Live (The Maple Thieves)
It’s not very often that my conversations of what new bands and small venues that I’m heading to gets any attention in work but for once, a few eyebrows were being raised as talk turned to weekend plans.
A Saturday night in The Classic Grand may not have been the most exotic way to spend the weekend but it turns out that wasn’t always the case. Yes, the older guys in the office picked up their ears at the venue’s name and regaled tales of how that same spot used to be a one of the major places to check out blue movies in Glasgow. Strange that they all seemed aware of that fact, but with knowledge, the evening was looking up, although I did make sure I would touch nothing at all in the place.
Thankfully, that wasn’t to be a concern due to the heavy makeover into a reasonable 500 capacity venue in Glasgow’s burgeoning live scene. First on to christen the stage for The Mag was The Maple Thieves and the classic vibe shone from them as well, with every track covered in 70s rock or 60s bluesy stomp.
Perhaps it was more due to the vocals than the guitar licks, but the sound and feel of The Yardbirds was unmistakeable throughout the set. Another noticeable element was that all the band sounded as though they had the cold, which given that it’s Glasgow in November, may not be too unlikely.
There was an element of similarity to the tracks on show but ‘All for You’ had some impressive riffs and fills and indicated there may be some promise for The Maple Thieves.
Next up, and most annoyingly, is a band whose name has so far went un-detected. All the pre-gig billing was about headliners Soulcircus and their EP launch but nothing indicated who were supporting and the band felt they didn’t have to introduce themselves at all over the course of the evening, which was a shame. A shame, particularly because their electronic phasing stood them out from the classic rock on show for the rest of the evening and their hardcore (i.e. drunken) fans who danced merrily down the front helped put on a spectacle.
At times, the lead vocals were delivered muffled and stumbling and it may have been easy to write them off, but as the samples and beats got harder and harder throughout the set, it’s clear there was something about the band. With a cover of Primal Screams dark sleaze effort ‘Miss Lucifer’, it’s obvious where this bands hearts lay, if we only knew their name!
And after that, it was left to Soulcircus to mop up proceedings and get the crowd rocking on a Saturday night and, with songs called ‘Rock n roll’, it’s pretty obvious what gets the juices of this act flowing and along with The Maple Thieves bookend-ed the show in traditional style. Not to say that there was anything wrong with that as the vocals bristled with energy, almost as if they were spoiling for a fight, whilst the guitars had a deep-down swampy feel to them which came across well in the venue.
Glasgow is certainly a city in love with it’s rock n roll and it’s good that the cities current incumbents are still waving that flag high for all to see. Sometimes CD launch gigs can get sidetracked by the thought of the physical product as opposed to the physical live show but at the end of the day, Soulcircus did more than enough to justify a trip out on a cold night. It certainly wasn’t like the old days in the Classic Grand though.
Guest article from Andy R.
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