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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Stonehouse Violets - O2 Academy (Glasgow)

Pass me a hammer

Futures fest in Glasgows O2 Academy was advertised as a show that would feature the best new bands that Scotland had to offer, and that's a grand claim right there.
It's also a subjective one.
As part of my radio show I'm lucky to hear my share of what is bubbling under, and while I could easily start a very long list of great acts who are out there I could equally spend the same amount of time compiling one filled with bands who just don't do it for me.
That's not to say they aren't good, but just that they fail to key into what I want to hear, and I suspected that this night would possibly reflect my inbox of demos with the good, the maybe bad, and the awful all making an appearance.

I was right.

I had arrived early enough to take it all in and to be honest disappointment was what I mainly felt.
Disappointment that is until Mike and the boys of Stonehouse Violets bounced onto stage to entertain a very eager crowd.
Grabbing the opportunity of playing the main stage at the Academy was maybe a bit too exciting for the band as they spectaculary failed to give the nights compère the chance to introduce them and instead Mike - who looked every bit the rock front man - took the opportunity to scream ‘Hello Glasgow we are the Stonehouse Violets’ before thundering into I am the light (which also happens to be the first track of their EP).
It was a bit like the heavyweight running out from his corner and decking his opponent with a KO blow to the sound of the bell starting to ring.
The crowd were up for it with a strong fanbase making their presence felt as the roared along to every word.
The momentum was kept up as they introduced the relatively new song Empty Spaces which another upbeat track that guaranteed to get you bouncing.
The crowd duly obliged.
Mike spat out Vampires like a man possessed as Mark on bass patrolled the stage like a tiger stalking its prey.
They roar that came up at the end of the song threw shivers down my spine and the boys could clearly feel the energy as Scott, with his trademark gloves on, raised his sticks in the air to count in Nothing Moving a song that they jammed from when they first got together as a band.
Next up came my favourite ’99 Degrees’ and I felt myself even singing along it as I was swept away in the moment.
Callum took the opportunity to shine, and with his keyboard slung round his neck and a smile beaming across his face he looked as if he belonged on the big stage.
Stewart on lead guitar didn't seem phased as all and standing there with his hat and shades on like he did this every day.
With two more songs to go they barrelled into ‘woman’ and it sounded as good as I've ever heard it.
When people talk about stepping up to the plate then this is what they mean.
Finishing with Leaves will fall they left the stage to rapturous applause and instead of walking off they could have floated into the wings.

I have seen the band in a few differing venues over the past 18 months and have seen them blossom to the big stage of the O2.
Highlight of the night would have to be Mark getting the crowd to join him in a hand clap with the precision you would expect from Guy Garvie.
Pass me hammer boys – you nailed it.

Review submitted by Tommy Clark Third Class Ticket - Mesi Radio


  1. Great review! well done boys!KLG

  2. Was an awesome gig :)


  4. Awesome night the violets rocked defo best band of the evening :-) Keep up the good work boys xx