As the venue approaches its first birthday, it’s hard to argue that Synergy, who are in charge of booking at The Hug and Pint, hasn’t been killing it.
The former Roxy has become an essential part of Glasgow’s live music scene welcoming great acts from the American and European underground as well as a whole host of local heroes to the stage.
Tonight’s headliners are most definitely from the latter camp.
Now a handful of years into their career making post-rock pop” the foursome have a new record forthcoming, but this evening seems like more of an attempt to ease back into playing live after a six month break.
With plenty of their friends in attendance, the basement venue is predictably warm.
Borrowing a snare borrowed from noisy support act Jutland Songs, Campfires in Winter take to the stage at around 9pm to deliver a short set of good natured alt rock.
With their bushy beards and the ubiquitous Taylor Swift Goo t-shirt, the group pretty much fulfil all the stereotypes that outsiders have come to associate with the Glasgow indie scene, but despite their bucolic moniker, Campfires in Winter trade in punchy guitar rock, most impressively on the explosive ‘White Lights’ and the searing ‘We’ll Exist’, which channels the winding proggy riffs of early Biffy Clyro.
Wielding both a Fender Telecaster and a Jaguar, they’re a good bit louder than many of their contemporaries, capable of blowing up their songs in gigantic, shoegaze-y endings reminiscent of Frightened Rabbit’s more anthemic moments.
As a group they’re good natured, bantering with the crowd and asking for beers in a sippy cup to prevent the bass player spilling it everywhere.
With minimal fanfare the quartet treat the crowd to one new song ‘Free Me From the Howl’, but this show seems more about brushing off the cobwebs than a concerted attempt to push new material.
‘With a Ragged Diamond’ sounds like Nick Drake blasting into the stratosphere with Sigur Ros before the band expose their proggy tendencies once more with a roaring wall of noise that builds into an epic climax.
The campfire is still burning, pay them a visit.
Words: Max Sefton