Waist-deep into the busiest time of the year, this was one I’d had my eye on since it was announced, namely because it’s not the usual and shows like this act as a great palate cleanser. So for the princely sum of a tenner and organised by Pig Chop Promotions, it grabbed you the delight of four bands. That’s less than a pint per band!
Kicking things off for the night is Erin at Eleven. The singer-songwriter declares she’s starting with the only cover of her set before marching onwards with her original material. After Fleetwood Mac’s ethereal and haunting “Landslides” starts the night off on a sombre moment, whilst the following song, “This Place” is more upbeat. And that’s pretty much how the rest of her set play out, alternating the songs and keeping the crowd engaged. The songs are made up from her personal experiences and it’s a great warm-up for the plugged-in bands which follow.
The Frontiers open their own set with a funky instrumental with a massive bassline akin to early Red Hot Chili Peppers. The early songs are upbeat indie/alternative tones before bringing it down a notch with “My Way” and “Wake Up” moves things into grittier territory with scratching guitar tones. There’s also a cover of “Live Forever” by Oasis (it was for a departed friend so don’t hold it against them) and not altogether out of place with their Britpop/post-Britpop leanings. As a live band, the Ayrshire quartet are slick and with the room becoming busier, make the most of the bigger crowd.
It’s been quite some time since I last saw Phosphenes and time has been incredibly kind to them. They’ve gotten far tighter as a unit with their songs flowing much better. They take the evening into a grittier, harder-edged direction with their own cover song in the form of The Ramones. No, thankfully, not that one. If you’ve seen School of Rock (and shame on you if you haven’t), you know exactly what song I’m talking about. With their own slant on the alternative sound, the dirtier sound works well against the juxtaposition of the cleaner sounds they’re sandwiched between to keep things varied for the evening. Whilst they weren’t bad last time around, it’s great to see such marked growth in the band and hopefully they continue that trend for next time.
Headliners of the night, Kings of Unity base their set mainly on covers. Swing back to a cleaner sound, there’s a heavy pop punk influence with an alternative and indie slant to ensure some variety. They put their own spin on most of them and most of them are your friendly, recognisable singalongs. There’s “Basket Case”, “Mr Brightside”, “Good Riddance” and closing song “Sugar, We’re Going Down”. In-between, there’s a handful of less recognisable songs but are still in the same vein: catchy and singalong-worthy. As they admit onstage, they’ve only had a couple of rehearsals for tonight but it allows them to have a more raw and care-free approach to the set and works in their favour.
Had it been more rehearsed, with their sound, it’d have come off far too polished and sterile. For Kings of Unity, it feels like a successful night and they make full use of the opportunity to plug their next gig. But in that vein, it seems successful for everyone who appeared on the bill as there wasn’t a bad band between them.