On 19th September 2015, I made the trip into Glasgow for the launch of St Lukes – a former church renovated into a multi-purpose venue and bar – an occasion marked with a free entry gig featuring a line-up consisting of 3 of the city’s finest rock bands, 2 of them being among my favourites in Scotland so there was no way I was going to pass up this show.
First things first, I gotta say the building itself was incredible. It was very reminiscent of Oran Mor and, of course originally being a church, it had such a grand, ethereal feel to it. Although I have to admit, I felt really out of place, as for whatever reason more than half of the attendees were suited up and dressed formally, and then there was me in a black hoodie and jeans…
Carnivores were first up. It had been nearly a year since I had last seen them live, when they tore the 13th Note a new one. And yeah, it was pretty much the same case here, just in a considerably richer environment. They fired out the gates with Insecurior, to which everyone flocked to the stage like dogs who had just heard a loud whistle.
They took the crowd on a thrilling ride, playing the likes of Let’s Get Metaphysical, This Sinking Ship and Scottish Football; the latter consisting of Kenny making his way around and to the front of the barrier. Clapping signaled the beginning of the end, as the band closed out with Lion Tamer in the most dynamic, off the wall manner possible.
Everyone was left buzzing as Grant bowed and bid farewell from the podium and the set was over. A trademark Carnivores performance, one that never gets old.
By this point, the venue was packed – there was even a dog in attendance – as Cherri Fosphate were up next. Prior to the show, I had never listened to these guys so this was my first opportunity to hear them, and they impressed with a cracking set of upbeat rock tunes with energetic melodies that hit their optimum at the choruses.
A good first impression well made here. I may just have to buy these chaps’ upcoming album once it’s out…
Now it was time for the mighty United Fruit to take to the stage, and boy was it an experience. As they made their way on, everyone within the echoed halls of St Lukes immediately migrated towards the barrier.
A catchy as hell opener got everyone pumped up, and from there they delivered a hell of a performance with a mix of newer numbers and vintage classics, with all the favourites accounted for: Ghost Inside Your Head, Open Your Eyes, How Long, Go Away Don’t Leave Me Alone, among others, each of them highlighted by slick riffs, pitch perfect dual vocals and bombastic rhythms.
Everyone in the venue was hooked, whether bopping their heads to the beat, singing back the lyrics or, in the case of one particularly drunk gentleman behind me, dancing along passionately. There was a disruptive tech issue early on, but nothing that couldn’t be solved with the magic of gaffer tape.
Soon they wrapped up with the thunderous Red Letter, which capped off with frontman Xander surfing majestically above the crowd. And with that, they brought an end to what was an electrifying set that further validated United Fruit as the next big thing in Scottish rock.
Here’s to a long and prosperous future for Glasgow’s newest venue. I’m looking forward to coming back down for many more gigs sooner than later.