Live review: The Clock, Redwings, Thula Borah at The Captain’s Rest 14/7/11

This is one of the rare situations where I was jumping across the road to see a show where I hadn’t heard one track by any band on the line up, truth is I could have but as things worked out I hadn’t. So, it was all a case of fingers crossed and hope for the best.

East Kilbride’s The Clock is up first and I’m stood at the back wall with a clear view of the stage, that’s how few people are in the venue. A shot of worry hits as guitarist Calum Stewart screams and the band blast in what sound suspiciously post hardcore, gratefully the outburst gives up the early hints and turns to a beating but rhythm without giving up the frantic energy.

Clear Scottish vocals give an almost to blatant nod to bands like The Twilight Sad, but not quite enough to put you off and coupled with a solid rock base and a touch of pop injected this stuff is fun.  Dual vocals give a new dimension towards the end of the set, as the few in attendance are lulled into a false sense of calm before the band explode into a powerful ending on ‘Calling the Right Names’

This is also a quite special gig for these guys as it is the last time their guitarist/keyboardist Roddy will take the stage with them, and they make it obvious they’re sad to see him go. The Clock may not be the best band you’ll see but these guys are still young and defining their sound, there is certainly enough promise from this set to see them do well in the future.

Next up is Redwings, who I was expecting pretty good things from having been impressed by previous projects by guitarist Alan McCormack, and I wasn’t let down as they provide what is the best set of the night. Casual background fair builds and builds to something euphoric captivating the room in the process; these guys know what they’re doing. Even as volumes reach massive highs there is still an ever-present touch of beauty in this wall of noise.

As they take seats a twinkling little gems starts as the two guitarists, Thomas Campbell and Alan, play off each before the rhythm hits in. Similar patterns emerge as the band build to get louder and louder without compromising the music, but just as you think you get the formula they change it up; lulls in pace and quiet moments before sudden surges of power attempt to burst ear drums, produce some engrossing stuff.

As the set ends Redwings suddenly appear to get involved onstage in a more physical sense as Alan drags his guitar off the ceiling while Thom hits the floor in lashings of energy while slashing at his guitar before static fills the room leaving the, still sadly, few in attendance in awe.

Thula Borah are set with the daunting task of following this but these guys surely have been through this before, they’re not as young as the other acts by any stretch but that can’t be held against them. Their sound fluctuates between calm soothing stoner rock and a powerful straight up rock sound that never gives up but still holds pop sensibilities.

Their drummer supporting a Bad Religion t-shirt adds a touch of dread but luckily these guys don’t take a touch of influence from there, although I’m sure my 16 year old self would have loved them to. Muffled vocals atop solid rock foundations and addictive plucking almost reach anthemic proportions as Thula Borah drag the, still small, audience into their sound.

As they drop the vocals for a number bringing a more mellow feel to proceedings these guys are clearly enjoying themselves an instantly endearing property and despite their music not breaking any ground there is not really much to fault either. These guys seem to have come to do what they set to do, enjoy themselves and give an entertaining show, that can’t really be argued against.

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