OTHERKIN MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING AT HEADLINE SHOW IN GLASGOW
Round the back and up the stairs at The Garage’s Attic Bar for tonight's gig. I was really excited for the headliner tonight: I last saw Otherkin perform as the support act for The Amazons in the main Garage venue back in February and they were dynamite.
First time I’ve been in the The Attic and it is small. The first band take the stage and there are only about 20 people in the crowd. The early part of the evening has the feeling of a open mic night or a battle of the bands competition.
The first band on are The Lucids and they are pretty dreadful. It’s tracksuit tops and polo shirts all round and the music is britpop inspired with a little of The Cure thrown in. I get the distinct feeling that they need more in all departments - more time practicing as they can barely play their instruments, more time playing as a unit, and more time on the sound…..a more confident delivery would also go a long way. The songs had promise though! Not the greatest start but everyone has got to start somewhere.
The follow up support is a three-piece unit called The Cairds. These guys had a bit more oomph, but not much. From the off the frontman was struggling with his effects and sound, a loose connection in one of his pedals seemed to be the culprit but it really put a dampener on the performance. The vocals were a bit lacklustre and the drums were a little shaky in places. Again for these guys the song writing had some merit and the bass player could play but the overall sound and the singer’s guitar issues derailed them a bit. These guys just needed a bit more attention to detail to polish the whole act.
The room filled a little more in readiness for Otherkin’s arrival on stage but only to about 40 bodies which still had the venue looking a little sparse. An air raid siren sounded bringing the main act to the stage and from this point on there was no doubt about the difference in quality. Straight into the first track 'Come On, Hello' and it’s a huge sound, full of energy. The first cedes directly to the next, 'Treat Me So Bad' and the force of the performance is breathtaking given the fact they are playing to a less than half full room.
Frontman Luke Reilly is pulling shapes with his guitar at all angles, and he is in the crowd, in people's faces directing the room. Between songs he beckons the crowd closer to the front whilst the drummer keeps the beat up and they head seamlessly into the next track 'Bad Advice'. The songs come thick and fast and there is no let up in the energy or the punk/pop/rock feel, there are definite flavours of The Hives in a lot of the songs as they head through - '89', 'I Was Born' and 'Feel It'. 'Enabler' and '20 to 11' are more of the same and it is a performance worthy of a larger crowd and a larger room.
Drummer Rob Summons and Luke were definitely the stand out performers from both tonight and when they supported The Amazons. Rob is tight and relentless behind the kit, his persistent chops and beats driving the performance. Luke's lead vocals are spat at the mic and all whilst jumping around the crowd and contorting with his guitar. Lead guitarist Conor Wynne's sound is so well sculpted within the overall sound of the group that it seems like the icing on the cake and at times he along with David Anthony's bass-playing are the backbone of the band, which allows Luke to do his thing with confidence. This was to the point where he tried to do the Freddie Mercury thing, getting the crowd to sing a melody back at him, in a room of 40 people!
As they play 'Love’s A Liability', with its softer breakdown section, the band then return to upping through the gears with 'Hardcore' and 'React'. Luke tries to get everyone clapping in the last song 'So So' and is in the crowd once again, he is relentless as a performer. As this song finishes the air raid siren sounds again and they are gone.
For the first stop on their UK tour this was a very accomplished performance and I really hope they get some recognition as they are the real thing. It was worthy of a better, larger venue and a larger audience, but I’m sure that is to come for these guys. If you get the chance go see Otherkin.