Every month, Glasgow based label and steadily growing titan of Scottish music GoldMold put on a gig at Bloc, these gigs are as free and they are good – extremely.
I love Bloc and it is a perfect venue for these gigs, but with groups being turned away at the door because it is so busy, a gig with as stellar and intense a line up as this may require a bigger dance hall.
The dance-floor is packed from the very first band, Grand Pricks – an elusive band that is better every time I see them.
Grand Pricks are good fun, their on-stage chemistry is enjoyable and they are no strangers to going bananas.
Their set tightens progressively as the show progresses – following a rocky start as described by drummer, Chris Smith.
By the end – in the full throes of their new songs – the music is fast, punctual and powerful; with each song’s difficult vocals being delivered with flawless consistency by vocalist Liam Allan.
Bassist Ben Mckay polishes off their set by fronting a weird and wonderful track, indicative of a whole other ballgame the band can play.
Second up is FRAUEN, whose first album is en route, and they capitalise well on the energy, FRAUEN take things from jolly frivolity to hard despair.
They are by no means an overly heavy or emotional band, but their punk-rock vibe is delivered with such nightmarish intensity, but at times the emotionally laden undercurrents of the music shine through.
Another band whose set grows ever tighter and more enjoyable as goes on, but they are done before you know it.
Polarnecks are a grungier outfit that are in studio with Grand Pricks at the moment recording a split EP on GoldMold with Lewis Glass.
Polarnecks present arguably the softest vocals despite some well placed screaming from frontman Lukas Clasen.
They have a distinctly more gazey approach with slightly sparser music; combined these qualities work well for them and gives them a distinctive sound.
The older tracks have a distinct hook, their new tracks, from the upcoming split, are somewhat more dynamic and less formulaic, perhaps indicative of a new direction or tone.
I doubt that by the end of their set there are many patrons whose appetites for this new EP are not whetted.
Last, The Sinking Feeling – the hardest-core of the night’s acts – and despite some initial clashing amongst the vocals, the full dance-floor is subjected to a very strong performance from some extremely passionate, well-attuned and technically gifted musicians.
The Sinking Feeling seems to involve three similarly minded individuals, the connection between whom comes across in their work.
After the set co-frontman Kenni Campbell reveals that he isn’t especially pleased with how the set went, since his hands were all but mush after playing with FRAUEN.
Any impediments caused by this mangling of hands is not apparent to me.
Two things that each of this gigs acts have in common is that they all finish stronger than they start, and they all make three musicians sound like five.
Each band has one guitar, one bass guitar and one set of drums and – between them – they push the dynamics of these instruments nice and far.
The night itself is better than each of the individual bands sets; excitement, community and friendliness prevail.
The greatest thing about it is that each of the acts is as excited to see the other bands as they are to play, and they are right to be so.
As Innes Nolan – drummer for Polarnecks and GoldMold mainstay Lovely Ladies – puts it, “rock and roll won”.
There is a palpable sense of community at these gigs; it is easy to make good friends here; you should come next time.
Feebruary 15th will see a joint birthday bash for the head honcho’s of GoldMold and the distinctly weirder and more electronic Crater Cove, headed by Lovely Ladies guitarist Cameron Orr.
Although the line up hasn’t been announced yet, I’m certain you could do considerably worse for free on a Thursday night; I will Hopefully see you there!
Words: Paul Aitken