Gig Review: The Mawb, The Good Arms + Dead Coyotes @ King Tuts

by liam menzies (@blnkclyr)

Oh King Tuts, how I’ve missed you. Much like a busy father who doesn’t get to attend his son’s football games, I don’t get to see you as much as I’d like to but when we get the time to bond, usually every New Year’s Revolution, you never fail to make me proud.

Tonight’s proceedings weren’t any different and whilst mother nature wasn’t helping matters, meaning I had to leave prior to headlining act Voodoos, people were still coming in droves for tonight’s rock-fuelled venture.

The Dead Coyotes 

Just as their name implied, this Glasgow rock outfit were in their zone with some predatory build up before they pounced on the chorus, resulting in a wild intro track that made an immediate impression.

You could smell the influences off the band from a mile away but this wasn’t a detriment by any means: front-man Rory radiated a Josh Homme aura, solidified with that open silky shirt, pendant and a bucket load of showmanship that resulted in a quality set that I wasn’t quite expecting.

It’s a cliche to mention the trials and tribulations of opening for a gig but when you’ve got the bravado that The Dead Coyotes have, there’s no need to worry about not having a good fucking time.

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The Good Arms

Much like the act prior, as well as the one succeeding them, The Good Arms are an act that are still in their youth: only starting off last year, the band has a debut EP under their belts as well as a previous appearance at the iconic Tuts venue so it’s no surprise that they accumulated quite the audience.

Thankfully, for both myself and those that had trekked through the snow, our enthusiasm was not misplaced as we were witnesses to a solid performance: cuts both old (if you can call them that) and new showed off a great deal of ferocity and chemistry amongst the tight rock unit. It’ll be exciting to see how they tweak their formula on future releases as the attitude on stage suggested they’re an act that are not willing to get complacent anytime soon.

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The Mawb

To say that expectations were high for this Ayrshire groups Tuts comeback would be putting it lightly: having headlined this very venue less than a year ago, the band have undergone some serious changes that meant that despite losing a member and tracks in the process, they’re more than capable of adapting.

This brings us to The Mawb 2.0, a noticeably heavier band than what had come before which already gave them quite the edge. While it was never full on metal, it was hard not to be impressed by some of the guitar playing last night that gave it a different sort of flair to what we were used to – specifically Callum who was so confident on stage that he’s not against hopping off it to mingle and play amongst the crowd (even if he himself admits the smell he brought with him wasn’t as great as his riffing). 

The rest of The Mawb squad were on tight form as well; despite the fact we could hardly see his face behind his hair, Ewan was impressing everyone with his vocals that, while not wanting to repeat a comparison I’ve made in this very review, were very reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age. Paul on drum duties was as cool as a cucumber, at one point flat out playing without one of his sticks as if it wasn’t an inconvenience, and the same can be said about bassist Harry, the only man that can get a small chant going for him without saying a word.

If it weren’t abundantly clear at this point, The Mawb were cracking. It would be easy for them to continue on with the same sound they were going with prior but, taking the chance to try something new and push themselves creatively, the band showed that they’re not afraid to take a chance and won over fans both old and new tonight.

The boys are back in town.

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The Dead Settlers, The Ranzas, Retro Video Club and Lional @ King Tuts – 14/01/2017

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

Much like every year, King Tuts, one of the greatest small venues in not only Scotland but the whole of the UK, has got its annual New Years Revolution underway. The pun tinged event is just one of many ways King Tuts contributes to the Scottish music scene, allowing acts of all genres to perform in one of the most tightly packed and atmospheric places they’ll ever see. Whilst the stairs up to the stage adorn the names of some of the biggest acts to have ever picked up a guitar, no doubt adding to the nerves of the young and hopeful about to play, it’s a solid reminder that music favours the brave and that playing in a place like King Tuts could be the first in a long line of cherished gigs. So without further ado, let’s pick apart and dissect the acts that gave it their all last night in the coveted Glasgow scene.

Lional


The attire that Inverness act donned last night was not just so that they were dressed to impressed. With half the band in t-shirts and jeans, anyone who was around to see the 00’s indie rock craze could have mistaken them for a Bloc Party. The other half of the band were dressed up like embodiment’s of older Arctic Monkeys with front-man Joshua Mackenzie in a grey suit and open shirt, channelling his inner Alex Turner repeatedly throughout their 8 song set. I wouldn’t describe the band’s wear if it didn’t somehow tie into the music and boy did it. Nearly every track radiated youthful bliss thanks to some shimmering guitars and solid vocal performances, acting like a time capsule to the early days of Franz Ferdinand but tied in with some modern influences to further strengthen the quality of their music. The highlight track was the rather aptly titled Black Magic, an alluring song with an AM flare to it and a sensual sounding vocal delivery which all ends in a heavy guitar solo climax. It was a stroke of genius to have Lional start the night off with a bang but meant that all the following acts had some rather big shoes to fill in.

Retro Video Club

The first band to follow up on Lional’s success were Edinburgh indie rock outfit Retro Video Club who easily won the award for best band name in my eyes. Sound wise, the band made quite the impact as they seem to be like a rare few bands, like fellow Edinburgh act Vistas, who seem to have the catchy songwriting trait down to a tee with only an EP or two under their belts. Second song Caroline proved this very well with front-man Liam Allison displaying some shifty looking eyes to tie in efficiently with the songs theme of ambiguity and hesitation. For the sophomore act, it was quite a surprise to see so many members of the audience singing along with the band, especially during finale track 1993 which seemed to fade away with a very Reflektor-esque sheen to it that kept the iconic “Here We Fucking Go” rhythm to it in its closing seconds, keeping the crowd in the palm of their hands throughout.

The Ranzas

The penultimate act of the night, Ayrshire rock act The Ranzas were more than confident to show King Tuts what they are made of and gave what could very well be the defining performance of their career before things get turned up a notch with the release of a new EP. Their punk and rock influences could be felt not only through their music, which vibrated everything in a 2 mile radius no doubt, but the band’s body language, especially that of front-man Lyle Kennedy who repeatedly hit out with a crucifix-esque pose a la Liam Gallagher. Save Me Now, the second track the band played, perfectly demonstrated the band’s capabilities having went through a bit of an update a few years back, constantly evolving before eventually unravelling into an eruptious roar from the crowd that could probably be heard from Glasgow Central. Give The Ranzas a year and they won’t only be headlining King Tuts NYR in 2018 but they’ll be playing at far bigger venues.

The Dead Settlers

With the night almost at a close, it was time for The Dead Settlers to show why their name deserved to be at the top of the chalkboard door. Having just released their debut EP Burn With Me back in November of last year, the crowd were already hyped to see the Glasgow based act bring these tracks to life and boy did they. The eponymous track almost seems like it’s about to break out into Wonderwall before it incorporates some much welcome blues elements that stops the band coming off as a tribute act and paints them as a group of lads who want to innovate with the music they grew up with. Even though the band had released it as a single back in 2015, Sophia got quite the reaction out of the audience in no small part to the resemblance of 90’s britpop that *LG voice* shineeeeeed from it. Finishing off with Lucy’s Not A Dancer, the first song that vocalist Rich Freed ever made all the way back in 2012, it was perfectly fitting to have the night come to a close to it, showing just how far the band have come from uploading a video on YouTube to performing in front of hundreds in one of Glasgow’s best venues. Utterly passionate on so many levels and very well deserved.


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Review: Chloe Marie @ King Tuts – 22nd August 2015

It seems fitting that this would be the review I do today. It’s been two years since I’ve started my blog and although it’s moved from different platform, it’s remained the same: a scrawny scottish guy talking about what interests him. Music has always been a large chunk of what I write about and although I love to review AAA albums from artist I love, my main aim has always been to draw attention to the artists who I think deserve it the most. It’s a joy to help anyone that you think is talented, regardless if it’s 1000 folk or 10 who decide to listen to you.

Less about me, more about the gal herself: Chloe Marie, a singer songwriter hailing from a small village in Ayrshire with a huge heart. She has had a wonderful year so far with her debut track Without You In The Frame was released in March and greeted with a warm reception, followed up with some gigs all around Ayrshire. Having written her own songs and performing for many years at various talent shows, it’s no surprise that Chloe is such a natural when she’s on stage. This was obvious to all who were lucky enough to see her at King Tuts this weekend, a venue that has welcomed many acts from Ayrshire such as Echo Valley and Biffy Clyro who have all experienced success in bucketloads, something that Chloe should prepare herself for after she exceeded all expectations.

She opened her set with the track Runway, a fitting track as it tells of the singers’ ambitions and how she’s got her sights set on success. “You see I’m done with your negative ways, how they held me tight, i’m making my way”  she sings fiercely over the aggressive strum of the guitar, resulting in a track so upbeat and folk-esque that it would have Mumford and Sons green with envy.

This was swiftly followed up with Baby I Will Follow You and despite the fact the subject matter in the song was a bit more sombre, regarding an intense relationship at a young age, it still managed to remain in the heads of everyone who was there long after the gig was over thanks to her knack of creating catchy hooks on her tracks. Lyrics such as “We are innocent little ships, innocent as a life just begun”  make it hard to believe that it was crafted very earlier in Chloe’s career at the age of 17 due to how simple yet fitting it is.

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Picture taken by Martin Bone

The gig was finished with Without You In The Frame and Changing respectively , two of Chloe’s best known tracks that highlight her impressive vocals and show the great potential she has. With veteran musician Scott Nicol taking on the role as manager for her, his experience will no doubt work well with what Chloe has learned so far from her gigs. There were smiles all round at the King Tuts on Saturday and no doubt there’ll be more to come in this singer’s future.

Liam Menzies

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