30 January 2018
A fevered trio of acts brought Sneaky Pete’s to the brink of annihilation on Tuesday. All good, none bad, and spades of ugly.
Published in Crash
Independent Venue Week was treated to the most bacchanalian celebration of our wee isle’s most impassioned, stalwart and maverick musical establishments at Sneaky Pete’s on Tuesday with a trio of acts dead set on razing the locale to rubble.
Commencing the evening with Shredd is like starting a campfire with a Molotov. The Glasgow fuzz-fiends are straight out the garage and onto the tracks, squealing like a lo-fi freight train run rampant. Point man Chris Harvie’s chin-rest guitar placement, whooping vocals, and relentless squatting and popping evokes a heavy dose of Oh Sees’ frontman John Dwyer, which is far from a bad thing. On Cobra he manages to mingle with every last fret on that weapon of his, as bassist Mark MacDonald thumps away with extreme dexterity and drummer Calum Wilson lashes with a level of frenzy which demands a lifetime of atonement. Thick as thieves the trio are, seldom do they exchange glances between one another, not out of distaste, but in absolute faith that their comrades are exactly where they need to be. The set’s paramount track Flight of Stairs teases us with a false end, applause begins to ripple, but they quickly seize this appreciation by whipping us back into their noise for its furious and official denouement, I would be lying if I said my eyes were dry.
Swaggering on stage with the flamboyant sheen of glam-rock, Glasgow five-piece Walt Disco provides the eve with a sweet, balancing and seductive ingredient that every velvety cocktail needs. Their jangly-indie-rock is a charming and jovial mash-up of The Smiths and pepperoni playboy Mac Demarco, but that’s not to say the lads don’t crank the volume when the time calls. James Potter’s lyrical tones are stunningly refined, oscillating between Bowie and Morrissey with surgical precision; in addition, his vocal volleys with bassist Mashu Harada give their set a whimsical glee. Dream Girl #2 (released on the day of the gig) flaunts a guitar riff, courtesy of Lewis Carmichael, that twinkles like the dawn sun on a virginal sea, it is so mesmerizing in fact that it leads us away on a Californian odyssey of endless beaches, flower-print swimwear and that perpetual warmth that makes love such an easy spell to fall under.
Now we arrive at our burning measure of booze, which tips our evening’s lush libation firmly into new realms of intoxication. Avalanche Party’s inaugural tune I’m So Wet is a droning bombardment of seismic proportions, throttling the crowd with its choking grip and it doesn’t let up. The band’s fearless, topless, limitless leader Jordan Bell lunges off stage commanding his audience like a demented coxswain of a galley bound for a raging war.
Porcelain is bursting with Joe Bell’s pulsating bass, ghastly fret screeches and Glen Adkins’ electrocuted keys — it is a seamless hit of garage-punk menace that the Yorkshire lads sell with the utmost of conviction. Jordan Bell’s fevered lyrics, ‘I’ll redefine your notion of the best a man can be,’ are delivered without a blink, and in the whites of his eyes we witness a window into the truths to which he holds. Jared Thorpe, after he’s finished doing the dirtiest of dirty with his fifth-limb-guitar, leans mic-ward and hushes, ‘Relax. Relax,’ to his feisty audience, assuaging us all too briefly with this rare moment of calm, before Kane Waterfield crashes down on his toms and sends the room spiralling back into doom.
The night’s final cut, Solid Gold, smashes together affections for BRMC and The Stooges, but with thanks to the band’s adroit prowess as a unit, and their earnestly tempestuous demeanour, they own their sound and damn it’s mighty. Drowned are we in its bath of distortion, plunging us deeper and deeper with little hope our lungs will be graced with air again; finally, its climax ceases our asphyxiation by way of an epiphany, bringing us topside again to live and breathe, but in being so close to the end, our perspective has changed, for the better, and for that there can be no end of gratitude given.