There are few up and coming acts in Scotland that have made a notable impression as swiftly as Glasgow rockers Mason Hill. Since putting out their debut record in early 2016, which is how I discovered them when given a copy for review, they have grown in popularity and garnered an insane following like nothing else.
It has been so satisfying seeing young talents emerge in the fashion that they have, but all this time, I have never actually made it down for a show, so when the guys announced a headliner at the prestigious King Tuts, I immediately bagged a ticket before they sold out over a weekend’s span.
With a drink or two beforehand alongside Campbell Stewart of Fatman’s Rock Show notoriety and chums, we soon made our way to Tuts, where the venue was filling up fast and the hardcore attendees had perched themselves at the barrier, and you can bet a significant chunk were donning Mason Hill tees.
But before the main attraction was Black King Cobra, who I was going into completely blind, but coming out, I was instantly made a fan.
The quartet worked their asses, and I’m sure they had that awareness that most of the public had paid for Mason Hill specifically and probably weren’t bothered about any support acts, but their efforts paid off tremendously, and by the end of the first tune, they had the crowd firmly in their grasp. Even the band were gobsmacked by the rambunctious reception, but it should have come as no surprise.
Callum, in addition to being loose and animated, delivered strong vocals, the guitars from Ross were top notch – hitting an optimum during the fiery solos – and the rhythm section of Robert and Steve were just on a hell of a form. Trying to resist clapping and headbanging along was a damn near impossibility.
Through the entirety of the set, it was a cracking experience, and I was quite frankly blown away by it. A textbook example of how to properly kick off a gig. The only regret was that they, in my opinion, should have been afforded more than half an hour, but oh well, can’t win them all.
Riding off that huge wave of momentum, Mason Hill themselves stepped up to the plate, individually entering to choruses of cheers, naturally.
Scott was a sensational frontman – perhaps one of the finest in the country, to be honest – for his voice packed a punch, he was dripping charisma and in general was giving it his all as the sweat just poured off him.
His fellow bandmates backed him up nicely with accompanying harmonies. The echoing drum fills were fierce, the basslines cool and the riffs were just a thing of beauty, especially from the calm and collected James (who, did in fact, smile).
They presented us with a collage of newbies, with the in-your-face Hold On, the low-key I Will Follow You, the emotional Who We Are and the absolutely bouncing Wait For You ranking as just some of the highlights, and the sooner they get these on record for my impatient self, the better.
Meanwhile, the more familiar tracks went down a storm, such as Now You See Me, my personal favourite Survive and closing number Where I Belong, the latter in which, at the request of Scott, the venue was entirely illuminated by phone lights whilst the people chimed along. Not going to lie, that moment gave me the utter chills.
They fed off the contagious energy of the crowd, and that only elevated their performance. From start to finish, the audience were hooked and fixated, and there was never a moment for them that lacked interest.
There was a real gravity on that stage and a serious atmosphere within the room, and all in all, it was a pleasure to witness. The future of Scottish rock is both bright and secure with Mason Hill at the helm, and they deserve all the success coming their way. Between the two acts, this was a special night that easily earned five stars.