Live review: The Little Kicks, Nevada Base, Quaid, The Violet Moses at Tut’s 2/8/13

945967_473674086061139_1130037139_nIt’s not the greatest gig in history.

Not even the gig of the year, and to be completely honest I felt more thrilled with post-gig symptoms from watching some live footage on YouTube the other day.

As harsh as that may sound however, it doesn’t necessarily mean tonight will be one that goes by unnoticed and forgotten in the endless timeline of music events.

As a matter of fact it’s a gig sprinkled with pivotal moments; firsts and lasts and things going a bit topsy-turvy.

Two songs into the gig marathon openers The Violet Moses have snapped a string and the substitute guitar is one far from finely tuned; after song number three their frontman announces he is already “knackered”.

It’s the band’s first ever gig.

With a mellow angst, one foot in lo-fi and the other in pompous arena sized ambitions, these guys are making alternative rock sound so clearly uncomplicated and essential it doesn’t really matter that the bass line from Seven Nation Army slips its way into the set and how close they often come to sounding like Blink-182; it is after all a band rooted in reality.

Quaid then continue the eve’s series of mishaps with misplacing a capo not once but twice within a half hour, which on a stage the size of King Tut’s I feel is an accomplishment in itself.

Lovers of the heavy bass, topped with velvety, sharp vocals and with their being both relaxed and full of attitude at the same time style suaveness, they come across as if they are trying to hide something but with quite little ardour.

It doesn’t exactly slap you in the face with excitement, but it is very, very enjoyable.

Arguably attracting the biggest audience of the night are the odd electro-pop four piece Nevada Base who bring the funk to the table with a horde of dancey synth loops, a guitar strap covered in pins and some of the best drumming I’ve ever seen.

They’re a hard bunch to pin down and the response isn’t immediate, but when it kicks in it sure kicks in.

It’s spacey yet continental, nerdy yet unbelievably cool; this is one weird band with a big bag of surprises.

Bringing the revelry back to earth eventually are our headliners The Little Kicks, stemming from Aberdeen (“don’t hold it against us”) with three albums – one yet to be released – and an impressive touring history to support them.

They offer catchy hits, intros with handclaps and an actual light show.

The Little Kicks at first appear a mature contrast to their supporters; the whole experience is simply less weird and more instinctively appealing.

New single ‘Girl’ is a definite future favourite and the enjoyably quirky ‘Anti Work Song’ is like reuniting with an old, missed friend.

Then, nonetheless, in keeping with the night’s premise, several songs are delivered with one guitar playing completely in the wrong key, and their undeniable equality to even the band that just performed their first gig ever is made evident.

It’s not great, but it’s real and raw, and for whatever reason it does leave its mark on that musical timeline.

Words: Jo Bagge


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