King Tuts kicked off its annual New Year’s Revolution series on January 3rd 2013, providing Glaswegian punters the chance to hear some of Scotland’s best noisemakers, and those tipped for big things this year. Last night it was the turn of Campfires In Winter, Sunshine Social and headlining band, Kitty The Lion to show the iconic Glasgow venue what they were made of.
Campfires in Winter opened the evening in spectacular style, drawing in a packed crowd from their first note. The experimental quartet had the crowd in silence as they sang with eerie harmonies and trailed songs off with extended outros. In their short set they managed to squeeze out the brilliant “White Lights”, which is also their next single due out in March. One to get your ears around now is “See Us There”, “Both”, even if just for the repetition of “back” in a Scottish accent.
Campfires In Winter created a beautiful atmosphere and really set the tone for the evening with their mid-tempo alternative-indie sounds.
Previously unknown to myself, Sunshine Social took to the stage next with an impressive amount of balloons, providing endless enjoyment for the crowd. Singer Calum MacDonald noted it was their first live show after a break recording their debut album.
It was apparent too, as the crowd were excitable and in high spirits, chanting along to favourite of the set “Audible Smiles”. Sunshine Social even managed to draw a few punters from London for the one-off show, which is no surprise as their mandolin-infused, nu-folk is infectious. The six-piece along with their mixture of influences and instruments, from glockenspiel to banjo via cowbell, are definitely ones to watch. The highlight of their set was their brilliantly executed percussion finish; the kind that Friendly Fires would wet their pants over.
Headliners Kitty The Lion took to the stage a little later than anticipated (don’t all the rockstars?) but were forgiven in a heartbeat thanks to Anna Meldrum’s flawless vocals. The tone of her voice is like a Scottish Ellie Goulding, only with decent tunage to back it up. They debuted new song “Dark Heart”, due to feature on their first album due out in the autumn. It was a real high point of the night, a vibrant dance-a-long track from the folky five. Another high point was “Dead Hip”, and in particular Meldrums’s introduction “It’s a song about your joints. Remember to take your cod liver oil!” They danced through tracks old and new throughout the set, captivating the audience with catchy melodies and razor-sharp lyrics.
With songs wandering off the beaten scorned lover/live for the weekend paths, with subjects ranging from aforementioned joints to eating disorders and social status, Kitty The Lion are a smart band with something to say (or sing), and they do it well.
If this is the kind of new and unsigned artists Scotland is currently producing, then we don’t have to worry about the death of real music just yet. Oh, and the mandolin is definitely the future.