REVIEW | FOES – The Old Hairdressers (20/10/16)

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On the heels of the release of their debut full-length album – The Summit Lies Skyward – one of Liverpool’s most prominent rock acts FOES took off on a countrywide tour to promote the new record, which included a stop at The Old Hairdressers in Glasgow courtesy of HD Music.

Although we were running a little late, we arrived just in time to catch Monkey Puzzle, a band we had been meaning to see for so long now, but at last we got the opportunity and they made quite an impression.

This was no ordinary opening set, the four lads truly meant business as they generated a raw, immense energy through a tight rhythm section, gritty guitars and a charismatic performance from vocalist Conor Moore.

Throughout, they had the crowd bopping their heads, even more so during the catchy choruses, and the intensity only buffed up with every passing tune. No doubt about it, this was going to be a tough act to follow.

As Verse Metrics got going, it was pretty clear they had that obstacle in front of them, but to their credit the guys did impress all in the now-packed room with some pristine riffs, strong bass work and a smooth ambient sensation, wrapping up on a high note with This Is Your Captain Speaking.

Plus they did give us the Red Dwarf-inspired song about Dr Lanstrom, and we think they at the very least deserve a plate of smoked kippers for that one.

From the cold reaches of Copenhagen, Siamese were up next and ready to make their debut in Glasgow, and what a debut it was. A tenacious energy radiating off the “stage”,  with such a clear passion emitting from the quartet all the way; in particular, frontman Mirza Radonjica who shared some charming banter with the audience.

Between an array of high-octane numbers, we even got treated to a rocking cover of Hotline Bling. One aspect we especially loved was Christian’s custom made violin that looked like a skull; so bizarre, yet so amazing. It was all so good that they managed to attract that one seemingly intoxicated middle-aged gentleman we see at many local shows who was air-guitaring to his heart’s content.

Safe to say, Siamese’s first outing in the city was an overwhelming success, and an awesome live experience for us.

And then there was FOES. Being the fourth time we were seeing the band in action, we expected something great but they defied the odds that night and delivered a monumental performance like no other. From a technical standpoint, it was awe-inspiring, and that was down to a combination of dynamic riffs, deep bass chords and drumming what can only be described as superhuman.

With that mix, they dished out track upon track from The Summit Lies Skyward, with just some of the highlights including the kinetic Sworn Host, the spellbinding No Sleepers Verse and the absolutely breathtaking Orchestrator. With all that, they boasted a sheer presence and elicited an electricity which had the crowd hooked from start to finish.

If you were there and this did not convince you that FOES are among the elite in the British underground scene at the moment and deserve to reach grand new heights, then nothing will.

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