Today, the Tenement TV team go from the very white living room in front of a camera to some very colourful live venues in front of hundreds of music fans, this is the second Tenement Trail festival encapsulating five of Glasgow’s most popular venues, and over 30 of Scotland’s most promising acts.
We begin in the early afternoon in Sleazy’s with The Rockalls and the Glasgow six-piece seem excited to be here, although early, a decent enough crowd has gathered and a few are at the front hoist up rabble rousing frontman Dominic Orr.
‘Sad Clown’ is the first song of the day, which features a call and response chorus between Orr and bassist Ross Wood, while the garage punk band’s set highlight comes in the from of a cover of Kraftwerk’s ‘Model’, although it’s a bit too early for the moshpits the band are inciting.
Next up are Dundee’s huge sounding Vladimir who blow you away with their post punk sound, their songs flow into each other as they play an assured and dreamy set and just as we’re leaving we hear another familiar electronic hit, this time a cover of Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’, an extremely well executed and original cover from a band with bags of potential.
Back in Sleazy’s Deathcats open with ‘Solid’, track one from debut album All Hail Deathcats, and starting from a small crowd the venue quickly fills up and is almost full by the end of second track ‘Dreamz’.
Singer James McGarragle is in wild form, swigging Buckfast while talking between songs about subjects as diverse as Annie Lennox and long-distance Skype sex, with no electro cover in sight, the three-piece’s lo-fi punk sound is great fun and while the set sits on the edge of chaos at many points, it works like a dream for the Glasgow trio.
Over at Flat 0/1 for the first time today and another Dundee band, Blood Indians, are taking to the stage, having never been a fan of the retro-styled Flat 0/1 as a live music venue, it isn’t a surprise that it takes a while for the sound engineer to get a sound deserved of the band’s intricate, but often reserved sound, however, those issues aside, lead vocalist’s Joanne Forbes and Rowan Wright’s harmonies are most definitely on point and the overall performance at times leaves you thinking of a female fronted Frightened Rabbit.
After a walk back up to Sauchiehall Street, it’s time for Scary People down in the Sleazy’s basement, our third Dundee band of the day.
Walking onstage to a barrage of atmospheric music, the band seem to hop from genre to genre getting a decent reaction from the crowd, with ‘(It’s Never Calm) On The Western Front’ a good example of this.
One of the most hyped acts of the day, Roxy Agogo are about to play their first show and their frontman announces “this is Roxy Agogo” on a few occasions, the online campaign preceding the launch of this act has been steeped in mystery, with no names named and only three songs (which are all played this evening) released via Soundcloud.
Sleazy’s is at capacity, full of intrigued music fans and the band don’t disappoint with some huge sounding, at times psychedelic-tinged tunes, the act’s 20-minute set is definitely a sign that bigger things are coming for this now slightly less mysterious act.
Our first and only trip to the ABC2 is for psychedelic blues rockers Tijuana Bibles who fire straight in to fantastic recent single ‘Crucifixion’, and frontman Tony Costello rattles his tambourine to near death before they launch into the single’s B-side, ‘Toledo’.
The band play much last year’s Wild River EP, as the audience lap up their bluesy riffs as Tijuana Bibles play a fantastic half-hour of what is some of the best music heard all day, putting on an extremely professional, tight performance, deserving of the rapturous applause at the end.
Cherri Fosphate are our first visit King Tut’s and, before opener ‘Neighbour’, frontman Jonny Sharpe jokes about the crowd having to walk fairly far to get here, this might not be far from the truth as although it later fills up a little bit, there are far less people than any other of the sets seen today, still, the band don’t let this get them down, and play an excellent set of archetypal 21st Century indie rock music, much of which will appear on their upcoming debut album.
Making a quick jaunt up to Flat 0/1 to catch The Velveteen Saints, we arrive just in time for opener ‘Die Alone’ and the four-piece deliver an assured set of pure rock ’n’ roll.
Having toured huge amounts with a high-calibre of artist, the Glasgow quartet know how to work their huge Flat 0/1 audience, in their last gig before they release excellent debut single, ‘Postcard’s From Rome’.
Our final act of the night is indie folk outfit Randolph’s Leap, often a solo venture for lead songwriter, guitarist and singer Adam Ross King Tut’s tonight is treated to the full eight-piece band.
Catching the last half of their set, Ross jokes about how Tut’s is only ever given its full “Wah Wah Hut” name these days by older generations, which is a clever and (from my experience) true statement.
‘I Can’t Dance To This Music Anymore’ is ironically the last song of our Tenement Trail, but sadly Scotrail have dictated that we’re unable to dance any longer.
The Tenement Trail has been a real success, highlighting a togetherness of the music scene in Glasgow (and beyond), as well as showing the truly high standard of artists that exist in the Scottish music scene.
If there was any doubt in the minds of the Tenement TV team about making the Tenement Trail an annual event, there won’t be now after the roaring success of this year’s event.
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Words: Neil Hayton
Photos: Bill Gray