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scribe north of the border David Wilson set himself the task
of taking in as many gigs as humanly possible over a seven day period,
when the best alternative music was showcased across the city of Glasgow...
Rock n Roll Damnation, surely a good life goal for anyone. It is also
some thing that can be found for a week in August in Glasgow with bands
playing a series of gigs every night in various venues across the city.
I have signed myself up to report on all the action over the course of
the week and tonight we start with pop punksters New Found Glory. No
sleep 'til next Monday!
Most of the gigs are three band bills showcasing some newer talent as
well as providing a quality headliner and tonight is no exception. An
early start time ensured I missed the first band, 'Save Your Breath',
but I did catch Fight Like Apes.
an Irish four piece with two keyboard players and no guitars and they
created one hell of a racket !. The music was not to my taste and
judging by the reaction of the crowd I was not alone.
points though for the keyboard player who, when not playing, went to the
front of the stage and stared intently at the crowd, quite unnerving.
There was only one band everyone was here to see though and with chants
of NFG ringing out, the band hit the stage with a bang. The set
tonight was mostly a greatest hits run through with a new track 'Radio
Surgery' from the forthcoming new album being showcased mid set.
never stood still throughout the show ( you should try getting pictures
of this lot! ) and the energy on stage was echoed by the crowd who
bounced and crowd surfed throughout the show.
threw in a couple of cover versions during the set, 'Kiss Me' by
'Sixpence None The Richer' and a very apt ' Blitzkrieg Bop' by the
Ramones both of which went down well, especially the latter.
Finishing the set with ' My Friends Over You', New Found Glory played a
blinder. The band stated at one point that some people think pop punk is
dead, but this show proved it is alive and kicking and as this show is
one of the few totally sold out over the course of the week, it looks
like New Found Glory will be around for a while yet. A perfect way to
start the week.
Day 2 - 23 August 2011
Taking Back Sunday - 02 ABC, Glasgow
Day 2 and tonight we have New York's finest, Taking Back Sunday. Being
my daughter's favourite band, I saw the guys a few years ago whilst on
chaperone duties and was impressed with the show.
been a few personnel changes since then with a couple of previous band
members rejoining the fold, most significant being guitarist and second
vocalist, John Nolan, so I was interested to see this line up in action.
First up though we had a couple of supports. First up were The New
Regime who proved to be excellent. Fronted by Iian Rubin, a multi
instrumentalist who has previously drummed for Lostprophets and Nine
Inch Nails, they came across as a bit of a mix of both. Definitely one
band were Xcerts who are a young Scottish band that are starting
to gather momentum. They appear to worship at the alter of Muse,
especially frontman Murray Macleod, but at this stage they lack the
finesse. They went down well in the hall though so maybe I am just being
The night though belonged to Taking Back Sunday. Opening with a
hard and heavy version of 'El Paso' from their latest album, the band
were on top form. The interaction between vocalist Adam Lazzara and the
afore mentioned Nolan showed that all is well in the TBS camp and that
they are having a ball.
the set was culled from the band's early albums, which featured Nolan
and the other returnee, bassist Shaun Cooper, and their latest self
titled album. All the hits were there, 'Make Damn Sure', 'Liar' and '
Your So Last Summer' which all had the crowd bouncing and singing along.
The focal point of the band is Adam Lazzara who holds court and preaches
to the faithful on a range of topics. At one point he stated to the
people at the back of the hall that he was 'coming for them'. True to
his word, a few songs later he was off the stage, battled his way
through the middle of the crowd and ended up singing three songs
standing on the bar at the back of the ABC !
Finishing off with the double of 'Cute Without the E' and encore
'There's No I In Team' complete with Adam taking another flying leap
into the crowd, the band rounded off a triumphant set.
I recommend you try and catch this current line up live whilst you can,
who knows how long it will last, and yes, my daughter loved it.
Day 3 - 24 August 2011
The Blackout - 02 ABC, Glasgow
I was looking forward to this gig. I had caught The Blackout earlier
this year supporting My Chemical Romance and they very nearly stole the
show that night, so I was keen to see them on their own turf so to
If Duracell are ever looking to replace the non stop bunny in the ads,
then these guys would be the perfect replacement. If you could have
harnessed the onstage energy tonight you could have powered Glasgow for
band put in maximum effort, especially the two front men Sean Smith and
Gavin Butler who both gave a top performance and the between song banter
is pure stand-up comic stuff. They don't take themselves too seriously
this lot, their intro song at the start of the set was the title song of
' One Foot In The Grave' ( I don't believe it ! )
Musically the band can't be faulted. They are a tight live unit and
playing old favourites mixed with tracks from Their new album ' Hope'
the crowd lapped up every note.
If you haven't caught The Blackout live yet, then I urge that you do as
they are one of the finest young bands around and the show is guaranteed
to put a smile on any face.
Quick mention for the support on the night, local Glasgow band Flood of
Red. Their sound is similar to Taking Back Sunday with a few added
keyboards, but delivery wise they are still in development.
play a few rockier numbers, which I thought suited them better, they
also use the keyboard player as a second drummer during these numbers
which adds to the sound. Could be one to watch.
Day 4 - 25 August 2011
Flogging Molly - The Garage, Glasgow
Whenever Flogging Molly hit your town you are assured of a few things -
1. Old punks will crawl out the woodwork. I haven't seen so many
mohicans in one place for quite some time ( male and female! )
2. There will be mass drunken singalongs.
3. There will be mass drunken dancing.
4. Copious amounts of Guinness will be consumed
5. You will have a bloody good time !
Tonight definitely ticked all the boxes.
Dave King is the party host and you are all invited to his place for a
hooley of the first degree. The band were on fine form and although they
stated they were a bit fragile after the previous nights aftershow party
in Dublin, it didn't show.
the calibre of 'Drunken Lullabies', 'Salty Dog' and set closer 'What's
Left Of The Flag', you can't fail to get caught up in the show and
ultimately end up dancing like a man possessed.
played newer numbers as well from their most recent album ' Speed Of
Darkness' which went down well, but it was the older, faster numbers
that were best received.
With the band dispensing cans of Guinness from the stage to, as they put
it, 'pass around and share the love' the show's success was never in
doubt. By the end the crowd was a sweaty mass and were grinning like
maniacs, that is the Flogging Molly effect for you. The craick was
Day 5 - 26 August 2011
The Bronx/ Mariachi El Bronx - The Garage, Glasgow
I love live music! The anticipation of going to see your favourite band,
buying the tickets, the build up to the actual date and ultimately the
show itself. Then there are gigs like tonight's where you go not knowing
too much about the band, no preconceived expectations and you find you
are left blown away by the performance.
All I knew about The Bronx prior to this were the fact that they are
billed as a hardcore punk outfit from New York and that they have a bit
of a bizarre side project called Mariachi El Bronx which is the
band members playing Mexican mariachi music, tonight we were to be
treated to the band in both guises.
First up we had the mariachi set which was amazing. The band are joined
on stage by two other musician for the set which included trumpet,
violin and a range of acoustic guitars. I have never seen a front man
smile as much as Matt Caughthran, he beamed throughout the set and all
the band played with such passion that you couldn't help but enjoy
have just released their second album as Mariachi El Bronx and I would
urge anyone to give it a go and to witness the spectacle live if you get
After an hour of DJ Muppet (?) on the decks of death, The Bronx
took to the stage for the second set. I was expecting some fairly
tuneless noise for an hour and had a contingency plan worked out with my
wife that we would only stay for 2 or 3 numbers but by the time we
reached that point neither of us wanted to go!
music was loud and in marked contrast to earlier the vocals were a bit
gruff and shouty, but the smiles were still firmly in place and
thankfully the musical skills demonstrated in the first set were still
Matt was again the focal point and spent most of his time in the throng
at the front of the stage, singing a couple of numbers whilst
participating in a circle pit and not missing a beat, impressive stuff.
The set only lasted an hour but the guys managed to pack in a highly
charged performance which left no one disappointed.
This gig was the surprise of the week and I would happily check out The
Bronx again given the opportunity. I would urge you to do the same,
especially if like tonight you get both the Mexican and the NYC
Days 6 & 7 - 27/28 August 2011
Skies Fell - King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
Lightguides - King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
Firstly, my apologies to Skies Fell. I had to miss this gig as I was
struck by a bug ( I will save you the gory details!), but hopefully I
will catch up with them at some point.
I did, however recover enough to make King Tut's the following night for
young Scottish band Lightguides plus a couple of supports.
First up we had We're Only Afraid Of NYC, a three piece who
played music of the shoe gazy variety akin to Radiohead. Pleasant
enough, but nothing new.
Next up were Pareto who were a much more interesting prospect.
They played a louder, more raucous brand of rock, which got the crowd
moving. They brought to mind Taking Back Sunday and 30 Seconds To Mars,
the only criticism is that the vocalist was off key on a few numbers,
but I have heard worse.
With the area in front of the stage now packed, which sounds impressive
but as anyone who has been to King Tuts will attest is easy to do as it
is about the size of your average living room, Lightguides took
to the stage. The band are about to release their first album and have
toured quite extensively, which showed in their performance.
main influence, Biffy Clyro, can be clearly heard with complex tempo
changes and clever chord structures throughout. They proved to be a
tight live unit and judging by the reaction and the occasional sing
along, they have a growing following. Of the Scottish bands I have
caught this week, Lightguides were easily the most impressive.
Lightguides also brought my Rock n Roll Damnation week to an end. It
proved to be a great event with some fantastic gigs along the way and
too many highlights to mention. Special thanks goes to Lynn at DF
Concerts for her time and help in arranging my week.
Did I achieve Rock n Roll Damnation? At one point very nearly, but not
quite, so I will just have to try harder next year. See you there!