Category Archives: live review

The Magic Gang, Our Girl, Boy Azooga at Tut’s, 25/3/18

I should have known when I arrived on St. Vincent Street and saw the long queue formed outside that tonight’s sold our gig at Tut’s would be something special.

We were here for the self-titled debut album launch from Brighton’s The Magic Gang.

After a long hard winter this gig heralded in British Summer Time and the three acts on the bill all do their bit to bring on the sunshine.

Cardiff rockers Boy Azooga get things underway with their eclectic blend of influences from the 80s/90s.

Vibes of disco, new wave and even some surf vocals are all thrown in for good measure.

The four-piece rattle through a 30-minute set of crowd pleasers with catchy choruses and pounding beats from a tight rhythm section.

They open with ‘Taxi To Your Head’, which effortlessly Segway’s into ‘Tambourine’.

‘Go Out Raise the Dead’ features four on the floor pounding drums and infectious guitar riffs before they morph themselves into a 90s-synth pop act for ‘Face Behind the Cigarette’ with a keyboard intro and disco beat to match the best of them.

They even bring a Big Country air to proceedings on ‘Full House’ with its chanting chorus, handclaps, and time signature changes.

Undoubtedly a talented bunch with maybe just one too many influences for their own good.

Next up from Brighton is Our Girl, a cool vibey power trio from the Sussex town that’s spawning so many great new bands these days, such as Dream Wife and Tigercub.

They get things off and running with the autobiographical ‘Our Girl’ featuring deep floaty vocals from lead singer Soph Nathan and Dave Grohl power beats from drummer Lauren Wilson.

These guys make a big noise for a three-piece and excel at that quiet/loud dynamic that Nirvana did without ever losing any intensity or pace.

This group of musicians excel at taking a riff on a twisting, turning adventure of a song.

Their closing number shows them at their mighty best as they pose and pout for a sell-out Tut’s playing the ballsy ‘Boring’, which has echoes of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’.

Their garage rock ’n roll attitude and big stage presence makes them easy on the eyes and ears.

These were two great support bands but there is no real doubt who are all here to see tonight.

Over the years Tut’s has played host to many expectant audiences and ‘next best things’ and with The Magic Gang’s album already #12 in the UK charts they are riding high with their blend of catchy tunes, sing a long lyrics and preppy good looks.

It’s really no surprise that they sell out Tut’s to an adoring, mainly adolescent audience.

From the moment drummer Paeris Giles entered the stage and sits behind his vintage Ludwig drum set and starts laying down those infectious beats he has the place literally jumping.

For a band who’ve just released their debut album, I’ve never seen an audience who could effortlessly sing every word of every song at the top of their voices; at times, I swear the sound of the audience singing was louder than the band.

A track from the album, ‘Caroline’ sounds a bit heavier than the rest but is still full of those hooky vocals and rock-solid rhythm section.

These are festival friendly songs that sound like old friends on the first hearing.

“Glasgow, you are so fucking sick” they look genuinely taken aback by the welcome they receive in this wonderful old room tonight.

After a long cold winter when The Magic Gang hit the stage it really does feel like summer has finally arrived.

‘Feeling Better’, from their first EP, with its shuffle feel slows things down just a notch or two.

“Please help me sing this one if you know the words” implores frontman Jack Kaye and of course there’s not one person in the room that doesn’t know the words; except me.

Don’t worry if you missed them because you’ll be seeing them at festivals all summer long.

They finish up with ‘Take Care’, a piano led ballad with an 80s feel and a 10cc style middle eight with sickly layers of wonderful sugary vocals.

In fact, all that’s really missing from Tut’s tonight is a mirror ball.

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Words/Photos: Allan Lewis

Young Fathers at Barrowlands, 24/3/18

Hailing from Edinburgh, Young Fathers have made a name for themselves as something of a sharp implement tracing similar lines laid out by electronic stalwarts Massive Attack and Maya Jane Coles.

Having recently provided six tracks in total for the recent Danny Boyle sequel, Trainspotting 2, including a track specifically written for the film, Young Fathers are fast becoming a firm favourite for those with an ear for the more complex and nuanced side of modern electronic music.

Tonight’s sold-out performance is energetic, with a fluid movement pulsating from the stage and into the crowd.

The set is a journey through everything Young Fathers have brought to bear so far, with songs from their latest record, Cocoa Sugar, alongside material from their healthy back catalogue into the second half.

The development of the trio is clear for all to see and the inherent confidence that comes with it shows more than ever in their more experimental approach in this latest release.

Their physicality on stage is entrancing and goes a long way to strengthen a truly special live experience.

This, in conjunction with their penchant for finishing songs in double time, taking a grind into a dance break made sure the audience never gets lost in the slower pieces.

For me, the big take-away from this gig is most certainly the vitality brought to the stage by the band and the skill with which they bring the audience along for the ride.

Set against a refreshingly visually understated stage and lighting set up, the focus is on the music, but all the elements line up perfectly to make for a memorable and exciting experience that I’ll hope to see again live soon.

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Words: Krist McKenna
Photos: Stewart Fullerton

Catholic Action and Friends Takeover at Tut’s, 24/3/18

Tonight looks a fantastic evening filled with lots of great new up and coming bands, both the bar and the venue spaces of King Tut’s are used all night to bring the audience eight bands in total.

Kicking off the night is Herbert Powell with punchy songs and big guitar sounds; the audience start to trickle in in dribs and drabs as the band play out their set.

The sound this band had is quite unique at times, which makes them very interesting and helped them stand out from the numerous other artists on the bill, along with an energetic frontman who gives a brilliant performance.

The audience usher themselves down stairs to catch Ewan Cruickshanks (Crooky) who plays a nice set of soft rock song as the bar starts to get very busy with more people coming out.

Next up is dream pop band Life Model with their lovely well-structured songs; their set is lots of fun and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

The band look to have an amazing time on stage dancing about and showing themselves to be a band with real chemistry and the lead singers vocals were stunning.

West Princes took to the bar stage next, they’re a great lively fun band who really got everyone moving about and enjoying themselves.

They filled the small stage with an energetic upbeat set; this band is a fantastic band with amazing dynamics and a fantastic grasp on song writing.

Shredd are next up and with their fiery energy they explode on to the stage with an amazing set that the crowd really loved.

They have an amazing vibe about them and bring to the stage a massive full on sound with their relentless guitars and drums.

By the time The Bellybuttons and ST.MARTiiNs take to the stage the crowd are full psyched.

Both bands gave an incredible performance with ST.MARTiiNs warming up the main stage for Catholic Action.

They are a highly charismatic band with a sensational vibe to them and are clearly masters at what they do.

The dynamics and song structures throughout are astounding and they have the audience eating out the palm of their hands the entire set.

It is fast paced and high energy and absolutely epic.

‘Black and White’, from their debut album In Memory Of, goes down an absolute storm with the audience who are joining in and having a great time.

We are also treated to some new music with the promise of a second album in the works.

Lead singer, Chris McCrory gives an incredible vocal performance, while maintaining his witty lines between songs.

On a whole, the gig and all the bands were incredible and showed how versatile and fresh Glasgow’s music scene is.

Singing along to the songs, the audience are given a night to remember by Catholic Action and all their friends who perform too.

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Words: Shannon Cullen
Photos: Brendan Waters

Field Music at Saint Lukes, 17/3/18

“I’m the mini beast from the North East” jokes frontman Peter Brewis to a packed-out Saint Luke’s, it might be snowing outside but a faithful crowd have gathered diligently in front the alter (literally) to witness their idols.

With seven studio albums under their belt and a back catalogue that dates to early 2000, Field Music have amassed a dedicated fanbase made of sturdier stuff that won’t be deterred by inclement weather.

The band is currently touring their latest album, Open Here, across the country and have conveniently landed in Glasgow on St. Patrick’s Day.

Playing a venue situated across the road from the Irish pubs that line the Gallowgate, none the less… “thank you for coming here tonight, especially when there is so much on in Glasgow, especially when it’s St. Patrick’s Day and you are in this part of the town…” witticisms aplenty from David Brewis set the tone for the evening.

The two brothers have been tinkering with the quintessential Field Music sound, it’s more layered, less indie-guitar pop and more art-jazz maelstrom; it’s possibly the love child of David Byrne meets Michael Jackson; it’s less formulaic and freer spirited than their previous work.

So, what has been the catalyst for such a change? The brothers are now fathers and have drawn on the everyday experience of child rearing to imbue their new material with purpose, poise and shared vision, making it instantly relatable and endearing.

‘Time in Joy’ opens the set with Sarah Hayes of Admiral Fallow fame, almost hypnotising the crowd with a dream like flute arrangement; it’s a song that starts off with a vocal harmony reminiscent of ‘Hello, Goodbye’ of The Beatles, before quickly changing into a disco stomper.

Next track sees the siblings swap places, with David coming out from behind the drum kit to play guitar and take the vocals on ‘Count It Up’; the song instantly sets toes tapping and the crowd begin a steady shoe shuffle of a dance.

With a super synth sound straight out of Talking Heads camp, a steady belch from the drums and a highly satirised look at privilege it’s easily one of the most momentous tracks of the evening.

There is much chatter between the band and the crowd, which makes the band seem genuinely at ease and happy to be on the road; sharing anecdotes and side remarks between songs goes far to warm hearts on a frost-bitten eve such as this.

They are a band who are down to earth and a far cry from the style conscious art pop of their music, literally wearing their influences on their sleeves – or in this case on their t-shirts (David is wearing a Police t-shirt).

‘Let’s Write a Book’ from 2010’s Measure is an angular post-punk riot, the stomping bass and pounding synth sound like a drunk Godzilla moonwalking through lower Manhattan – possibly with a fruity rum punch in hand.

This is not the only visit to older material, ‘Just Like Everyone Else’ is given a new lease of life with Liz Corney on keys and vocals, lending the tune a more dreamlike outlook, with its calypso guitars and sweetheart lyrics.

‘A House is not a Home’ and ‘Them That Do Nothing’ also get an airing.

‘No King No Princess’ is introduced by David, who explains that it is about his 18-month-old daughter and how he wants her to grow up and be herself and not be swayed by societal gender tropes; it’s at once beautiful and relevant and delivered with a wry appraisal of modern life.

‘It’s Not the Only Way to Feel Happy’ is admittedly a bit of a wild card to close the set with, but it’s an oldie and the crowd seemingly enjoy reminiscing, leaving them with a warm glow in their hearts to battle the chill in the air outside.

Words/Photos: Ang Canavan

Pelts, Mitchell Museum, Kevin P. Gilday & The Glasgow Cross at The Glad Café, 23/2/18

All six members of alternative rockers Pelts are pressed together a little snugly on the Glad’s modestly sized stage, giving the impression of a slightly awkward family photograph.

This evening, they launch their new double A-side single, ‘The Tingles/Less Than Three’.

Their full lineup – drums, bass, synthesisers, two (sometimes three) guitars, and two lead vocals – ensures that the layered lushness of their new recordings translates well into a live setting.

Pelts stand out from similar acts in their genre due to the sharp vocal interplay between the two lead singers: pleasingly, they don’t go in for two-part harmony overkill, but often sing the same lines along with one another, giving Pelts’ folky hooks a certain plaintiveness.

For me, the sparser moments have the most appeal, such as the opening verse of ‘Less Than Three’, in which both vocalists glide smoothly atop a softly picked acoustic guitar and gentle washes of keyboard noise.

Mitchell Museum, the first of two support acts this evening, are Glasgow stalwarts, having formed ten years ago and enjoyed a wave of fervent press attention for debut album The Peters Port Memorial Service.

They’ve certainly gone all out on aesthetics tonight, draping the stage in fairy lights (and not the cheap kind either).

While I certainly find their enthusiasm endearing, I can’t help thinking that their guitars-and-laptops, emo-inflected sound – more than a little derivative of The Postal Service – does date their overall offering to a very particular early-noughties moment in pop music, which hasn’t yet matured enough to be referenced so bluntly.

As a band who have been around a while and have had their fair share of success with that indietronica template over the past decade, it would be interesting to see Mitchell Museum evolve in future, taking their not insignificant melodic and instrumental talents in a more progressive direction.

First support of the evening comes from Kevin P. Gilday & The Glasgow Cross, the inaugural live outing for the celebrated spoken word artist and Ralph Hector, guitarist and synth wizard also of Pelts.

They shade the stage in considerably darker hues: Hector uses digital drums, samplers and pedals to whip up an ominous motorik squall reminiscent of The Fall’s 1990s output (à la Code: Selfish), while Gilday lets loose his famously caustic diatribes in a tone which manages to sound both entirely disinterested and deeply disgusted.

Lest anyone be put off from engaging on that count, Gilday’s disgust is aimed squarely at his own inadequacies and depravities as that quintessential cliché, the modern man, with wonderfully excoriating odes to rationalising alcoholism on ‘The Man Who Loved Beer’ and toxic masculinity on ‘Me, Masculine Me’.

Hector’s musical contribution, unexpectedly euphoric at points, adds an exciting new dimension to Gilday’s already well-established down-in-the-gutter narratives: keep your ears pricked up for what The Glasgow Cross have to offer next.

Words: Graham Gillespie

A Certain Ratio at Stereo, 17/2/18

A bitterly cold night in Glasgow begins with a lively fellow looking trashed but enthusisastic… and carries on in much the same vein.

Have I done something to you, mate? What’s the matter with you? I’m only singing the blues, man, nothing wrong with that“.

Indeed there isn’t: he may be sorely underdressed for the weather and liberally coated in his own lager but there is no doubt our reveller is fully committed to the joys of Glasgow bus travel.

Always an auspicious beginning to an evening and he may be giving off an air of menacing delirium and have the hue of someone not seen daylight in a good while… but that’s exactly the scenario that greets us from onstage at Stereo.

There’s no doubt about it, A Certain Ratio deliver an absolute barnstormer of a gig tonight.

In a way almost unique to this subterranean venue, their thunderously funky and dubby basslines shake the very alleyway outside: it’s at once slightly frightening but entirely excellent.

And all the while during a set that grooves the packed out venue to pieces and causes utter glee amongst the capacity crowd, you can’t help but notice that lead singer Jez Kerr looks like he went to the Hacienda in 1987 and is only just considering whether to call it a night: it’s the death-glow of the eternal dancer; and why not?

When the band are this tight, when songs like a truly stupendous ’27 Forever’ are this good, there really is no need to call a taxi just yet – even more so when the entire band look like they’re having such a blast.

A Certain Ratio have a sound that mixes disco, funk, house and dub with Mancunian grit; a potent and, now as then (they date back to 1977), rather individual blend.

There’s a true northern soul to the band: it’s made to make you dance, to feel joy, but there’s a slightly grim, rainy tinge to things; you want to shake your arse but you’ll always be aware the land of Lowry is just down the road.

The counterpoint to this are the gloriously soulful vocals provided by Denise Johnson: perhaps best known for work with Primal Scream, she gives a deep sheen and depth and a surprisingly healthy glow next to the funky gravediggers beside her.

Notably, the vocals are relatively sparse: even on raucously received crowd-pleasers like ‘Shack Up’, the words on top of the scratchy guitars are perfunctory in that new wave kind of way; chants and musical punctuation as much as anything.

That almost dour perfunctoriness is what stopped A Certain Ratio ever drifting into the more horrific realms of ’80s dance pop: the band may have ex-members who went on to form Swing Out Sister but that full, wine bar, tight white shorts carry on was and is kept at bay.

That said, the traditionally poorly written notes do at one point say, “Matt Bianco but not shit” – I blame the whistles and enthusiastic cowbells and maracas.

Luckily for them and us, lack of vitamin D and some seriously spacey synths keep any risky behaviour of the menu and the urge to order a new-fangled sauvignon blanc and start dressing like Curiosity Killed the Cat is averted.

Instead, everyone in the heaving venue gets to enjoy a seriously excellent evening: hard-hitting, heavy beats, massively basslines, shards of electronica and the odd growl thrown in – marvellous stuff and a real joy.

Highly recommended indeed if only to hear the outrageous groove, thump and terrifying strings of the aforementioned ’27 Forever’ – worth the price of admission alone.

A Certain Ratio seem rather remarkably to be right at the top of their game.

Words: Vosne Malconsorts

Club Decode presents Pink with Moonlight Zoo, Sahara, Real Life Entertainment at Sleazy’s, 15/3/18

Sauntering into the bowels of Nice n Sleazy the venue is decorated appropriately in pink, with the theme of blown up flamingos and balloons to make you feel like you are at a party rather than a live show.

Clever and organised individuals will jump at the opportunity to go to both shows for a money saving amount of £10 but my friend and I didn’t have the appropriate amount of brain cells to acknowledge this, so we paid the very fair amount of £6.

In through the door and Real Life Entertainment are already half way through their first song.

Perth by trade but in reality they could be from anywhere with the warm response they are always given no matter where they perform.

Playing a mixture of songs from their first EP, Here, and two new released songs, ‘Skeleton Party’ and ‘Stone Me’, Ross McCaw and Rick Michalski share the responsibilities of vocals well with Allan Carberry picking away at the melodies, throwing them out into the audience.

SAHARA are to follow and they certainly leave their footprint on the stage and imprint on everyone’s eardrums, if I could scry their future it would be one filled with certain success.

Slowly they have been getting picked up on all radars, starting out in Dundee and playing around Scotland, it still surprises me that they are still unsigned.

I saw them years ago and they very much had a Jake Bugg vibe to them, more of a blues drive but this evening they bring a far more psychedelic/ indie-rock style to their music and it works.

The headliners for the evening, Moonlight Zoo give the remaining audience everything they have.

With their band name in florescent lighting behind them they are the most engaging of the three bands and it is obvious why they are billed to be headliners.

While listening to them it is easy to hear comparisons of Indigo Velvet, Cassia and Dancing on Tables.

All of these bands share the common denominator that everyone can enjoy this genre of pop funk music, especially live.

Sharing impressive three part harmonies, Moonlight Zoo’s stand out track is ‘melting’.

Before you even noticed it had started the night has drawn to a close, Club Decode has pulled it off, their first night of good bands goes down a treat and it is a pleasure to listen to three bands bringing the best of Scottish live music outside of Glasgow into the centre.

Now for the second night to commence entitled ‘Glitter’.

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Words: Craig Carrington-Porter
Photos: Jake Gordon

Sean Nicholas Savage, Kelora at Glad Café, 7/3/18

Support band Kelora are creepily atmospheric, playing gothic lullabies at a somnambulant pace.

A repetitive drum machine ticks along like leaden footsteps up an old wooden staircase, their doomy songs wrapped in a thick fog of synthesizer and reverbed guitar.

The venue staff at the Glad appear to be under strict instruction to keep the trio bathed in blue light for the entire duration of their set.

But lest it all sound too dour, two of their members are dressed in shaggy onesies, making them look like pantomime extras having a cigarette break, while the third sports a jumpsuit and a sleepy expression – an air traffic controller on a particularly bad Monday morning.

The minimalism and ominous sense of space in Kelora’s music – somehow both agoraphobic and claustrophobic simultaneously – puts me in the mind of Young Marble Giants burning through the slower, organ-driven numbers on Colossal Youth.

There’s a wonderfully morbid theatricality to their performance, and the vocal hooks on tracks like ‘999’ and ‘BOY’ nestle deep in the eardrums for some time after Kelora depart the stage.

I saw Sean Nicholas Savage a few years ago, when he toured with a backing band.

At that show, he delivered his hazy, retrofuturistic soul music a little stiltedly, chained to a keyboard, but at the Glad Café tonight, I quickly realise there are to be no such frills.

Savage plugs his phone into a jack at the corner of an otherwise empty stage, and as the first of his backing tracks begins to play, the long-legged, Hawaiian-shirted balladeer starts swaying like a drunken palm tree, crooning in a beautifully, ridiculously high falsetto.

The Glad becomes a karaoke booth in some weird border town; the audience witnesses to Savage, as if drunk on tequila and heartbreak, pining for a lost future.

It’s all very surreal, but importantly, he isn’t trying too hard to be ironic – for the duration of the set, he seems to completely immersed in his own weird world.

Like Lewis on the ‘lost eighties’ album L’amour, Savage has mastered the vocal inflections and sonic mannerisms of a particular era of production; that of shimmering, synthesiser-driven blue-eyed soul.

Once I realise that it’s like watching Steve Buscemi at Club Silencio, I can’t get rid of the image.

Penultimate track ‘Other Life’ gets a strong reception from a crowd who, having warmed up to Savage’s initially bewildering dance moves, are now in full groove.

After the show, he chats with enthusiastic fans as he mans the merch table, approachable and with a smile.

His clearly personable nature is the cherry on the top of a brilliantly strange evening.

Words: Graham Gillespie

Fieldhead, Kinbrae at Glad Café 25/2/18

The cosy, chai-wafting interiors of the Glad Café are just what’s needed on one of the coldest days of the year so far, but tonight’s gig isn’t here to offer comfort so much as recalibrate your sense of time, space and perception.

First to the stage are brothers Andy and Mike Truscott of Kinbrae, who conjure the atmospheric Isle of Coll with a selection of mesmerising cuts from 2016’s Tidal Patterns: a record that mixes local field recordings with mellow brass and careful instrumental arrangement.

In a live setting, this comprises a relatively elaborate synth set-up, coupled with sensitive trumpet motifs which lend immediacy to a performance which by its very nature yearns for landscapes beyond this darkened room.

Respectfully, the audience leave a wide semicircle of space before the stage, as if afraid of interfering with the smooth transfusion of sounds at work.

There’s an environmental subtlety to Kinbrae’s work that recalls Jon Hopkins, or Björk in the glimmering, reflective Vespertine.

Tidelines are suggested by curves of quietly resounding chords, while stretches of ambient textures and attentive music concrète come to climax with spiralling, euphoric brass riffs.

The whole effect is one of genuine rapture: tonight’s crowd are clearly here to surrender to the intricacies of the music, and not a word is spoken from anyone during the set, as we’re held so close on the same plane of reverie.

Tracks like ‘Constellations’ twinkle with layered chords, then build under elegant notes of brass and soft percussive beats.

The mood oscillates between passages tinged with melancholy tranquillity and moments of crescendo and cathartic release.

In the short pause between sets, I have time to check the solidity of the concrete floor where I’m sitting, to reassure myself of the present by flipping open the light of my phone screen.

For a while, we all were drifting.

It’s a pleasant kind of drifting, like being sailed north west to an island that flickers in and out of focus, dependent on weather; there’s a sense that Kinbrae’s music tunes into that weather, deftly picking up notes from the sea and the sky and the wind.

Fieldhead continue on a similar trajectory, but their set has a pulse and imperative to it that is absent in Kinbrae’s more serene, pensive aesthetic.

If Kinbrae explore the details of locality, landmarks and sketches of sand under sunset, Fieldhead take a more intense, stylised approach in their panoramas of sound.

Where previous Fieldhead records share more of Kinbrae’s ambient, neo-bucolic leanings, 2017’s We’ve All Been Swimming indicates a metropolitan turn to something darker, more cluttered and tinged with apocalypse—and this is the general direction of tonight’s gig, which draws heavily from Fieldhead’s most recent album.

Where Kinbrae’s set is performed as one seamless transition, Fieldhead take a pause to retune between tracks, allowing the audience time to digest their compacted, urgent and dramatic arrangements.

Throughout, Paul Elam’s throbbing synths are effortlessly patterned in labyrinthine formations, sinuously tracking their way through moments of anxious pause and full-blown techno-euphoria, all the while woven with icy strains of violin.

Although performed as individual tracks, this feels less like a set than a unified suite, guiding us through shape-shifting arpeggios and Colin Stetson-esque shivers of warbling emotion that artfully blend the organic and machinic.

Merging eccentric rhythms with more fluid beats, Fieldhead recall the dancefloor hauntology of Pye Corner Audio, while attuning to sonic geographies in the sprawling, cinematic manner of Boards of Canada or the shuddering Anthropocene beats of Loscil.

It’s clear both Kinbrae and Fieldhead are testing the edges between sound and environment, challenging listeners to pay attention to the world around us—beautiful and sometimes degraded—in ways both subtle and striking.

While Kinbrae encourage a more passive, absorbing and observant mode of listening, one that slows us down to notice the nuance of specific locality, Fieldhead channel the affective ruptures and surges of everyday life under late capitalism—blurring distinctions between rural peace and urban trauma—with every note sparking an anxiety that feels both climatic and climactic.


Words: Maria Sledmere

NIEVES (album launch), The Youth and Young at The Hug and Pint, 24/2/18

Folk rock band The Youth and Young put a lot of energy and emotion in to their performance.

Supporting NIEVES at The Hug and Pint for their debut album launch they are all about big voices and harmonies.

Tightly packed on the stage singing songs of relationships, passion and feelings their intensity was infectious; The Youth and Young produce ballads of gentle folk rock with no hiding of their Scottish origins in the vocals, however their songs are not typically Scottish and have a more eclectic feel.

NIEVES have been hard at it producing their excellent debut album, Exist and Expire, for the past few months and by their own words a bigger and more elaborate sound has developed.

Having their origins in folk rock they are now a full-blown alt rock band in the best traditions of Scottish rock, up there with Frightened Rabbit, Admiral fallow and Fatherson.

It’s clear the guys have been working hard to develop their sound with Brendan Dafters taking up synthesiser as well as vocals and acoustic guitar, Martin Murray dancing manically playing the electric guitar, Herre de Leur on the keys and Ross Forsyth driving it all along with his dynamic drumming.

What is a top-level album was reproduced live with aplomb with a faultless performance full of highlights – the excellent title track ‘Exist and Expire’, ’Don’t Let Us Be Next’, ’Strangers Are Just People You Don’t Hate Yet’ in fact every song, including the encore ‘Winter’ a beefed up, lavish and more sophisticated version of the 2014 release.

Dafters takes great pleasure in allowing the sing along vocals of the audience to take over in this encore.

NIEVES deliver, and their more expansive, bigger sound, powerful vocals and captivating choruses take them to another level; this year will surely see them move in to the Scottish music elite.

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Words/Photos: Derek McCutcheon