The Birthday Massacre @ Audio, Glasgow Oct11

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The Birthday Massacre @ Audio, Glasgow

The Birthday Massacre @ Audio, Glasgow

You have to wonder why so many people have never heard of The Birthday Massacre. TBM have been on the go now since 1999, that is a good way to two decades and still I get blank looks when I mention the name. Even so this gig sold out some time ago and for the first time ever I see a queue of miscreants winding away from the doors and around the corner…it even went past open pub doors and that is some feat in Glasgow on a Saturday night.

Looking at the people in that line I had to have a little giggle as these people were so unprepared for a sold out show in this venue, you need to dress like a 19 year old Geordie lass going out on the razzle…the least amount of clothes must be worn as this place is a sweatpit when full.

Before we got to the headliners we had a couple of support bands that were kept a secret until we walked through the doors and clocked the merchandise. The first up was Stereo Juggernaut and they were the find of the night for me. If I had to sum them up I would hand the credits to Van Halen and the song “Atomic punk”. That name sums them up to a tea. The image, the music and the dirty, stinking attitude.

They come at you with a veracity and a audial sledgehammer. The songs may be fast, frantic and brutal but they are well thought out and really catchy. In songs like “Shutdown”, “Devoid” and “Empty Eyes” they may be heavily done with electronica backing tapes but this is as metal as you will find. It is a twisted, demented industrial journey and one which I thoroughly enjoyed and after buying the EP “Shutdown” on the night I will be keeping my eyes fixed on these Londoners.

As soon as the band finished I decided rather than fight through a hoard of people to get to the bar I would run around the corner to another venue which also had a gig on that night(You have to love the Glasgow music scene). I managed a quick pint, a couple of songs and then it was back to Audio for Among The Echoes.

I felt this band was a far better fit to the headliner and very similar in what they do. It was definitely a lot less chaotic than Stereo juggernaut and gave people a chance to catch their breath in the humid atmosphere. The Brummies put on a great show and had a pretty solid eight track set list so we got to taste their wares so to speak.

Opener “Freak” is a cracker of a tune and hooked this fanbase in straight away. They followed up with “Sin” and from this point the crowd were in the palm of their hands. With six members on this rather small stage they didn’t really have the room to run amok but they made best use of what room they had and proceeded to blow us away with their synth backed rock songs. The highlight of the set for me was “This Is A Love Song” and “Breathe”. This is definitely another band to watch out for.

Once again I leg it around to the other venue for another quick refreshment and some more tunes before getting back and settling in for TBM set…a set that clocked in at 20 songs and in this heat with the crowd basically shoveled in it was time for deep breaths and lots of brow wiping.

These Canadians do not do anything by half as I cannot tell you the last time I saw such a long set list so you really do get plenty bang for your buck here. The other thing to notice is the quality of the songs. Each one is instantly recognisable and many would say you have a greatest hits right here. They open with “Broken” to a massive cheer. The synth kicks in and is set to frenzied for the rest of the evening and the almost “Firestarter” chorus kicks everything up a notch.

As much as I watch the band I do like to scan the crowd and there are a lot of happy faces out there, you can see people watching their favoured band member with a good sample of them stuck on

Chibi and rainbow, both doing there own thing. Chibi’s voice is perfect tonight and as she makes here way through the pop infused rock numbers you notice what a perfect front woman she is.

The whole band works their asses off in that hot and sweaty venue and it does not go unnoticed. As we fly through the likes of “Goodnight”, “Diaries” and “Control” the crowd is becoming more frantic and louder. This is what music is all about…a melding of artist and audience. A place where everything else is forgotten about.

TBM just nailed it tonight and as we all walked out of that venue in clothes that were much wetter and heavier than when we entered we were all smiling…another TBM gig, another success and hopefully not another two year wait till they return.

Review and Images Ritchie Birnie

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