Live review: John Knox Sex Club, North American War, Willwaw at Stereo, 28/8/11

I’ve covered John Knox two times pretty recently so this review was hardly going to be fresh, as the show hasn’t changed that drastically in this short space of time. Anyway I went along so I may as well throw together something.

First up is Willwaw, the solo experimental ukuleleist, who delivers an interesting set of ukulele-based noise that sets the tone brilliantly but could really do with something else, a touch of percussion perhaps?

Next up, North American War who later prove to be better at football than they are at music, well probably not but band members Kevin Frew and Anna Schneider along with former member Michael Marshall excel in the fives game complete with giant foam ball in the alleyway outside the venue after the show.

NAW deliver onstage too, capturing the attention of the audience with a few tracks I don’t believe I’ve heard before along with some those who’ve heard the EP are more familiar with. Their lo-fi alt trawling prick up ears as Anna delivers almost unintelligible yet captivating vocals, backed by Frew on drums while the rest of the band pull it altogether beautifully.

I can’t throw them to many compliments though, bassist Paul Choi might explode as he’s already made up with his latest Facebook friend request and the set is made a touch more uncomfortable for yours truly as he fixes his stare squarely at me for the entire set. Dick! Really though they are pretty good.

So, John Knox are up next and like I said it’s no different from the last two times I saw them, entertaining, powerful and uplifting. They’re launching their new album, Raise Ravens, tonight and they’re on top form, a form that when I’ve seen them doesn’t tend to dip.

Stereo is filled with noise that you could easily lose yourself in without even looking at the stage as they drift from slow vocal build ups to climactic intense endings, or just hit the volume switch from the off and go for complete intensity. However, you can’t drift too long as you may end up with vocalist Sean Cummings singing in your face or hugging you during regular and almost perfect set closer ‘Witness’.

So, it’s another top-notch set from possibly Glasgow best live band going at the moment. Now off outside for the highlight of the night “KEEPER’S BALL!”

Picture by Su Anderson (not from this gig)


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