Gig Review: Smash Into Pieces / Cyan Kicks – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow (25th November 2023)

I first discovered tonight’s headline band back in the lockdown days of 2020, when YouTube took me down the rabbit hole of bands I’d never heard of before and it suddenly played ‘Superhero’ by Smash Into Pieces. After adding a couple of songs by them, which I really liked, I didn’t really get the chance explore much more of their back catalogue. That all changed when my then fiancé came back from this year’s Download Festival and told me how impressed he was with the band’s set and that they were coming back to the UK later in the year on a headline tour.

Cyan Kicks (c) Jack Barker

Due to our unique work schedules the local Manchester gig next weekend was out of the question, so we jumped on a train (or three) to head to Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut for the second night of the UK tour. In complete contrast to last Friday nights gig when we saw Written by Wolves with a very early set time and we were back in the car and on our way home by about 9:30pm, tonight doors opened at 8:30pm with the first band Cyan Kicks taking to the stage at 9pm.

Looking very glam rock, Cyan Kicks graced the slightly cramped stage with lead vocalist Susanna Aleksandra starting their opening track ‘I Never Said 4ever’ with a guitar in hand. With very clear vocals throughout the entire set, they got the evening off to an impressively good start. Although it didn’t seem like too many in the room knew the songs, the energy the band were giving on stage was undeniably felt and returned by the crowd, especially by their fourth song of the night ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Bed’ with Aleksandra’s dancing on stage.

The majority of the setlist was taken from songs off their latest album I Never Said 4ever, however ‘Gasoline’ was one of the older songs that made it onto the setlist from their debut album and with the catchy lyrics, people in the crowd were joining in before the end. Throughout Cyan Kicks’ set, I was thinking their sound was somewhat familiar, and it wasn’t until later on that I came to the realisation that their sound at times is like a heavier Tonight Alive. With this being Cyan Kicks’ first time in Scotland, I can definitely see them making a big return soon.

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With every small space in the venue filled, it’s clear to say that Smash Into Pieces have a large following in Glasgow. With our stomping ground normally being Leeds, we’re used to the “Yorkshire!” chants, however the few gigs that we have now been to in Glasgow, it seems “Here we, here we, here we f*cking go!” is the Glaswegian equivalent.

Smash Into Pieces (c) Jack Barker

With a set featuring most of their newer singles from the band’s upcoming album Ghost Code along with a few off most of their released albums, Smash Into Pieces did a great job of showcasing their new work while also treating the audience to some favourites. The performance from the whole band was spectacular and the emotion portrayed in lead vocalist Chris Adam Hedman Sörbye voice, especially on the slower songs, is enough to give you goosebumps.

Staying in a similar position on the stage for the majority of the set, Hedman Sörbye doesn’t need any fancy gimmicks – just his voice and signature outfit to draw the crowd’s attention. Taking their positions either side of him were lead and rhythm guitarists Benjamin Jennebo and Emanuel Magnil, with Magnil standing in for permanent member Per Bergquist. Not deterred by the small stage, both Jennebo and Magnil spent a good amount of time down on the barrier interacting with the fans. The mystery behind drummer APOC (The Apocalypse DJ) continues as disguised behind their mask and cloak, they remained concealed behind an electric drum kit so high above the stage in this small venue that their head must have been hitting the roof at points.

Although ‘Arcadia’ was released in 2019, it is still such a relevant song with the current state of the world. With their unique blend of electro sounds and modern rock, the band had everyone in the venue bouncing along. With a quick message from Hedman Sörbye of “It is important we stick together as one. Pick up your phones and put your flashes in the air”, the crowd did exactly that for a heartfelt performance of ‘Vanguard’. For a song called ‘Forever Alone’ this must be one of their most upbeat songs and it works so well mixed in with their heavier numbers (I would say to lighten the mood, however the lyrics aren’t exactly happy!). A cover of ‘Mad World’ with APOC coming down from the drum riser to play keys ended the main set and the room sang back each lyric word for word.

With immediate chants of “One more song” it would have been rude for the band to head off just yet. In fact, we were treated to two songs. First up was crowd favourite ‘Boomerang’ which saw Aleksandra from Cyan Kicks return to the stage to provide some extra vocals on the track.

With a closing remark from Hedman Sörbye of “I think we may have outgrown King Tut’s, huh?” before the final song of the evening ‘Six Feet Under’ (arguably one of their biggest and most emotional hits), it was clear that despite this being the band’s first headline tour in the UK, they clearly have a dedicated following of fans (aka Smash Heads). Despite thoroughly enjoying seeing them play this 300 people capacity venue, they might need to book some larger venues for their next tour.

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Photos by Jack Barker Photography

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June 23, 2024 10:35 PM

[…] were very excited to see Smash Into Pieces, having seen them in Glasgow last year. The difference between seeing them in a very small venue with a max capacity of around 300 people […]