En route to the venue after crossing the bridge down from Jamaica Street, I encounter more than a few pairs or young gents who had been, I assume, politely asked to leave the venue after apparently “…just drinking a pint man!”. Their pleas and complaints fall on deaf ears however, as I am mentally otherwise engaged, looking to get to the Academy as soon as possible. These also come amongst oddly frequent requests for directions to either the nearest bank machine or bookies.
Having missed a couple of tunes, I interrupt “Tragic Magic” on arrival sounding as tight as always, time signature change and all. The content of the set is slightly unusual, with some tracks that rarely receive an airing; oddly this includes “The Don”. Odd in the sense that although, it doesn’t make sense to complain or not expect variation in a set from a band with five studio albums as one of their best tracks it should be included more often than not. It is in fact so rarely played that it may well have been the ‘surprise’ the band had promised the fans who would be in attendance but a few hours earlier on Facebook.
The band flutter between the old and the new with Kyle taking to the keys for a solo rendition of “Tacky Tattoo” and then “Face For The Radio” joined by the rest of the band for the latter as arguably the sing-along of the night. Kieran notes afterward “Aww he’s bonnie isn’t he?” Then the older tracks of “Skag Trendy”, “Wasted Little Djs” and the double tempo “Wasteland” followed by the far newer “Kill Kyle”, “How Long” and “Sour Little Sweetie”, the last of which lacks attack.
An extension of the old/new theme can be made to the crowd as well this evening. As well as the aforementioned youngsters are a large portion of presumably well seasoned gig veterans. The range out tonight includes mid-thirties couples following the band from the first record to older gentlemen who wouldn’t look all that out of place at a UK Subs gig. The younger ones are revivalists also in a sense wearing the Harrington jackets and Dr. Martens worn by their parents and uncles. It’s very much full circle in a sense.
They end with some of the hits in the trademark punky style which accounts for a lot of the generation bridging their music does, still musical and melodic but played with a ferocity and accessibility as many of the bands they are influenced by. “Superstar Tradesman” unites all groups in a sing along to rival “Face For The Radio” earlier. Also with the semi-inaudible “Sunday” played late on in the set the band finish strongly. Kieran thanks the fans for showing up on a Wednesday night but if this evening’s gig is anything to go by, the boys could play Glasgow on the 32nd of December and the place would be full.