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Friday, 3 August 2012

The Hostiles/Car Crash Radio/The Kimberly Steaks/Cal Murray - Pivo Pivo - 02/08/12 (Glasgow)

I don't think many people would disagree that with every solo gig that Cal Murray tucks under his belt that he just gets better and better.
He's certainly blossoming as a solo artist.
It's not that the material he is playing has gotten stronger as it was topically powerful from day one. Instead it seems to be that he is just becoming increasingly comfortable playing front and centre on his own, and that confidence allows his set to flow far more evenly resulting in a firmer connection with an audience.
Previously pretty much everything on the technical side has been in place, a good voice, solid songs and the ability to play them well, but along with that a certain amount of personal charisma needs to be promoted as well, and that has been increasingly revealing itself to the betterment of the set.
For the style of music that he is playing I could argue strongly that he's a technically better singer than Billy Bragg, and far more honestly belligerent in promoting what he believes in than Frank Turner.
From the amount of people who made the effort to arrive early, or disengage themselves from the bar area to take his set in, it looks like others are starting to pick up on how talented he is.
Things are only going to get better.

The Kimberly Steaks who were next are a band that I've been told that I must have seen before. Yet I drew a complete blank on them.
There was absolutely nothing jogging my memory at all.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy them. In fact I did. I just don't ever remember seeing them before and I doubt I have as you could file them away as once seen never forgotten.
From the first song I was immediately transported into the past and instead of the gig taking place in Pivo Pivo in the present I could have been standing in the basement of the 13thNote or Nice and Sleazy from nights long past.
It's classic pop punk. Gilman street seen through beer bottle glasses from Sauchiehall Street.
Not that this is a bad thing.
It's not a style of music that is riding the crest of a wave any more, but who cares.
If you want a nostalgia trip as this was your thing then these guys will deliver.
You also wont be disappointed if you care not a jot for what is being pushed as the current trend to follow and are just looking to be thoroughly entertained.
Hell. I'm giving them a big seal of approval.

All the way from Carlisle 'Car Crash Radio' sound like they aren't going to take any prisoners.
They're the next evolutionary stage from what The Kimberley Steaks are doing. They've still got the pop punk skeleton, but it's padded out with a more modern take on the sound.
Specifically impressive is the attitude of the front man who plays the set as if he's performing to a stadium full of ecstatic fans.
It's that sort of attitude that can sometimes separate the wheat from the chaff.
By wearing that self confidence like armour the band are far removed from those who are playing in clubs and will never escape them.
There motto could be 'treat the club like a stadium and one day it will be'.
Apart from the front man the band are all tight with the bass and drums providing a solid frame work for some impressive guitar work to be layered over.
I liked them so much that I'm going to try and catch them playing again this weekend before they head back home.
They're another band whose names getting tucked away in the mental file labelled 'one to keep an eye on'.

It's been literally years since I last seen the Hostiles and sound wise it's a whole new ball game.
Maybe others who have seen them regularly would disagree as they have participated in the gradual change, but for me it sounds like they have dropped the pop overtones on their ska sound overnight and and are now encroaching on Operations Ivy's more aggressive style.
Or in short this is a muscular beast of a band, and all the more impressive for it.
Watching them it's very obvious that they are well deserving of securing the support slot on the forthcoming Reel Big Fish tour.
In fact they are so good that the tour shouldn't be viewed as a headliner with a support, but instead a double headlining tour.
Everyone should make sure they get there early and grab a prime spot to watch the guys from.
I fully expect them to pick up plenty of new fans on every leg of the tour and by the end of the year this could be they can look back on it as a one of the best they have had as a band.
There's two more nights lined up to celebrate the release of their new ep.
One in Prestwick and another in Edinburgh.
If ska punk is your thing then do yourself a favour and make sure you make it to one, or both.

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