It’s clear that The Wee Chill has pushed the boat out for their 10th birthday celebrations; a line up packed with the latest hyped bands circulating around Glasgow along with old heroes of the scene, all congregating in a well-suited venue.
It is rather surprising how busy the night is so early on; I was sceptical that I could last from half past six until quarter to one in the morning, but perhaps I just need to work on my party stamina.
First to grace the smaller stage (The Poetry Club) is Clair Tierney, an introverted folk performer with a fluttering, pleasant voice and gentle guitar melodies.
Songs such as ‘Mr. D’Arcy’ show an aptitude for storytelling with a nod to traditional folk music and while her set is nice it is a little uninspired.
Sarah Hayes‘ music is not what you’d expect, somewhat far removed from the bright and poppy folk songs of Admiral Fallow, she sings a number of old sea shanties and folk stories accompanied by complex and graceful piano melodies.
The set is a great display of Hayes’ crystalline vocals and an interesting take on traditional British music.
Next are the brilliant Prides, for all the hype they have received over the past few months (lauded by CHVRCHES, managed by Ally McCrae, and so on), I had yet to hear more than one song from them, therefore I was a little dubious that the rest of the songs would hold up.
What’s more, I struggled to imagine how they would recreate the sound on the record live with just three members, however only one song in and my doubts are proven unfounded.
Each song is a carefully crafted electro-pop nonpareil, complete with emotive, catchy choruses and a near constant tribal pounding of tom drums.
Fake Major, formed from the remnants of Glasgow band Endor, take off from where they left, with beautiful dual harmonies and brightly honed folk-pop writing talent.
Songs like ‘Young Explorer’ resonate well with the growing crowd inside the tiny venue, and the absolutely gorgeous ‘Chapel Doors’ gives a nod to their previous band.
Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire are the first band I catch in The Warehouse in and with at least seven members onstage (there might have been another lurking in the shadows) the sound has grown stadium-sized, which is just as well seeing as they support The Proclaimers at the Hydro later this year.
‘Ghost of Love’ is an emotive, slow burning pop song with echoes of Arcade Fire and Springsteen at his best, which can only be a good sign of what’s to come from their eponymous album, due out in September.
I managed to catch the end of Aidan Moffat‘s set downstairs at The Poetry Club, apt for his spoken-word performance.
Moffat’s ability to capture an audience purely with his words is somewhat unparalleled in the Scottish music scene and his set does not disappoint, with a warm reception from the packed audience.
Next upstairs is James Yorkston with Sparrow and the Workshop, as a fan of Sparrow and the Workshop, anticipation for this collaboration was high, however after half an hour, it seems like the set has somewhat halted the momentum of the evening; although the songs are harmonious and well-crafted, they seem to pack little punch.
Feeling somewhat deflated, I stayed to watch Glasgow’s Three Blind Wolves, with their debut album, Sing Hallelujah for the Old Machine, just released, they deliver a rousing set which manages to convince me that the £18 for the night was well worth it.
Ross Clark’s confidence as a frontman has grown rapidly and he manages to control the stage well while delivering an emotionally charged performance of the songs.
The Wee Chill is definitely on the cards for next year.
Words: Calum Stewart
Photos: Ronnie Poffley