First gig at the Cathouse in a while and a chance to catch a band that fill arenas in the US packing out one of Glasgow’s smaller venues. I was there courtesy of openers Electric River and an interview with them will be up in the next couple of days.
Starting with them, they strolled onto stage with a hundred or so people already in attendance. A few fans down the front obviously knew the band – I’d caught up with one of them myself – and they launched into a short but packed set with little preamble.
Despite being together eight years, Electric River are only just about to release their debut label as a signed act (though their third album overall) – it’s out on June 2nd or you can pick it up early on any of the tour dates before then. Their historical influences lie in the pop/punk end of things (more punk than pop), but they’ve absorbed many more along the way.
They’re certainly tight live, and good value for money. The sound wasn’t bad either, and even Sponge’s bass was nice and clear. They played a decent selection from the album, including current single “In Your Name”. Eight years worth of practice and gigging shows through in a very professional – and fun – performance.
Guitarist Will Whisson must have cut every stereotypical rock shape going during their thirty minutes; squatting, crouching, perching on monitors – you name it. And he fits in backing vocals around all that. Chris Aldis, also on guitar, is somewhat more sedate preferring to play as if he’s very much in control of this six-stringed animal hung around his neck. Imposing rather than explosive.
Backing the three up is Alex Mayland on drums, who seemed to be having a hell of a time. I’d say he spent 85% of the time battering the shit out of his chosen instrument and 50% of the time grinning. And, yes, I know those don’t add up to 100.
On the strength of the material tonight, the album’s going to be good. They’re definitely worth getting to the venue early enough to see if you’ve already got tickets for this tour.
Next up were Blame, but sadly I missed them as I was downstairs interviewing Electric River. I heard maybe the first two minutes and they sounded OK, but I’ll reserve judgement for the next time they’re in the area!
Lit are touring to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of what’s probably their most popular album, A Place in the Sun. As such, there’s no surprise that it pretty much dominated their setlist.
Now, I’m not their hugest fan – simply out of ignorance, not the fact that I don’t like them – so pretty much the only song I recognised was “My Own Worst Enemy”. Which frankly, must rank amongst the top pop/rock songs anyone could wish they wrote. That riff’s just incredible.
However, their energy on stage and the fact that most of their songs contain ridiculously sharp hooks means that you don’t need to know all the material to enjoy their live show. Frontman A. Jay Popoff was arm-deep in the crowd by the second song, and the rest of the band showed that they can adapt to any venue.
I gather the show was a sell-out – it certainly seemed it – and it’s not surprising given the quality of the band and the music. Rest assured that if you have a ticket for this tour, you’re in for a great time… just get there in time for the support acts!