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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Tenement Trails gig reviews

With over 30 bands spread over 5 venues all day on the 9th of March, the Tenement Trail Festival organised by those lovely people at Tenement TV in Glasgow is an event mirroring EH1 in Edinburgh and with an equally as impressive list of gigs.  With that in mind Ralph's intrepid roving reporter in Scotland Malcolm 'anorak' Parry set out to cover as many as possible by close of play.

Going over to Glasgow to cover the SAMA Awards and having a Quo gig on the Saturday night, it would have been rude not to cover the all day event, 30 + bands over 5 venues (mainly Sauchiehall Street) and flat 0/1. At only £10 a ticket, in my opinion, a bargain, especially when you get the chance to see upcoming and many of Friday night's SAMA nominees and winners live in one day.

Still a bit fragile from the night's before shenanigan's I wearily make my way to the art school to catch first act Luca. All four members play head bound like they have all received bad news or just to create an atmospheric ambiance. Whichever way, I like what I hear, moody 'Placebo' style vocals, sometimes 'Bush' like in places, a touch grungy with chiming guitars ringing out to finish. A good start

I catch up again with Fat Goth before they take the stage, telling me they wisely got an earlier night than me. Frazer telling me last nights performance didn't do them much justice, a bit rushed and one of their members getting to the event just before they took the stage. They take the small intimate venue by storm, today I like them more, thinking these sort of venue's suit their energetic metal riffs and aggressive vocals better. 

Their sound a mixture of Metallica and Megadeath licks, Frazer doing a great Dave Mustain shredding like his life depended on it.  Doom laden vocals with a touch of falsetto which takes the edge off, the rhythm section tight as a Fat Goth in wet leggings, all with a punky attitude.  My god these boys make some racket.  Catch them at a venue near you soon.

Next I enter second venue G2 (the Garage ) to witness a 5 piece indie rock band Crash Club including a DJ- knob twiddler, sounding like early '90's indie dance Primal Scream 'Screamadelica' period, especially with a lead man who looks uncannily like a young Bobby Gillespie even strutting and dancing like him. They swap main singers for a taller more static singer, who is introduced “As the lanky Bastard” he takes them in to a different sound direction, more acid house. Young Bobby swaggers back introducing the last song, a cosmic rock 'Exterminator' period frenzy. Well worth looking out for, lost a bit of edge due to the venue's sound being a bit low.

Back to the Art School to catch 3-piece Baby Strange and by this time the venue is busy.  Lead man oozes Joe Strummer coolness. I witness a touch of Glasvegas without the football chant anthem's, crumbles of shoe gaze, rock a billy rock especially on track 'I want it, I need it' Black Rebel Motorcycle Club driving garage rock on 'Get by me'.  Just the right side of punk rock which makes the girls dance and the lads nod along in respect.  Lot's of cool influences from these young guys.  Another highlight and one to watch.

Back to G2 to see Madison (met the nice lads the night before). They cater for a younger pop sensibility taste, all a bit too fluffy for me, though excellent musicians but not my thing. Lead man taking to the keyboard to sing 'Like Glue' a heartbreak song, all heartfelt but making me feel like I am watching a teenager movie or Glee. Sorry guys. I moved on.

Over the road to Nice and Sleazy's and I love this venue. I'm greeted by a drunken audience all dancing along to 5-piece Saint Max and the Fanatics.  Ska fused upbeat indie popsters, including trombone/ trumpet players. Lead man ' Saint Max' with an eccentric edge sounding like Early 'Blur' and 'Clearlake' dancing frantically along with the groove, introducing a cover of Boney M - 'Rasputin' nice choice!  Awesome feel good music.  Even yodeling at one point.  We get Kings of Leon – 'Molly's Chambers' riffs mixed with The Kooks vocals on one track.

Afterwards I catch a quick chat with lead man 'Saint Max' He tells me he is heavily influenced by Morissey  which shows on 'Wonderful Life' and his aim is - “Too make music girls will dance too” well his work was done today judging by the ladies bouncing along to his quirky pop tunes.  Already championed by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6 music, surely these guys should be put on your must see bands of the year.

Last venue was Broadcast and I catch the end of psychedelic rockers Selective Service.  All 60's acid infused early Who, The Small Faces, Pink Floyd and Status Quo with a shower of Jimi Hendrix, especially the bassist who's sporting a mean microphone hair style.  Lead man sounding and strutting like Tom from Kasabian I feel like I’ve walked into a Swinging 60's London bar.  I swear I saw John Lennon off his rocker in the corner.  I aim to investigate their music more, so should you.

Next we get traditional blues men 'Dirty diamonds and the Guns lingers. More experienced rock n rollers, full tight sound including double bass, harmonica with a real blues lounge feel and bluegrass edge. Quality.

Back for the last time in the art school for Fridge Magnets.  A sound of commercial Electro music dance titan Avici mixed with guitars.   Lead singer sporting a base ball cap to the side like a Scottish Eminem.  Enticing the packed audience to move closer and get ready to touch the ceiling.  The music drops into a electronic breakdown, the crowd go wild, music which would go down a storm in Ibiza/ Majorca rocks outside summer gigs.  Very commercial, entertaining and uplifting.

I take a quick exit over to the Quo gig at the o2 then get back for last band of the night in Broadcast, enjoying a chat and drink with members of River 68's' and The Holy Ghosts.  I head downstairs slightly intoxicated to catch Sunshine Social a folksy pop 5-piece who should have blown me away but didn't.  Never really taking off, stopping and starting, a toned down 'Mumford and Sons' though nice harmonies, acoustic tinkering and Scottish vocal delivery.  Maybe they were too drunk or I was, but wasn't impressed.  They did let out illuminated balloons into the audience which was a nice finish.  I leave or stagger, heading over to see the much anticipated band of the day.

Outside Flat 0/1 there is a queue to get in to see Kassidy.  The highly tipped band already fresh from having played twice today, I surge forward to the doormen and explain I need to finish the day reviewing this band as my wee dog blogger wouldn't be a happy puppy if I returned to H.Q. without it, he tells me the venue is at it's maximum capacity.  I wait for people to leave and get the nod to go in, he wasn't kidding, the punters squashed up, all eager to catch a rare chance to see their local heroes in an intimate setting.  I stand back as the boys take to the makeshift stage, a stripped down version of the band, minus a drummer (who someone tells me got kicked out and refused entry due to capacity, until they realized who he was!  I cannot confirm or deny this statement). 

Now Ralph being a conscientious reporter has investigated the situation regarding Kassidy's drummer and it is absolutely true.....

Regardless the atmosphere is electric as everyone sings along to every word from the front men.  Their sound is definitely anthem 70's sounding mainstream folk rock.  Initially I thought they came across like The Stereophonics with the Faces, all good company.  A couple of tunes in I’m singing along, infectious chorus and Ronnie Wood blues like rock riffs.  One band I would think will be new Scottish exports, a big band to end a big  thoroughly enjoyable day of quality live Scottish music.  Hat's off to the organizers for a great job and I would like to finish saying “See you next Year”