Tag Archives: crash club

Stag and Dagger review

This year’s Stag and Dagger bash offered music lovers in Glasgow the possibility of seeing some of the best live music from home and abroad, without the need for the wellies or the thought of returning to a half-submerged tent, and didn’t disappoint.

 With over 45 bands taking part in the annual all-dayer across 9 venues, the only tricky part was deciding where to go and when.

 London trio Kenneths served up an early treat, playing their turbo-charged brand of punk rock to a packed out Nice and Sleazy’s, with dedications to Travelodge and Glasgow banter aplenty.

 Next up, fresh-faced Glasgow band West Princes offered an antidote to the unwelcomed queue in the rain outside the Art School, as their hip, nonchalant, jazzy groove felt a perfect fit inside the Vic Bar, before the hotly anticipated Haelos blew everyone away with a remarkable performance upstairs in the Assembly Hall.

 With a trip-hop sound that recalls Massive Attack and Portishead, Haelos certainly lived up to the hype, with Lotti Bernadout’s spellbinding vocals on the terrific ‘Dust’ a festival highlight. Bigger stages await for sure.

 Following on from the Haelos high, We Are Scientists showed that, 11 years after the release of their debut ‘With Love and Squalor’ LP, they showed no signs of losing their trademark energy. Showcasing songs off new album ‘Helter Selzter’, the California based indie-rockers powered through a blistering set, with the capacity crowd in the ABC greeting old favourites ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ with rampant enthusiasm.

 From palm trees and sunny beaches to roundabouts, as downstairs in the ABC 2 East Kilbride five-piece The Lapelles put on a performance to continue the track record of the Glasgow suburb producing first-class music, in this case in the form of sweaty, indie-pop gems that had everyone dancing about.

 With Crash Club and The Duke Spirit following them up on the same stage, two reasons as good as any were found to stave off a Sauchiehall St wander and enjoy what was on offer, and neither disappointed.

 Latterly, with The Duke Spirit, singer Liela Moss was on form as the intimate surroundings played host to a mesmerising slice of alternative, garage-rock in support of new record ‘KIN’.

 Meanwhile, having built up a reputation in Glasgow as the crown princes of revelry, Crash Club made their preach to an already converted public with a high octane set that shimmered with raw energy, featuring impressive guest vocals by Ian Mackinnon of Medicine Men and Tony Costello of Tijuana Bibles.

 In the absence of a quiet night in a dark room to regain composure post Crash Club, Band of Skulls stadium-sized rock provided the perfect end to the day, as the Southampton trio a polished, raucous set that had the ABC 1 crowd in raptures, with Russell Marsden’s virtuoso guitar playing packing a pretty punch.

 

Crash Club on a collision course with the big time.

Ask the movers and shakers of Glasgow to sum up how buoyant the local music scene is at the moment and, for many, two words will give you the answer you’re looking for: Crash Club.

The band, who formed in 2010, seem to be subconsciously providing the soundtrack to the city, with their strobe-heavy, swagger-inducing, energetic live shows continuing to win over audiences and help cement their status as one of the best bands in the country.

Collaborations with the likes of Tony Costello from Tijuana Bibles and Ian Mackinnon from Medicine Men show that they well and truly have their finger on the pulse musically, helping to hone and add another dimension to their sound – one that offers shades of Primal Scream’s XTRMNTR mixed with a heavy dose of The Chemical Brothers – as well as their live performances.

It’s a case of so far so good then for bassist Neal McHarg, “We’ve already done a lot of things we’d have put down on a musically bucket list kinda thing, like releasing a 12” record, and playing with bands that got us into dance music, being involved in festival season and to play T in the Park.”

This week saw a step up to the mantle in more ways than one for the electro-rock outfit, after they picked up the ‘Best Electronic’ act accolade at the recent Scottish Alternative Music Awards, where they also performed at alongside the likes of Holy Esque and Hector Bizerk.

This came hot on the heels of a support slot with The View in Edinburgh, alongside a barnstorming midnight show at the day-long Tenement Trail festival in Glasgow, which, I’m told, left even an attending Mhairi Black MP with her tongue wagging.

Surprising, it seems, is bassist Neal’s level-headedness amidst all the commotion.

“We just get on with it, to be honest,” he explains, “the hype could die down as quickly as it started. I’ve been around long enough to see it with bands I really believed were going to break through so I think for us we’ve got to keep writing better tracks and come up with new ways to make the live shows better.”

Meanwhile, the band are currently knuckled down in Glasgow’s Rocket Science studios, working on their new EP, which, by Neal’s own admission, is sounding “massive”.

“It is heading towards a New York sound, one where you really feel the beats and it’s hard not to groove,” he reveals. “It resembles the sound you probably would think of when you listen to DFA Record’s acts like LCD Soundsystem, Holy Ghost and The Rapture, although a bit darker in tones.”

When probed about possible future collaborations, he isn’t giving anything away.

“We are lucky to have some of the best acts in Scotland involved with us,” he boasts, “but I’ll keep that hush hush until it’s all finished.”

And with an upcoming King Tut’s headline slot on November 6th, alongside the promise of more late night shows in the near future, the hype surrounding Crash Club sees no signs of being written off.

Tenement TV continues to blaze a trail.

Saturday seems a long time ago but my ears are still ringing from a quite incredible day and night’s worth of music thanks to the guys at Tenement TV.

Their annual shindig, Tenement Trail, took over 6 different city centre venues while hosting more than 40 bands from all over the UK. With a line up that boasted the likes of Neon Waltz, Be Charlotte and Laura St Jude, alongside ‘the new Franz Ferdinand’ in White, the movers and shakers of Glasgow were certainly spoiled for choice.

Early sets by the bluesy, Deep South influenced ‘The Bar Dogs’ and the rapid fire Jake Bugg-esque Declan Walsh set the early tone, with both gigs pulling in a healthy, vocal crowd.

London’s The Amazons, making their Glasgow debut in Sleazy’s, didn’t disappoint, as their jangly, intense sound and tales of junk food and misplaced affection brought with it comparisons with The Vaccines.

As the day rolled on the Art School became witness to some, if not all, of the best concerts of the day. The likes of Pronto Mama pulled in a huge crowd with their calypso themed trumpet driven melodies, whilst Holy Esque showed everyone just how far they have come in recent months with a set that eschewed ambition, drive and creativity.

Headliners White, taking to the stage at 9pm, more than lived up to the hype their recent gigs at Wickerman and Glastonbury have established within UK music circles. Leo Conde embodies the spirit of a young Bryan Ferry as their self-styled ‘pink noise’ turned the Art School into something akin to an 80’s high school reunion.

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Headliners White at the Art School

However, it was electronic outfit Crash Club who stole the show, Their midnight slot had Flat 0/1 bursting at the seams as they brought the festival to a thundering close. Flying beer, strobe lights and heavy riffs were aplenty as the band ripped through a blistering set high on emotion and confidence. It’s a matter of time before they themselves will be the name on everyone’s lips.

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Crash Club bringing the house down at Flat 0/1

A fantastic event which, like no other, highlights the health of the current UK music scene, placing the fan at its heart and providing the setting for some memorable gigs to leave even the most avid gig-goer waiting for next year.