The Growlers, Catholic Action at CCA, 2/5/15

By the time Catholic Action take the stage the CCA is beginning to fill up and the crowd seem restless.

The band open with a bang by launching into the stomping ‘L.U.V’ and the crowd appear instantly hooked.


Catholic Action has begun to create a buzz around Glasgow in recent months and it becomes obvious at gigs like this, when you can hear people talking about tracks by name or singing along.

Many of the band’s songs tread the line between Pavement’s more melodic work, Thin Lizzy’s harmonious guitar output and Franz Ferdinand’s knack for controlling a dancefloor.

Some of the slower, longer pieces seem to make the crowd a little restless however they more than make up for it before leaving the stage.

The Growlers emerge as twisted cabaret plays and the band come to life with an air of cool about them, enviable to bands playing far larger stages and selling far more tickets.

‘Big Toe’ is the first track that gets the crowd visibly invested; the creeping guitar lines frame the pounding rhythm section sublimely.

Throughout the night it seems to be the newer material that causes the crowd to get most excited, more than likely because of the critical praise the album garnered.

The band do play a wide selection of their work though mixing in old favourites such as ‘Acid Rain’, ‘Derka Blues’ and ‘Sea Lion Goth Blues’; leaving die-hard fans suitably satisfied.

The band embraces the slacker rock archetype, but they never seem to rely on it as much as some of their contemporaries do, they instead mix it with a suitable seasoning of country and surf influenced pieces.

‘Good Advice’ becomes one of the highlights of the night as the crowd scream the lyrics back at the band.

There are points when it feels as if the whole performance is going to go off the rails, but the band use this, the breakneck drumming and the blistering guitar solo to instead astonish the crowd rather than disappoint.

The band leave stage after a few more songs allowing ‘Love Test’s extended outro to serve as a platform to thank the crowd for coming.

As is normal in Glasgow, especially when a band of this calibre come to town they are not allowed to leave without an encore.

The band play a bombastic version of ‘Humdrum Blues’, which sounds suitably faster than it appears on record, however this just serves the song even more making for another highlight of the night.

The band close out their encore with the title track from their recent release, the disco influenced groove gets most of the crowd dancing and once again singing along.

Once again the band thanks the crowd for coming, praise the city and then leave.

While the band’s last appearance in the city was also brilliant it’s nicer to see them appearing in larger venues and to bigger crowds where they have ample room to entertain.

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Words: Phil Allen
Photos: Daphne Michalaki


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