Well, there’s another Stag & Dagger over and done with. The scheduling of the event left a lot to be desired and some of the venues were a bit uncomfortable at times but on the whole, the music more than made up for any shortcomings of the day. It wasn’t possible to see all of the bands that we wanted to see but the ones that we did catch were great. Sadly we missed out on acts like Ezra Furman, Casual Sex, Tennis, Courtney Barnett and Lanterns on the Lake but we did see some great acts.
We arrived in time to see Honeyblood play acoustically in Coda Hairdressers. Quirky venue choices can add something to events like this but this was not a good call. The venue was rammed to capacity and there was a great deal of humidity in the air. If the conditions were like that when people had their haircut there would have been an awful lot of frizz to contend with. At least the flyers with the stage times came in handy with Glasgow girls fanning themselves like Southern belles. Anyone looking to stave off dehydration in such pressing conditions would have found themselves paying £3.50 for a can of pale ale or cider. Mind you, the pale ale did pack a punch with a 6.9% percentage. The set was short and sweet with a slant on tracks that weren’t going to be included in the band’s set later on that evening.
Syd Arthur played a prog-sounding set in Broadcast and while prog is a genre that is often more miss than hit, it was a good set and a good introduction to the band. Next up in Broadcast were Honeyblood. We’re fans of the group, we interviewed the girls last week, and we’re looking forward to the album coming out next month. Their live show certainly indicated that there is going to be a lot to enjoy on the record and their thrashy and melodious mix was very well received.
Broadcast is a venue that gets a lot of complaints and at times it can be difficult to get a clear sight-line but the sound is always good and I’ve seen some tremendous gigs in there. The two we saw at Stag & Dagger lived up to the reputation the venue is offering.
From here it was over to ABC (via a quick stop for a bite to eat) and Royal Blood. Another duo, again with blood in their name, and another high-energy and high volume set. Royal Blood were excellent, easily the set of the night for me and I’ll look forward to catching the band again. It was a pretty relentless set with the crowd in ABC2 going pretty wild.
The same couldn’t be said for upstairs in ABC1 where Buster Bluth was playing to a crowd that didn’t seem to have much interest in what he had to offer. (Okay, it was Albert Hammond Jnr.) Throughout the set, the audience started to drift away and while there were songs of great quality, the show didn’t really connect at any point. Perhaps it was just too big a stage for the artist by himself without his day-job band members.
After this it was back down to ABC2 where The Fat White Family rounded off our event. This was another loud and chaotic set, shaking off the ennui that hung around the AHJ set. The smaller venue came to life and singer Lias Saoudi wasted no time in delivering his best Iggy Pop impersonations. The band came across as much spikier and chaotic playing live than they do on record and with Saoudi launching himself into the audience, there was a typical rock n roll conclusion to what had been a rock n roll day.
All of the above pictures were taken by friend of the site Craig Mathison who can be followed on twitter at @CraigMathison. He also has few objections to being followed in real life so if you see him, walk slowly behind him at a distance of around 5 to 7 yards. Thanks.
Here are some phone pics of our own to add a splash of colour to proceedings: