For this edition of The Great Western Festival, promoters 432 took the focus of events from West End venues like the QMU a bit nearer the city, using tried-and-tested places such as the Hug and Pint, Maryhill Central Community Halls, and Webster’s Church as well as newcomer The Piping Centre, to programme an event with around 50 to 60 acts doing their thing.
Best known on the bill was probably BC Camplight, who commanded a very large crowd in the main hall at MCCH, and most notorious the Russian act Pussy Riot.
Of the bands seen over the course of the day, here is BM’s pick.
First off at 2pm prompt the Hug and Pint was completely rammed for DEADLETTER. London-based but with members hailing from Yorkshire and elsewhere, they blasted out a blend of guitar-pop with some brutal noise and additional wailing saxophone. The frontman had real charisma as he took several trips into the crowd, ultimately unleashing a moshpit large enough to cause some real damage (but of course everyone’s so nice at this kind of gig we really need not have worried). The whole set was impressive, the guitarists cutting through the noise with Gang of Four/Wilco Johnson type synthing riffs – watch this space… With an EP out at the moment, this was very impressive…
Next: local act Dutch Wine on the big stage at MCCH. This energetic three-piece are a power trio and play with a speed and intensity which is to be commended – they also seem to be growing in confidence – playing songs from the new EP plus some older material, this somewhat bigger stage seemed to suit them.
After a brief look-in at BC Camplight BM hotfooted it to The Piping Centre to see Raveloe. The original intention had been for her to be backed by drums and bass but the electrics in the venue were not up to it so it was a solo with guitar show mostly, with ‘Ghost Beach’ being a marked highlight. Several track from the album she is working on, including a duet with Jason, who was called to the stage. After one track with him the acoustic guitar snapped a “Very important” string so the last track (‘Catkins’) was sung a cappella, which actually worked really well. BM looks forward to hearing that album when it is finished.
There were further mental sounds back at the Hug and Pint where Priestgate (straight outta Driffield, Yorkshire) tore the place up with some completely OTT tracks. They played nine in total, starting with ‘Mem Loser’ and ending with ‘Summ(air)’. BM thinks there are 5 members in all but at times it was difficult to tell given the chaos they seemed to cause. There may have been shades of Idles, The Fat White Family and The Fall in there, hard to say, but they certainly gave it their all. They have releases out and are playing Glasgow again in February 2023.
Next up were Tummyache, a British/American combo – a four-piece who had some great tunes. Lead by Soren, with Bianca on guitar, Linus on bass and Max on drums, they were clearly enjoying their night, as was the crowd. The sound is singular but hard to classify, maybe a wee touch of The Cranberries in there – another one to watch.
The last act of the evening BM saw (before some hilarious karaoke led by Amelia Bayler) was Plastic Mermaids. A band with many keyboards and quite a few instrument changes, they certainly have an original style and are doing things their way. Possibly more reminiscent of older psychedelic acts, though it is hard to say, they probably remind BM more of Glasgow-based acts like Outblinker who may be based here but actually could be from anywhere… and possible a bit of Mogwai in there too. They played eight tracks tonight, starting with ‘Dispo Love’ and ending with ‘Yoyo’, with some real highlights such as ‘Disco Wings’ in the set as well. Do they have the ambition to take things further – we will have to wait and see..
The fun carried on into the wee hours but BM had had enough – but at £15 it was incredibly good VFM, and tickets are on sale for a similarly bargain price for November 2023… What are youse waiting for?!