Live review: The Velveteen Saints at Tut’s, 23/3/13


The sold out show kicks off with drummer Michael Gagahan making his entrance, and starting a roaring drum riff introducing the first song ‘Always What You Want’, after 30 seconds or so, the rest of the band join him.

The second hit to please is ‘Wake Me Up’ released last year, an energetic song that packs a few punches, and lets the audience know they mean business.

It’s clear that frontman Shaun Hughes is a showman – he isn’t shy to put on a show along with guitarist/vocalist Martin McDonald.

Last year was a big year for the band who found themselves touring with Tim Burgees, The View and Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook and it seems like they have picked up a few tricks of crowd pleasing quickly within an intimate set.

‘Die Alone’ is next on the hit list for the four-piece, a popular track that draws similarities with The Vaccines, it’s fast paced and catchy lyrics will have you singing as you leave.

There is a change of pace when TVS play their new songs, only finished a few days before, ‘Dancing in the Avenue’, performed by bassist Mark Thomson, goes down well with the crowd as it has a jive beat with ‘poppy’ lyrics.


It’s endearing to see how much the band appreciates the crowd dancing and moving to the music as they play, the sly smiles to each other and laughs shows they couldn’t be closer and working their hardest is paying off as everyone enjoys themselves.

As it comes to a close, they welcome Michael McEneny, a pianist who covered the keys for ‘Red Wine’.

The final song is ‘Rock and Roll is Dead’, described as a love song by McDonald and drawings similarities to The Clash, which allows the crowd to let go – its title may be claiming rock and roll is dead, but it certainly makes you feel the opposite.

It is safe to say The Velveteen Saints know how to put on a performance as they leave the stage, the crowd stand waiting, wanting more.

Words: Hannah Gibson
Photos: Neil Donaldson

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