“Bear with me”, frontman of Brighton quartet Golding tells a busying Sunday night crowd at Stereo, having blown two strings on his guitar, the frontman is understandably more cautious with its replacement as the band launch into a cover of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’.
Golding have confidence and charisma galore, the swagger of their frontman being balanced out by the general air of serenity surrounding the rhythm guitarist, who seems to have left his shoes at home, clad in rainbow coloured attire.
In spite of a distinctly laid back musical style, the band are energetic and clearly having a good time, something which the crowd appreciates, warmly receiving them throughout.
Kid Wave is an altogether different affair, boasting a gender-balanced line up of a female singer, a female drummer, male guitarist and bassist.
Playing their first Scottish gig, the four-piece don’t draw quite the same reaction from the crowd, but still manage to keep heads nodding and feet tapping with their chord driven sound.
By the time The Orwells take to the stage, the venue is near capacity, lead guitarist Dominic Corso takes responsibility for the crowd, giving a brief “hello Glasgow”, before the band demonstrate why the likes of David Letterman have seen fit to give them precious Late Night airtime.
With their short, sharp, Ramones-esque sound, it takes a mere two songs for the crowd to really get going.
Amid the cacophony of noise and chaos, frontman Mario Cuomo stands utterly still, staring out the crowd.
With the microphone chord draped around his neck, Cuomo hardly moves other than to push his hair from his face from time to time, it’s a captivating sight, caught somewhere between dreadfully boring and utterly transfixing.
The band pause after a handful of testosterone driven, in-your-face songs, allowing Corso to once again speak to the crowd: “Sunday night, ain’t it a fuckin’ drag? Y’all helpin’ though” he tells, to rapturous applause.
Turning away from the microphone, he counts the group in for the next song, the majority of the band begins in unison, however drummer Henry Brinner miss-starts, causing The Orwells to come to an abrupt and confused halt.
The crowd laugh and cheer this error, bringing a wry smile to Cuomo’s face, the first expression of emotion of the entire evening, “new one”, Corso looks up from his guitar to explain.
As the set progresses, the crowd grow more and more aggressive, starting a mosh pit and a number of fights.
The band feed off this energy, bringing a totally unexpected stage dive from Cuomo during ‘In My Bed’, almost catching the spectators below by surprise.
The band exits to the baying cries of “one more tune!” from an insatiable audience, but they are not gone for long, returning with a bottle of beer in hand, frontman Cuomo proceeds to soak the front rows of the audience before swigging from the dregs.
“Here comes the money maker!” bellows Corso, as The Orwells end with their most successful song to date, ‘Who Needs You’.
After an intense forty-five minutes, The Orwells leave the stage for the final time, justifying the critical acclaim and attention they have received of late.
Stereo has surely said its last farewell to The Orwells, who are bound for bigger venues and better things to come.
Words: David Graham
Photos: Arpad Horvath