SOUND OF GUNS
Several years ago, a young, relatively unknown band from Leicester came to Glasgow and played at the famous King Tuts. Their potential was quite obvious, even from such an early point in their musical career but for whatever reason I opted out of travelling uptown, thinking they’d be back shortly and I’d catch them then.
They did return a few months later, but by this time their popularity had exploded and instead of playing the intimate confines of Tuts or the like, they were supporting some big-noise at Barowlands with exorbitant ticket prices. Next time again, they were headlining the damn place and Kasabian haven’t looked back since.
I’m not about to make the same mistake again!
Unfortunately, a brief bout of post-work lethargy and the lure of an additional slice of toasted cheese means I’m running late and I miss opening act, The Mirror Trap – sorry lads!
However, Carly Connor is billed for the half-hour slot immediately before the headliners, and the lesson here is not to prejudge an act purely based on the name and poster photo! I knew it was unlikely that a Folk act would be booked for tonight, but sometimes you just don’t know what odd mix of bands local promoters will enlist to ensure additional ticket sales.
But my fears are quickly allayed as the diminutive Carly launches into her set. Accompanied by a drummer and a sole guitarist (who also plays keyboard on a couple of tracks) she truly belts her way through a bluesy, soulful set of songs that instantly have the filling crowd captivated. And as if to prove her versatility, she slips in a solo acoustic number, which I think may have been a Shangri-las cover?
With her long, strawberry blond hair flicking over her face, she stands bare-footed and on her tiptoes throughout, throwing her hands about as if to accentuate the music in a sort of Joe Cocker style. She truly is Scotland’s new ‘Little Miss Dynamite!’
It’s a late show for King Tuts and it’s almost 10:30pm when the lights dim and the crowd erupts as the first glimpses of SOUND OF GUNS are spied out in the wings. The atmosphere and anticipation build as the intro soundtrack rumbles and shakes the venue. And then we’re off as the hirsute and ‘scruffy-chic’ quintent take the stage.
Opening with current single ‘Sometimes’ lifted from the newly released album Angels And Enemies’ singer Andy Metcalffe and his cohorts have the crowd in the palms of their hands right away. The explosive, anthemic nature of this song together with the big ‘Wooaah, wooaah’ gang vocal chorus encourages much air-punching, and while the boisterous nature of the crowd stops somewhere short of a good old-fashioned mosh pit, the tone and mood is set for the ensuing hour.
Yeah – there aren’t too many bands that enthral the more intimate venues with sets as long as this. But with a new album to promote and several EP releases and an earlier long player to their credit, there are plenty songs to draw upon.
Indeed, the set is a pretty even split between the ‘What Came From Fire’ album and the new one, which means that pretty much everyone is able to belt out the words to most songs.
Inevitably it’s vocalist Andy who draws the most attention. Looking not too dissimilar to one of Glasgow’s finest, Alex Harvey, Andy stomps about the stage, jumping onto the crowd barrier and even sharing a beer with the punters. A glance around the stage though shows the others (Nathan and Lee on guitar, John on bass and Si on drums) all giving it pelters on their instruments. And what’s so nice to see is that there is no overblown posturing and ‘attention-seeking’ that you often see from bands where the front man is getting all the attention.
One interesting ‘diversion’ from the routine set is when Andy asks Carly back on stage. It’s her birthday, and of course the crowd join in with the usual round of ‘Happy Birthday’ before she shares vocal duties with Andy on an acoustic rendition of ‘Backs Of Butterflies.’ Quite a wee rapport going on there! Nice.
Although I have been an admirer of SOUND OF GUNS and their music for some time now, this is my first time catching them ‘live.’
I’m so glad to have done so – and that I made the effort to go see them play in a small venue. Experience has taught me that bands of this quality inevitably soon outgrow the intimate and welcoming confines of King Tuts.
(See you at the minging Barrowlands next time, lads?!)
(Click here to see where else you can catch SOUND OF GUNS on their curent tour.)