July 2013 – a young, hungry group of guys would come together and form a band named Megalomatic. After half a decade of multiple changes and forging a mature sound, they have transformed from a humble troupe not many cared about into one of Glasgow’s most noteworthy progressive rock acts.
To celebrate a hardy 5 years on the scene, the trio would host a headliner at the famous Cathouse Rock Club, in association with DF Concerts, but they wouldn’t be coming alone.
The Sunny Devils were set to kick things off. The guys had a positive reputation preceding them, so I was keen to finally check them out, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Things were lukewarm to begin with, however they did find their traction and would go on to impress with a quality line-up of tunes, including their latest single No More Surprises and the catchy as hell Believe Me, all of which featured dynamic rhythms, a pretty rowdy energy and sharp harmonies courtesy of Steven.
The crowd were visibly into them, and more were drawn in as they entered the room. Overall, a damn fine way to start the show.
Gypsy Circus were completely new to myself, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they certainly struck a chord. Leading man Aaron was quick to establish his presence on stage front and centre, packing quite a sturdy voice, whilst bassist Shaun was peppy and bounced around merrily for a majority of the performance.
There were flurries of tight riffs throughout from Michael, and Calum’s drumming was consistently strong. Their most recent single Obstacles, the really bluesy Black Widow Woman and the stimulating Jungle ranked as just some of the highlights on offer.
Also halfway through saw 3 women emerge from the shadows to dance in the middle of the room, only for them to disappear mere minutes later…not the most common sight at the rock gig, I must admit.
On the whole, Gypsy Circus gave us all an enjoyable set that made a good impression and deservedly earned them some new fans on this night.
A batch of colourful, fluorescent balloons scattered about as Megalomatic entered and got the place in an uproar with the wild pair of new tracks, Civility Smiles and Coil.
They took it old school with JLU: The Destroyer, which got longtime fans in a buzz, especially with its smashing chorus. Naturally, a pit formed from this – the first of several – and there was a line of synchronised headbanging on the go.
They continued their trip down memory lane with the monster combo of Progress I, Johnny Doesn’t Drink and Progress II, which sounded sick; Megalomatic seriously need to consider more complex, bridging material like this for future releases.
Somehow after that endurance, they dived straight into A Yellow Car, A Golden Chariot, before capping off with Knees Crushed By An Electric Chorus, which drove the people into a frenzy again.
As they left the stage, instead of being greeted by the standard request for an encore, everybody sang Happy Birthday, and were ultimately rewarded with the fierce Cesspit and the high-octane Stan Darsh to properly wrap up what was end-to-end a sensational set.
There were two major takeaways from this. Firstly, it is so satisfying to see how much Craig, Ben and Jamie have improved and tightened up as a cohesive unit. Following years of shows hurt by regular miscues and technical issues, they’ve managed to overcome these problems and make themselves a force to behold.
Secondly, they’ve established this ability to control the crowd as they pleased and get the exact response that they desired; in fact, they tend to get more than what they bargained for. Clearly, they’ve established a connection with many rock fans in the local scene, and if you’re not getting that as a music act, then what’s the point?
Many happy returns and a big congratulations to Megalomatic for all their successes, a journey which I’ve been proud to have been part of on several occasions. The boys are getting better by the day, and surely there must come a time where their efforts will pay off, but we shall see…