Mason Hill @ King Tuts, Glasgow May30

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Mason Hill @ King Tuts, Glasgow

Mason Hill @ King Tuts, Glasgow

After a six month hiatus mason Hill bounce back with another landmark, their third sold out headline show on the trot. Is there nothing that can stop this band?

Support tonight is from local lads Black King Cobra. This band have also been going from strength to strength but they were a bit apprehensive prior to the show as this was all about one of Glasgow’s most loved bands but the worries fell away as soon as they took to that stage and the massive cheers that were waiting for them. As always front man Callum Moran looked on in disbelief to the reaction from the crowd. One of this bands finer points is the honest(bordering on Naive) humbleness that they possess.

It would not be a BKC show without the technical hiccups and once again the toaster strikes only to be put in its place by the singer. Now that we have that out of the way it is time for the show and they open with the brilliant “Blood Rush” which instantly throws new bass player Rob Kennedy in at the deep end.

The band had been harassing me for a while as my last show was the farewell to old bass player Johnny Keel. They have played a few gigs with Rob and I have not been able to make the shows so tonight was the night and what a way to introduce the new member. This song for me epitomises BKC. It is full of groove and the bass is such an important part in this(and all) songs.

I will have to admit I was a bit nervous about the change of bassist, I have watched this band grow and become the amazing unit they are now. That was down not only to the music but the individuals, they had such a charisma between them I was worried something would be lost, yes, the dynamic has changed but I can safely say nothing has been lost. Rob is not Johnny and he does not try to be which I was very thankful for and my god can he play that bass, this studio musician has stepped onto the stage with ease, it may not be where he is totally comfortable but that will come in time. The more he plays in front of audiences like tonight, the more he gels with the three other members and the more he gets used to the extremely intricate bass lines he will excel. The talent is there in abundance.

I have to apologise to Rob in advance as I was scrutinising him very closely and on “Wrack’n’Ruin” I am sure I was inches away from his fretboard like some sort of music equivalent of a sofa referee. After that performance I had to give in and let him do his thing…I was never going to pick any fault.

That left me to just enjoy the show as I always do. I watched Ross on guitar freak out as always, I watched the mighty Mr Todd sit behind his kit, making it look like a kids set and bashing the crap out of it and as always I settle on Callum out front, the man of many faces and the incredible voice.

This band may be completely different musically to the headliners but the comparisons mount up, they only have one EP, the name is becoming well known locally and even starting to spread southwards and every time the band play to a new audience they leave with many more fans. I have yet to hear one complaint, one dislike or even a I didn’t really care for it attitude. To give you an idea of this bands appeal I brought a die hard thrash fan to see them and he instantly fell for them and is now ever present at their shows.

This band just need to keep gigging, get that second EP done and restock on the green t-shirts as they are ever visible and although a mistake during printing they are now part of the story. I am very proud of these boys and everything they do and as I say goodbye to them on stage the pride factor gets set to raise even higher as the headliners prepare to blow Glasgow away once again.

Six months is a long time for a local band to be missing in action. Memories do fade and when you see as many amazing bands in this city as I do you run the risk of people not paying as much attention. The opposite can also be said as if you are playing week in, week out people will get bored but Mason Hill may have had a break but their grasp of social media means they were never really away and when this show was announced it sold out in no time at all.

It saw fans from all over Scotland and down south make the pilgrimage as we were promised the first ever live airing of some of the news songs that are due to be recorded for their debut album. Something the band has needed for some time. One EP can only take you so far but hats off to Mason Hill this has taken them all over this Island and a multitude of festivals, including the hallowed Download. That alone could be seen as a sign of success but this band are determined to take this music business by the throat.

Guitarist James Bird has been working his skinny little ass off writing songs that will overshadow the EP. That is not an easy thing to do as the calibre of those four tracks is very high but going by the new songs on display tonight this album is a whole different beast.

The band strolled onto the stage like kids the day before going back to school after a summer holiday(sporting new haircuts). The smiles were just the same though and there was no ring rustiness from not having played a gig for six months. The crowd were as loud as I can remember and you can safely say these are Glasgow’s favourites. This city has always been spot on when it comes to talent(we will ignore Bay City rollers for now), when its bad you will know about it and when it is this good you will have fans for life…this is what Mason Hill have right now and that is just going to grow.

They opened with “This Life” and it was like a punch to the stomach, an instant reaction and the euphoria followed quickly with “Survive”. A song I would have to call a classic and a song that had this crowd singing their lungs out.

Next up we get a barrage of new songs and they sounded fantastic, very much mason Hill but with a new, modern twist. Enough of the old to keep everyone on their toes and enough of the new to spark everyone with a lot of excitement and create a buzz about the debut album.

The stand out track tonight was “Follow You”, a slow burning ballad which packs a huge punch. Being a certain age I lived through the 80s, hair bands were my thing, I loved that era and having seen some of the biggest bands on the biggest stages I can assure you this would slot in perfectly back then. With its first outing this had the crowd singing back the chorus, mobiles in hand and there was a real feel running through that venue that this is the step up that Mason Hill needed to take. It took me back to the first time I saw them and knew they were something special. Tonight was the band paying back those feelings tenfold.

Away from the softer songs the heavier tracks kicked as much ass. The opener was brilliant with James Bird in his element and the crowd bathing in his talent. “No Regret” was a fast and furious number which saw Craig on drums try to level his kit. The boys have also reworked the song “Broken Son” and it is heavier, punchier and it grinds with a heavy southern vibe.

As always the show is wrapped up with “Where I Belong” and Scott didn’t even need to be on that stage. The crowd were incredible, so loud and full of pride. This is Mason Hill’s anthem, it is what they are about and it is James Bird’s moment on the stage. The man who is the driving force behind everything they do steps out of his own humble shadow and shows not only can he write incredible songs but play a guitar like the heroes he holds close, heroes I think he will soon be mingling with, heroes who will know his name and will be looking to write with him.

Mason Hill never disappoint, in fact they always take it to the next level every time you see them. This band of brothers have a long way to go and this debut album is what will put them on the biggest stages out there. It is a privilege to watch them on their journey.

Now, what venue to sell out next?

Images and words Ritchie Birnie

 

 

 

Mason Hill @ King Tuts, Glasgow

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