn’t a week that went by without it being a discussion point. Well, it’s safe to say that Jack White delivered one of the best shows I have ever been to. There are no words to describe his sheer musical greatness.

To conclude, if the chance ever arises to see Jack White in any form, take it!

http://www.facebook.com/jackwhite

Setlist:

Jack White with The Peacocks

  • Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
  • Sixteen Saltines
  • Missing Pieces
  • Love Interruption
  • Hotel Yorba
  • Top Yourself
  • Hypocritical Kiss
  • Blunderbuss
  • The Same Boy You’ve Always Known
  • I Cut Like a Buffalo
  • I’m Slowly Turning Into You
  • Steady As She Goes

Jack White with The Buzzardos

  • The Hardest Button to Button
  • Freedom at 21
  • Trash Tongue Talker
  • You Know That I Know (Hank Williams cover)
  • We’re Going to be Friends
  • Weep Themselves to Sleep
  • Wasting My Time
  • Blue Blood Blues
  • Ball & Biscuit
  • Seven Nation Army

Jack White with The Buzzardos & The Peacocks

  • Goodnight Irene (Leadbelly cover)

Jack White – I’m Shakin’