Due to the early start and work commitments, we came in a little late for Of One Blood, but that didn’t do much to hamper our enjoyment of them.
Ali came armed with a hefty voice and held nothing back using it, plus the dual guitars from Cally and Greig amped up the excitement levels with fiery solos, Fro’s loud and pounding bass tones shook through our chest, pairing well together with Hoogz’ driving drums.
Combined, they formed rapid, dynamic rhythms that made up tracks such as Unleashed and Surrender Onto None, and while the crowd weren’t moving particularly much, their attention was nonetheless held and focused on the band, plus there was some scattered headbanging. Overall, a heavy showing that made for an ideal way to kick off the night.
For what had to be now the umpteenth time, we were witnessing Northern Nightlights live again. After a false start, they properly got rolling with Shout and Slam Tent; the latter of which saw Paul strut his stuff and Darren Coles botched the removal of a mic from the stand in his guest appearance…always the smooth one, he is.
Speaking of Paul, while he didn’t appreciate our personal space, he was great on the mic and showed his long-term chemistry in that area with Andy, whose skills on the guitar get tighter and flashier by the day, and completing the outfit was Robert and Samuel making for a firm rhythm section.
Playing some top picks from their depository like Sorry Gifts and the mature Streetlights, they gradually managed to get the audience more involved and into it, and by the closing number, a few folk were seen bobbing and dancing.
Another sweet effort from a pop punk group who continuously improve with every gig we see them at.
We were completely unfamiliar with the guys in Withdrones beforehand, but the moment they dropped into Holy Water, we were instantly hooked.
The band’s top secret weapon was frontman Ian, and man, what a voice. With a hell of a range at his disposal, he pulled off excellent harmonies, formidable screams and the spilling of tonnes of emotions all at once. He was just utterly magnetic.
But it didn’t stop there, as the rest of the unit forged this interesting, broad sound that was not only large in scale, but so diverse. At one moment, it was warm and atmospheric, and the next it was substantially heavier with tech influences blended in.
You had no idea what direction they were going to take next, but it was always fantastic, whether Decay, Powerless or Flower Of Life, and these were built from effortlessly dished out melodic chords, rugged bass lines and sturdy drumming, and the lyrics were very good on top of all that.
The quartet made a sizable first impression on us, and proved themselves to be perhaps one of the freshest entities that the Scottish metal scene has to offer right now.
Within mere seconds, Dead By Monday ignited something unreal, as they cranked out tracks that were rowdy, fast and frantic as all hell. The vocals from Jordan were bloody immense, plus he was really into it and occasionally joined in with the crowd, who were going bananas; clapping, jumping, headbanging and eventually pitting wildly.
Paddy blazed through blinding guitar chords, Declan would nearly grind his bass to dust, and Ciaran almost pummeled his kit to pieces, it was being smacked that hard. There were virtually no breaks and no breathers, it was just never-ending hysteria.
The highlights? Screw it, all of them, everyone hit a bullseye. Flaws? Maybe, but they would have been hardly noticeable, and we were too busy having a blast to notice anyway.
F***ing mental. 5 stars, easy.
Tenements now faced a huge challenge ahead of them. Just how were they going to follow that? Well, after entering to the beautiful sound of Goldberg’s theme, any doubts were shattered quick, as they belted out The Fear to a fiercely eager response, and it never ceased from there.
Darren has really evolved and come into his own as a frontman, with a potent voice and a lot of spirit at hand, and he had no bother connecting with the crowd, especially when surfing and kicking the heads off them. Chris and Callum’s riffs were beautifully wild, and the rhythms from Liam and Jamie packed a resonating punch behind them.
Jagerbombs were downed – “alcohol is serious sh*t” – and love was spread to the supports and the scene as a whole. Darren claimed that the energy in the room was at breaking point and demanded results, to which the people answered to with wholly chaotic scenes, featuring passionate singalongs and moshes aplenty.
They gave us a pair of newbies in the form of I Felt Invincible and The Echoes, which were both great. They toned it down briefly in …Expression, before picking it back up with the almighty Silhouettes. Thoughts & Prayers was freaking sweet, and Standing On The Back Of Angels was just perfect, with all the pieces falling together precisely; what a moment, that was.
In the midst of gloriously sweaty scenes, Tenements delivered a supreme performance in front of a sold out flock of crazed nutters that cemented their award-winning ways and showcased prime potential. Definitely not a 3/10 here.