Live review: John Knox Sex Club at Sleazy’s, 8/8/13

JKSC-tempReturning to Sleazy’s, after a few months hiatus, John Knox Sex Club show they certainly haven’t lost any of their fervour.

It’s evident from the opening that this is not a gig to be taken lightly.


While many bands ‘perform’ on the stage, JKSC are indubitably undisguised, they play with a cathartic honesty that makes it feel more than a gig; it’s an experience.

Each song delivered with intensity that no other Glasgow based band can dare imagine, let alone match.

‘Minotaur’ starts proceedings off with a bang and JKSC do not disappoint, showing the crowd what they had been missing.

The band had prepared a setlist but is prepared to deviate for fan requests – “as long as it matches what we have on the sheet”.

The songs, as always, are intense, filled with cutting lyrics and dark humour.

Sleazy’s is where they really come to life, frontman Sean Cumming’s delivery ranges from maniacal prophet to seductive whisper in seconds, leaving the audience on an ecstatic knife-edge, not really knowing what is coming next.

Rory Anderson and Liam O’Shea’s guitars are frantic, energetic, quiet, controlled and uncaged all at the same time.

It says a lot about the musicianship of the band that roles can be swapped effortlessly, whether guitar, bass, drums or violin is leading.

Emer Tumilty’s violin is worth the entrance alone, providing a sombre conscience and melodic soul that contrasts with the frenetic rhythm section and guitars.
Playing for an hour and thirty minutes, JKSC cram in as many songs as they can muster; ‘Kiss The Dirt’ and ‘Run,, Run’ being massive crowd favourites.

‘The Thaw’ however, brings the house down with Cumming screaming from the crowd “the grass grows beneath the ice and snow” while administering heartfelt hugs.

Some people may mistake the sombre music and negate the lyrics that are filled with ambition and hope.

JKSC have an ability to write blackened witty songs that do leave you a yearning for a better tomorrow.
If you haven’t seen them yet, you simply must, these guys are a live act that continue to grow organically into a strong ensemble.

Words: Andrew Melrose


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