Kicking off tonight’s charity is hardcore act No Island, and they waste no time, lead vocalist Chris McGlynn gets the already large crowd rallied to the front of the stages and unleashes a torrent of pure anger and raw energy on them, accompanied by frenetic drumming and frenzied guitar.
The frank lyrics to ‘Fallow Years’ are the only ones that aren’t completely inaudible as McGlynn literally bounces off the walls in front of the stage, but you don’t need to understand what this band are saying to feel the passion in their music.
Next up is Cuddly Shark, whose humorous rock/country blend is a huge step away from No Island’s fury.
The colourful riffs and tongue-in-cheek lyrics keep the audience sweet though, and even a country number about Skype and written for a friend’s art exhibition goes down a treat.
Upbeat, heavy rock number ‘The Sheriff of Aspen Bay’ gets the crowd going near the beginning of the set, and the cutting wit of ‘Woody Woodpecker’ brings it to a satisfying close, and in between the band banter with the crowd, showing their ability to entertain lies beyond musical talent.
Tonight’s penultimate act is The Darien Venture, who keep the energy of the evening flowing launching straight in to crashing drums and blasting guitars, settling down into funky rhythms and harmonious lyrics.
Having all four members on vocals gives the band a more experimental feel than other rock groups, keeping the crowd enthralled.
However, the energy on the stage is just as intense as with the first performers, and the chat with the crowd keeps the gig’s informal feel.
Despite a broken snare drum halfway through, with one being quickly procured from the somewhere/one, The Darien Venture finish on a high, with the harmonies between the singers reaching epic proportions and the crowd loving every minute.
Finally, tonight’s headliners Carnivores take to the stage, by this time Stereo’s basement is packed, and the band fire straight into ‘Scottish Football’, a rather angry tirade that may or may not have anything to actually do with football but definitely manages to start a small mosh pit in the crowd.
From then on the songs come thick and fast, with the band never letting the energy drop and only decreasing the tempo slightly for one “slow song”, which would put many bands upbeat tunes to shame.
Highlights of the set include the oddly named but brilliantly performed ‘John Actor Is Monkfish’ and the “prog rock sing-a-long” ‘True Or False’, where lead singer Kenny gets the crowd involved.
Their final song ‘The River’, is a bit steadier but still full of power and brings the evening to a spectacular close.
Words: Katherine Haig
Photos: Neil Jarvie