Federal Charm/ The Bad Flowers/ Those Damn Crows Oct11

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Federal Charm/ The Bad Flowers/ Those Damn Crows

Federal Charm/ The Bad Flowers/ Those Damn Crows @ Classic Grand, Glasgow

What a triple bill of music rolled into Glasgow tonight. Three band that epitomises the resurgent talent throughout the UK.

I will open with an honest statement, Those Damn Crows have been getting a lot of press recently and a lot of my friends from down south have been raving about them for some time…especially those from Wales but from the few listens I had I just wasn’t sure. Rather than put the band down I left it to my litmus test which never fails…the live environment.

Bands I have loved on record have failed miserably through this but I am happy to say TDC changed my thoughts immediately. They brought plenty of their own fans tonight so I stood back and let them rock out as I stood with my pessimistic stare and strokey beard motions, but that did not last long.

My main concern was whether Shane Greenhall’s vocals worked with the music but live it all blends perfectly and in fact they actually sounded very like a favourite band of mine in Hunter and the Bear, especially on “Someone, Someday”. Since this gig the band have released Murder and Motive and I love it.

The music spoke tonight and along with the bands great stage presence they got a convert tonight and I look forward to seeing them again soon.

The Bad Flowers were the main reason I was here tonight, I caught them earlier this year as support to Stone Broken and I was blown away, they have to be the most enthusiastic three piece in the UK just now.

Although you can stand here and rhyme off influences like a recipe book for the band they manage it all with a brand new feel. Take opener “Hurricane”, it oozes The Cult but it is far more upbeat and in your face.

I Don’t Believe it” is up next and it sees Dale Tonks on heavy bass duty from the off, the big man is a huge part of this bands sound…he is also the happiest bass player I have ever seen. This funky, spaced out number took us all on a journey.

The band are fast and furious on numbers like “Lions Blood” and they will have you rocking out in your own little space. They can then turn it all around on something like “Who Needs a Soul”, an ass shaking number that takes those fuzzy guitars and pure beat backbone.

It was great to see a full set from the guys, especially on the back of the fantastic release of Starting Gun. For me and pretty much all of the crowd the highlight was “ City Lights” a slow burning sludge blues number with a heavy Sabbath guitar feel.

This band mix it up and have a huge amount of originality in something you can swear you have heard before, they take their favourite influences and twist that shit into their own. This is a band that are going places.

I saw Federal Charm a few years ago as support to Joanne Shaw Taylor and they played a good set. I loved their bluesy feel but there was something missing…that little element that you instantly knew meant they were not going to get any bigger. They were good but were never going to set the world on fire. They have now found that missing element and it’s name is Tom Guyer. The new frontman is the perfect find for the band. He may seem a bit different with his flowing locks and three piece suit but he is all singer. He breathed life into second song of the evening “Guess What”, a song I didn’t really take notice of last time but it is not just the singer, it is the whole band who has been filled with a new life, a new purpose and it was brilliant to see such a change.

I loved new album “Passenger” and we got a good few songs from that in “Swing, Sinner”, “Get Through” and “Can’t Rule me” to name a few. The new tracks come to life live, with this band crammed onto a tiny stage they still managed to shine and their brand of hectic blues slithered through the venue till everyone here was in rapture.

This was a massive step up since I last saw them and with a stunning live show and cracking new release they will now take the next step easily.

This was a fantastic night of music where the punters were the outright winners. You could not pick three better bands to spend your night with.

Images and words Ritchie Birnie

Federal Charm

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