As I descend The Hug and Pint’s staircase the volume from the basement starts to rise, Kaspar Hauser is tonight’s opening act and both them and other local act Current Affairs seem to make a huge impression on tonight’s headliner.
Kaspar Hauser is a powerful force live, the trio snarl through a set of industrial post punk, driven by a precision chaos of drums, pounding basslines and unnerving guitar lines.
Changes in vocals from Josh’s almost chanted, effected delivery to Anne’s gritty, haunting tones throw an extra dimension into the trio’s sound as tracks creep up to overwhelm without you noticing; in the right setting this could really get a dance floor moving.
Current Affairs carry a more pop feel, but come with a real Bauhaus sparseness that creates a powerful impression seemingly from nowhere, pounded rhythms power them forward as effects slice through their set allowing Joan’s clear on point vocals to shine through.
The four-piece use a lot of shrill sounds that mix wonderfully well the well battered drums and the as soulful as punk gets vocals, which are for the most part undecipherable, but you’re left not caring, such in the strength in tone and range, as angelic yelps switch to deep soulful blasts.
On their debut full length D.C.’s Priests had a real complexity and fullness to their sound that incorporated elements of funk and jazz into a fiery punk sound that created one of the most exciting records this year, live they boil this down to a sparky basement punk show that never lets the intensity of the record drop, and more than makes up for the lack of the more complex elements.
Katie Alice Greer’s presence throughout the set is captivating as she expels as much politically charged energy as she does clarity in a sound that takes the best of garage punk and thumps it squarely in your face, as she gets right in the crowd grills, while remaining a flamboyant front for the band.
Between songs there’s an endearing politeness to the band too, an enthusiastic Glasgow crowd’s mixed up knowledge of US presidents is met with a shrug from a band that know where they are, not expecting the same knowledge of American politics as they clearly have.
Tonight is a set that the perfect punk ball of fury in the perfect venue for it, hopefully we get a chance to experience it again soon.
Words: Iain Dawson