The Brew/ Albany Down @ Nice ‘N’ Sleazeys Glasgow
The Brew/ Albany Down @ Nice ‘N’ Sleazeys Glasgow
Sometimes us Photographers and reviewers actually get nights off, yes we like to chill out, not stress about getting the perfect shot and having to remember each and every memorable part of a show( this is another way of saying get pissed). So what do we do to relax? We go to a gig of course you fool. Tonight was one of those nights for me, however, after witnessing two amazing bands put in complete blinding live shows I could not pass up the opportunity to at least get something down on print…the sets played tonight demanded that at least.
Albany Down were first up tonight and to be fair they were the reason I was here. I had been trying to catch them live for about 2 years and every gig they played in this city had a clash with another band I was covering on the same night. Tonight was about them and taking in their show without any barriers or blinkers.
This London based band have been going for some time now and have two amazing albums under their belt. Two albums that take your through classic rock, blues, a little bit of Jazz and a whole lot of soul. As their albums move from one track to another you have no idea what to expect next and that is what I love about them. That being said I have my favourite tracks and I am glad to say they were all played tonight.
They opened with the track “Feeding The Flame” and within seconds I was on another planet. This bourbon dripping, blues monster was incredible live. Paul Muir on vocals was note perfect on a song that just rocks your world and sways you like a belly dancer on ecstasy. My instant thought was how the hell could I have missed these guys live for so long, second thought was why the hell are they even a support band and the final thought was why in all that is holy are they on this stage in this dark and dusty pub venue.
The vibe keeps going as the band burst into “The Drop” and I cannot take my eyes off Paul Turley’s fretwork. Stood there in a flat cap and ripping that guitar to pieces. He flips from rock to blues in an instant. As I said previously the set list consisted of all my favourites from the slightly trippy, slightly orgasmic “Like A Bullet” to the incredible debut album title track “ South Of The city” with its down south guitar, some outstanding slide and vocals of desperation. If you want to know what these guys sound like get on youtube and find this track.
This was everything I had hoped for and more and afterwards I felt sheer guilt at never seeing the band before this night and so I offer my most humble apologies and I can assure you that won’t happen again. Check this band out now, live, recorded, find their address and camp outside their house if you have to…just do whatever you can to make sure this band become part of your life.
Next up was The Brew who I had heard very little of, I mean I was here for Albany Down, they had just played the most incredible set…I was expecting nothing from these guys. In fact if I am totally honest I was giving them a couple of songs and I was then going to another gig in the West End of town. Well, I never made that gig, in fact you couldn’t have dragged me away if the venue was on fire.
The three piece just strolled onto the stage unceremoniously, a band of brothers(and fathers/sons) spreading through years of differing ages and burst into “ Shake The Tree”. Jason Barwick blasted out some distorted guitar and then as we finally got used to that he went for the jugular with his vocals. Paige and Plant would have been proud of this song.
By the time the song “Johnny Moore” came on I knew my feet were firmly planted and the furthest I was going was the bar. I looked around at the patrons I knew in attendance and we were all stood exactly the same…jaws wide open. All I could think was how had I never heard this band before? They have been on the go for 10 years and have a mass of albums(which I bought a fair chunk of that night) so how can it be possible our paths have never crossed. Their stage presence is incredible, their energy is viral. You just need to look at Tim Smith on bass going batshit crazy. This venue was far from crammed but the band gave their all and the last three piece that got my attention like this was a bunch of Canadians by the name of Rush, many moons ago.
The set was made up predominantly by their latest release “ Shake The Tree” and playing that album constantly from the moment I got home you can see why. There is not one filler track. That album is a modern masterpiece and shames some of the hugest bands out there today. Tracks like “Knife Edge” and “Black Hole Soul” will rock your world and rip your head off but this band is far from a one trick pony. When they turn it down and dig a knife into your heart with a song like “ Without you” you will feel every loss you have ever had. You also have to hear the solo in there. It is sublime.
Each member of this band is on fire and extremely talented, none moreso than Kurtis Smith on drums. Anyone that knows me knows I am not a big solo fan, on any instrument and when the rest of the band left the stage to him on his own I did think oh here we go again but holy crap that was something else. As the band take in a beer and watch this man goes crazy and ends it all playing the drums with the back of his hands. I was impressed and that is no mean feat.
Now not to be outdone we get Jason Barwick cutting his groove and do the old Paige special of playing his guitar with a violin bow and boy can he play that thing. When this show was over I had to speak to the band and tell them just how impressed I was. This wasn’t just an incredible find, this wasn’t just my favourite gig of the year this was one of the most impressive live shows I have ever witnessed.
This band should never be in a club like this, these guys need a break and soon, this talent cannot be kept quiet much longer. They need a support slot to a big band ASAP, they need to be on all festival stages and YOU need to be onboard now. I still cannot comprehend what I saw that night from both bands and in such a small venue. You have a massive fan here now and I will be shouting your name from the rooftops.
Review Ritchie Birnie.