Credit: Richard Cobb
The Blinders / Shambolics / Carousel / Black Rays
March 18 2017
Words: Richard Cobb
It was perhaps foolish of me to think that a train to Glasgow full of well-weathered whisky wanker rugby fans was going to be the most chaotic thing I’d see that day, particularly as I was headed to deep dark Glasgow on a Saturday night by renowned gig/club night promoters This Feeling for an as good as sold out show with a belter of a line-up.
First up, were Fifers Black Rays, a band we featured recently with their debut single ‘Glory.’ Still a rather mysterious outfit, the band have only had the one song out since their inception in January this year, so it was good to hear more from them. The third song of the night from the six piece ‘I’m Sorry’ was one of the highlights, and I’m impressed the drum kit managed to hold it together given the doing it received for the duration.
Credit: Richard Cobb
Their large travelling army of hometown fans kicked off the chaos during their penultimate song ‘Glory’ with its heavier Nirvana sounding instantly recognisable riff. Decidedly, a band who have much more yet to offer.
If you’ve ever seen The View before, you’ll be familiar with Kyle Falconer’s hilariously unscripted between song stage chat. Dundee's Carousel's were similar in that regard, and at points I had to translate to Thomas from headliners The Blinders about what was being said, though if I’m honest, 90% of my subtitling was question marks. Music-wise though, the band sound very unlike their Dundee counterparts, with cleaner vocals and guitar work. Former single and set intro ‘See You Go’ was something of an anthem to start with and worth checking out the recording of. Set closer ‘Home’ was everything you’d want in a bands last song and rounded off the set nicely with a well refined crescendo of noise.
Credit: Gary More
Shambolics were next to the stage with their guitarist Darren wearing what could have easily been confused as a matador’s shirt, given its pattern and the fact it was bright red. I say could have been, at one stage I’m pretty sure it was as one of their fans charged onto the stage like a wounded bull during last song ‘When She Goes Home’ in order to provide some unrehearsed, but more than welcome backing vocals. Earlier in the set, ‘Love Collides’ begun with the same urgency as ‘Deadwood’ by Dirty Pretty Things and was an instant crowd favourite. This set was one of the most Scottish gigs I’ve seen since the Proclaimers, albeit for different reasons, with their lead singer Lewis McDonald swigging from a bottle of Buckfast whilst the crowd sang along in full voice to Scottish festival favourite “Here we fucking go.”
The Blinders, currently one of the country's most vaunted new bands, kicked off their first ever show north of the border and were wildly received by the crowd. In time with the first chord being plucked, and looking like a young Nick Cave, bassist Charlie was in amongst the crowd, leaving the rest of the band to their own devices on stage. The energy from the Manchester-based, Doncaster-spawned band was electric throughout; none more so than on ‘Murder at the Ballet’, a highly addictive song that wouldn’t have been out of place on the Arctic Monkeys' 'Humbug'. It was possibly during this song that Thomas’ guitar strings broke and Black Rays valiantly saved the day by bringing one of their guitars on stage to ensure the band could finish their set and play a chaotically raw rendition of recent single ‘Swine’ to a still manic crowd.
Whilst the gig itself at times felt like borderline Jurassic Park, if the dinosaurs were fed a strict diet of tonic wine, this was by far one of the most joyously exuberant gigs I’ve had the pleasure of attending in a long while with each band on top form on a well selected bill due to the foresight of This Feeling.