We Are Scientists, PAWS at Bloc 12/7/14

Bloc is crammed; most of my reviews tend to start this way but an hour or two before the gig and the place looks like it’s reached its capacity, yet people still somehow manage to get in, nobody cares of course as we’re all here to see what will undoubtedly be one of the best shows of the year.

Like I say two hours before the gig the place is crammed, yet still both these fantastic bands are sitting among the audience talking with fans, while the stage is being set up the anticipation only grows and just before PAWS take the stage it’s literally at the point where if someone needs to move, everyone else has to move with them.

I’m a massive fan of PAWS and have been ever since I heard ‘Sore Tummy’ yet it only now occurs to me that I haven’t had the chance to see them live, perhaps this is the ideal night to see them, back on home soil after a successful US tour with their bff’s We Are Scientists.

Live they are everything you expect and more, from what I hear about their earlier shows they’ve grown a lot; they have become masters at baiting a crowd, stopping pre chorus on a few tracks only to hear a bellowing cheer that at more than one point nearly deafens the crowd.

The set draws from both LP’s and particular highlights come from the crowd sing-along of ‘Catherine 1956’, ‘Bloodline’, a more energetic version of ‘Jellyfish’ and their latest single ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’.

There’s a brief period of silence as fans scramble outside to draw breath, or to the bar in desperate hopes of escaping the sauna that the stage area has become, before We Are Scientists appear onstage.

Everyone is still in great spirits, including the band, and most fans in attendance still can’t believe they’re seeing a band this big playing such a tiny venue, something the band, fresh from playing the huge King Tut’s Tent at T in the Park, embrace it whole heartedly playing a crowd pleasing set.

Midway into ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ the first crowd surfer appears and this is a continuing trend throughout the night, even singer/guitarist Keith Murray gets in on the action all the while his partner in crime Chris Cain is grinning like a madman.

Particular highlights include ‘After Hours’, which sends the drunken, sweaty crowd into a roaring cheer, no doubt since the last trains have long since left, ‘Make It Easy’ provides a moment of relief for the band or it does in between demands for 3am pizza anyway; at a certain point in the night pieces of the ceiling start to fall, not big pieces mind you but that still has to be some sort of achievement.

The love these bands share for each other is unbelievable with WAS stating “It’s been our honour and privilege to be guests of the PAWS band, they’re out favourite band.”

The love is reciprocated by PAWS as both bands appear onstage to play their encore and in keeping with their touring traditions it’s a Weezer cover.

They’ve done this quite a few times on tour and it seems to have become a bit of a tradition and fortunately for Glasgow tonight they chose to cover ‘Say It Ain’t So’ and for the first time you struggle to hear the band on stage due to the crowd cheering and singing along.

The guitar solos is hummed rather than played yet nobody seems to care everyone is just seems glad to welcome PAWS home and enjoy the incredible show and before you have a moment to process just how ridiculous Bloc has become it’s over and the place has emptied.

The only evidence that this fantastic gig took place is a floor covered in plastic pint glasses and two sweaty bands standing outside talking to fans, well aside from these photos anyway…

Words: Phil Allen
Photos: Fiona McKinlay

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