One of the neatest quirks of small venue gigs is how unpredictable they can be: you go to a show at the Hydro and you expect everything to go without a hitch which, for the average music fan, is great but for some it removes some level of personality or charm.
Last night’s DIY spectacle was very much the opposite – the BuckySurf stylings of Why No? got proceedings started, hopping around the stage like some hyperactive bunnies throughout their performance. Even in between songs when they could be catching their breath, the band continued to tinker with their volume levels to an almost perfectionist standard.
For an act that have been around for less than a year, or multiple centuries if their biog is anything to go by, Why No? showed the energy, confidence and on stage charm of a band that have been doing this in their sleep. Their modern noise rock sound, akin to the likes of Yuck, went down a treat, even influencing some members of the crowd to start dancing, further cementing the four piece as a band in their natural habitat.
While Why No? had both feet firmly in the present, following act Walt Disco had one in the 80’s and the other somewhere in the nearest bar. Before their slot had even began, the front-man James Potter had ended up slicing his hand, leaving the duty of bassist to be passed around like some sort of musical pass the parcel. On top of that, guitarist Mashu Harada seemed to be on another planet, constantly quipping into the mic with most lines being incoherent.
Somehow, oddly enough, these messy external factors did nothing to take away from how enjoyable Walt Disco’s set was. Potter is a natural front-man, regularly interacting with the stage and even assisting other members not used to bass like JK Simmons from Whiplash after being given some valium. His demeanour and style was reminiscent of Morrissey (voluptuous hair, open shirt, hips that don’t quit) but his vocals oozed Joy Division, packing a juxtaposing sombre tone while backed up with New Order glitziness. Finishing with Jackets, Walt Disco gave the impression of A Life Of Pablo no with little resemblance to sound: it may have felt improvised and messy in its production but god, they had the execution of an new wave augmented archer.
Then came Codist, a band that have been on the site’s radar for what seems like a millennia now and while the previous acts were by no means underwhelming, the garage rock outfit showed why their name was at the top of the bill.
A performance split into two set, the first half of their gig saw the band playing songs off their recently released Porcelain Boy EP, one of the first to be delivered via the LP Records label. Tracks like Grindstone Cowboy feature rhythmic guitars and drums, weaved expertly by Phil Iver’s vocals that are drenched with emotion and assertiveness, harking back to the mid 90’s as well as the current age with bands like Weezer and The Hotelier springing to mind.
As the first half came to a close, the band teased the crowd as to what they should be expecting – “I’ve got a feeling it’ll go pretty bad” quipped Phil Ivers about them apparently doing a Black Eyed Peas cover session, Tom Fraser quickly chiming in that it was the best thing he’s ever heard him say. Instead of hitting out with banging beats, the act instead decided to hit out with some tunes of their own, specifically off their debut LP Nuclear Family. Throughout the performance they alternated between old band members – for the last track, all members both past and present came on stage which was pretty touching.
The impression left after the gig had came to an end was how much Codist had the crowd in the palm of their hands: singing along, moshing about, their loyal following is only set to expand as they march on as one of the juggernauts if this new wave of Scottish bands.