Gig Review: Casey Lowry @ Broadcast, Glasgow

by gregor farquharson (@grgratlntc)

Already appearing on the prestigious Radio 1 A-List, singer songwriter Casey Lowry has already made quite a name for himself; last night, Glasgow’s Broadcast acted as a bunker, hosting a number of ripe up and coming acts within its walls.

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It was set to be a cracking night, an assumption that was justified thanks to opening act Stop The Rain. Setting the room alight with their catchy riffs and huge choruses, the Perth rock outfit made sure the audience remembered them with set highlight Everend: a new track, it’s polished and packs in some huge riffs and gorgeous drum work, showcasing why the band are worth keeping an eye on.

Speaking of bands worth paying attention to, succeeding support False Friends were a surprising act. Incorporating an Irish tinge to an already established rock sound, the crowd lapped up every second of a strong 30 minute set, the band showing off an impressively strong catalogue of songs.

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With all the supports finished, it was time for the great Casey Lowery to step on stage. The young singer opened his set with Up and Down, inciting a wave of dancing and singing by the enthusiastic crowd and who can blame them? The catchy guitar and drum pairing sound just as good live as they do recorded. It would be difficult to ignore the cover of cult classic anthem All Star and, as you can imagine, it was an instant hit. It helps that Casey managed to add his own take on the song to create a really interesting moment.

Having only released three songs, most of his 30ish minute set was unreleased music that, for the most part, sounded great indeed. Confused was another huge song – the use of various harmonies throughout really worked well in creating a wonderful atmosphere. The huge bridge  really shined through before launching back into that dance along chorus. Casey didn’t take the reaction for granted, continually thanking the crowd for turning up.

For his last song, Trampolines, the singer made sure the audience boogieing that was a staple of his performance lasted till the final minute. It’s easy to see why he implored those in attendance to get down with it: it was an interactive experience, featuring the cliched but still fun moment of the crowd sitting down and jumping up for the final chorus. No matter how knackered everyone was, it didn’t stop them belting out the lyrics alongside Casey.

If there was major thing to take away from tonight’s performance, it’s the high caliber of young musicians showcased that make the future of music just that bit brighter.

 

A Flash Flood Of Changes: Stop The Rain Interview

photo and words by gregor farquharson (@grgratlntc)

Working with producer Bruce Rintoul (Twin Atlantic, Vistas, Fatherson), releasing a stunning EP and having a lineup change? That is exactly what life is like for Scottish rock outfit Stop The Rain at the moment. Catching up with Blair (Vocals, Guitar), Kyle (Drums) and new lead guitarist Leonard, we chatted about the last few months and how important they have been.

Coming from Perth, the five-piece don’t get to the city as much as they would like to. Glasgow is undoubtedly a hugely influential place for many young musicians and building a fan base here is important for the five-piece.

B: We’re still working on it. It’s taken us a while to sell the tickets for Glasgow as no ones wanted to travel over so we have kinda had to rely on trying to pack the places ourselves. A lot of that is down to having good support bands. I do feel we are finally starting to make Glasgow fans and are definitely making progress.

L: I actually moved to Fife a couple of months ago but a lot of my good friends are in and around Glasgow. I have a couple of them coming tonight so that’s always good. Thanks, guys! *laughs* 

Grinding and gigging is the best method to accumulate a fan base and while you may assume they’d rather be back home playing, that isn’t the case; as Kyle put it, the Perth scene largely consists of 18 plus venues whereas Glasgow is a lot more accessible considering they’re only 17.

While they might be a young band, Stop The Rain are already being presented with massive opportunities, such as getting to work with the aforementioned legendary local producer Bruce Rintoul on a single:

B: It was honestly one of the best studio experience we [as a band] have ever had. We have never had a producer who has been so hands-on – he was really involved throughout the process and such a cool guy to work with.

K: Yeah totally agree with Blair. It was nice how he threw himself into the track and just went that extra mile for us.

Moving forward, the band recently gained a new guitarist in the form of Leonard to add to the powerhouse unit. Gigwise, Leonard’s onstage presence, and skill didn’t go unnoticed – the enjoyment was easily seen on his face, as it was for the rest of the band. The boys are all very hopeful for what the future has in store with the rejuvenated lineup: 

B: I’m not sure it will affect us, but Leo has brought a new life into the band.

L: Yeah it will affect us man, I’m leaving tomorrow! *laughs*

B: He has brought funny vibes, good chat and he is an awesome guitar player so I think you will see our riffs become more technical. It seems we are going for a more poppy sound and I’m taking up all the vocals now so you will hear a lot more of me now.

K: Leo has brought a style to the band. We have never had a style, now we do. Basically, Leo is now the face of Stop The Rain.

L: That’s inspiring!

We wrapped up the interview talking about the bands’ EP Sinking (here’s our glowing review for reference) and how the positive comments made the band feel, and grow stronger as a unit.

B: It was great folk could hear a collection of songs rather than just singles, but all in all, we were blown away by the feedback we got. We gained a lot of true fans.

K: Yeah it was really nice to release more than one song. I mean, singles are good but having more than one song is better. It’s really great now to play more song people want to hear. Before we would play our set and people weren’t getting into it as much until we played Home Is Where My Heart Is, and then they would engage.

Being such a young band, Stop The Rain still have a lot to learn and a lot of time to do so. Yet, being a bunch of 17-year-olds and playing gigs in different cities, as well as having a full EP out, is nothing to roll your eyes out and is a dazzling achievement for the boys. The band are ready to take on whatever is thrown at them and with this new lineup, they show no signs of slowing down.

Catch the band at broadcast on the 6th of February, supporting Casey Lowery. Tickets available on the band’s website.

EP Review: Stop The Rain – Sinking

*DISCLAIMER: Early copy of this EP was sent by the band themselves though this has no impact on our overall verdict*

By Gregor Farquharson (@Gregoratlantic)

The surge of music talent in Scotland over the past decade has been nothing short of amazing. Bands like Biffy, Twin Atlantic and Fatherson have all had the big break they deserve, and many others have started gaining well-deserved recognition. It seems new bands are popping up from all over the wee country, and the surge shows no sign of slowing down.

Perth alt-rockers Stop The Rain are one of the many small bands eager to make a name for themselves in an ever growing scene. Having released the absolute beautiful track Home Is Where My Heart Is back in 2016, the band have released another two singles, their unique blend of guitar and synth really makes them stand from the crowd in the Scottish scene. 

The EP opens up with the massive track Your Head’s A Prison. The opener gives us an almost instant good vibe feel to it. A high pitched guitar riff followed by beautiful sounding vocals opens the track and gives us a very good idea of the sound the band wants to achieve. The unique use of synthesizer blends perfectly with the tone of the guitars and vocals. The chorus of this track is absolutely massive, brilliantly working the unique vocals of Blair Davie and Sam Steele. The tracks bridge goes straight into a section of the repeated lyrics “Just cave in feels like I want to” before leaping brilliantly into the exquisite chorus. 

This then leads us into track two of the EP, Cut The Chord. A slower paced song than the EP opener, the song still has the unique alt rock feel the band are aiming for. The buildup to the chorus is, again, a joy to the ears. As for the chorus, it is much more simplistic than that of the previous track, yet still, packs a punch that would grab any listeners almost immediate attention. The bridge of the track features some deeper lyrics, of which you’d expect from much more experienced song writers and not from a 17-year-old. The track fades out with what sounds like a drum machine, and a deep sounding synth, again uniquely using the instrument to its advantage.

Third track Side Effect opens with the same drums that ended the track prior, before bringing in the vocals, and adding guitars part by part, which eventually culminates in a huge sounding section. It slows back down, with the vocals again taking the center stage of the track. The track utilises every instrument of the band brilliantly, with a superb sounding bassline in the background throughout. The bridge of the song shows off the young band’s guitar skills, with around 30 seconds of pure guitar based work playing, to which the track completely slows down, and fades into the final track on the EP, and lead single, Sinking. 

This track opens up with a quiet riff, before quickly building up to an arena sized rock sounding opening section, an impressive feat for the young alt 5 piece. It’s easy to hear the absolute skill that has gone into the production of the album, with instruments fading in and out almost seamlessly. This is down to the superb work of Mark Morrow Audio. The song has an amazing sounding section building up to the chorus, which is very reminiscent of bands such as Vistas and Fatherson. The chorus itself is again nothing but utter musical class, using highs and lows of the vocalist’s ability to uniquely create a beautiful, unique sound. It’s easy to see that the band have written the bridge of the song in order to be played live, building bit by bit before jumping into what would be a jumpy moment for any crowd.  

The EP ends on what the band are brilliant at – using harmonies effectively, something many big bands try hard to master. If this EP is anything to go by, Stop The Rain are going to sky rocket in the Scottish music infrastructure, and certainly be playing bigger gigs than they are just now.

9/10

The Sinking EP is due to be released on all major platforms on the 15th September and is also available for pre order on the band’s website.

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Gig Review: Luna The Professor W/ The Roly Mo + Stop The Rain @ Audio

By Gregor Farquharson (@gregoratlantic)

The Glasgow music scene has undoubtedly proven itself to be one of the best in the UK. Producing some of the finest bands there is, such as Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic, there are always bands gigging in and around the city. It’s every band’s dream to sell out shows and have a loyal fanbase, and up and coming band from Wishaw Luna The Professor are no exception to this. Playing their first ever headline gig in the sold out Audio, and with support from two other up and coming local acts The Roly Mo and Stop The Rain, the night was not one to forget.

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The Roly Mo were the band tasked with the challenge of starting the night and getting the crowd ready, undoubtedly a tough spot. The band played through their half hour set, and the fans seemed to enjoy them. Showcasing an indie rock vibe to their set, it was clear the band has just started up but with a few decent sounding riffs and loud drums, the band had all they needed to get the crowd roaring and ready.

The band let us know that the bassist was hit by a car last week, yet still managed to play tonight which is proof of the sheer dedication the act have. Playing what the punters wanted to hear, The Roly Mo did their job setting the atmosphere for the whole of the night.

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The main support of the evening was brought to us in the form of Perth indie rockers Stop the Rain, who to everyone’s surprise sounded absolutely huge. The very well rehearsed live band have definitely put the practice in, and this shines through. The 5 piece used every second of their set wisely. The crowd were loving the band and the final song Home Is Where The Heart Is really shone through and thoroughly impressed everyone.

Little touches like the band’s masterclass in harmonies, not easy for any up and coming band, made the support act feel like a headliner in the making. The Perthshire band absolutely impressed with their set and will no doubt be playing shows like this with their names at the top of the bill.

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Headliners Luna The Professor are absolutely no strangers to gigging in Glasgow, yet they have never managed to headline a gig in the city, merely supporting other bands, but tonight was their night. With a sea of local fans flooding the tiny Audio, and playing The Venga Boys to open the show, the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing. Opening with track Fall, from the get go the room belonged to them. The amazing production of this show added to the atmosphere, with lights which you’d expect at a much larger venue. We were then treated to performances of Advocate and Hometown, both of which new material and the latter being written about where the band is from Wishaw. Undoubtedly, the bands’ main track and a definite fan favourite Questions really set the room alight.

Frontman Johnny Irwin worked the crowd to perfection, with them all listening and doing as he said. The huge sit-down jump up moment of this song felt special and felt the band were doing all the right things to get a crowd up and ready for a party. The final two songs were a true example of how hard work can pay off. Closer Class A was a total sweat fest for the fans to enjoy – people on shoulders, mosh pits and bouncing, this debut headline had it all. The four piece band rocked the show, and if they can keep this high calibre of gigs and music quality up, the work will pay off and Luna The Professor will definitely move up in the Glasgow venue hierarchy. 

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