Somewhere in between the Riverside Museum and Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, at the very bottom of Eastvale Place, lies The Poetry Club – venue for this second of two nights of live music from WHITE.
With no signs on the exterior, I take my chance on the one open door and find myself in the “unique and ever-evolving speakeasy” with its two rooms – the first with piano and temporary-looking wooden bar, the second a square, stone-walled performance space – both with a undeniable retro coolness that gives the venue an impressive and alluring individuality.
And so, with WHITE stamped on my hand and large gold balloons drifting above the stage spelling out the band’s name, they soon appear and throw themselves without delay into opening track ‘One Night Stand Forever’.
What soon becomes obvious is that, although a new band, the five some are already incredibly tight as an outfit and exude an obvious chemistry throughout a finely tuned performance.
They navigate their way through a ten song setlist, which not only highlights the seemingly perfect fit of the band’s members as one unit, but also emphasises each of their talents, in particular the phenomenal vocals of theatrical, grey-power-suit-and-cream-turtle-neck clad lead-singer Leo Miklasz.
Now, cut me open and I bleed 90s with the odd discolouration of 60s and 70s thrown in, so it requires something extra for me to end up loving a band so obviously influenced by the sounds of the 1980s.
But it is incredibly difficult not to become totally immersed in the talent on show and just about every song seems like a potential hit, in particular ‘Living Fiction’, which was undoubtedly one of my tracks of 2014.
In fact, at one stage I look around the variety of crowd members cramped into this unique venue and note that only two of the audience seem to be successfully battling the urge to dance, clap or, at the very least, nod their heads – and, as a result, I can only theorise that they are somehow dead inside.
At times there are sounds reminiscent of Talking Heads and The Cure, at other points the output edges towards more modern acts such as Franz Ferdinand and Arcade Fire, and elsewhere, the synthesisers and electronic drum kit seem to take all the aspects that most anti-80s music fans dislike and instead repackage it in a stunning revamp.
As final track ‘Blush’ draws proceedings to a close, complete with synchronised hand-clapping, it is hard not to feel both satisfied and impressed by a band not just producing fantastic and infectious songs, but able to do so outstandingly well on stage.
I have spent my life believing the vast majority of 1980s music has very little for me, that such a decade does not effectively align with the main aspects of my musical tastes, and any act who draws such obvious influences from that by-gone era cannot possibly be my kind of thing – WHITE have now shown me that I have been living a lie.
Words: Jason Henderson
Photos: Euan Robertson