Despite the biblical cold that I’m afflicted with, it’s hard to not feel good as Broadcast takes on an impressive atmosphere, filling to the rafters with people who are anticipating a reason to jump around.
Hector Bizerk are launching the third of a four EP project inspired by the Glasgow crest, The Bell That Never Rang, but before Louie and co. take the stage Charlotte Brimner, a young singer songwriter from Dundee has her turn to see if she can hold the room’s attention.
I thank any God which might listen that her set-up is more interesting than just a singer with an acoustic guitar; she’s also using a loop pedal, two microphones, and an Apple Mac with a curious little drum-pad type thing to spice it up.
By the end of her second song I’m sincerely awed at how well she can craft a pop tune and her voice seems incapable of hitting a bad note as it dances coolly around pleasant melodies.
Carving out a particular highlight, Brimner uses the mini-drum-pad gadget for a percussive number and on reflection it has maybe the best vocal hook of the night.
Hector Bizerk are on in no time, swinging a fierce uppercut in the form of Nobody Seen Nothing track ‘Party at the A and E’ and it takes a millisecond for the familiar drum beat to register with the crowd, who begin to dance manically along with it.
For the purpose of damn good fun, the line “Woop Woop… Sound of da Police” by KRS-1 is slotted into the song and for much the same reason, mid-way through Louie dives into the crowd and surfs around for a while.
So as far as good starts go, the tone is clearly set and done so in a superbly upbeat manner.
As the band fires track after track at the crowd, there isn’t a quiet moment.
Announcing it as his favourite song from the album, Louie introduces ‘Fingerprints on the Drumkit’, which lends itself to drummer Audrey Tait, and percussionist David Calder as a chance to be under the limelight.
New single ‘Skin and Bone’ also gets a play and it grinds along with the same reggae flavour present in some of their other work, but with a fresh sense of menace and a hooky, sang chorus.
It’s hard to pick my favourite part of such a fun gig, but based purely on song-writing and delivery, this is probably the best song that Hector Bizerk have played tonight.
A part of the band’s shows, which clearly means a lot to them, is visual artist Pearl Kinnear’s contribution – a big, on-stage canvas that begins the set blank and ends it covered in artwork.
Momentary confusion early on sees the canvas taken off the small stage, but once Kinnear finishes up, it receives an invite back up for a song inspired by her art, ‘Pearl’s Pictures’.
In a way, the gig seems almost tribal; pounding rhythms, passionate onlooker dancing around Hector Bizerk’s fire, and lots of well encouraged sing/shout-alongs.
To be honest, hip-hop has never really been a genre I’ve enjoyed very much (save for a few exceptions), but the four musicians that make up Hector Bizerk do very well, and I believe that regardless of prior persuasions, many a music fan would find their live show as impressive as I have tonight.
Words: Greg Murray
Photos: Arpad Horvarth