BBC Radio 6 Music Festival with Pronto Mama, JR Green, ST.MARTiiNS, Rituals at Tut’s, 22/3/17

Tonight the BBC 6 Music Festival begins in one of Glasgow’s most iconic venues in a sold out, but by no means packed King Tut’s.

Vic Galloway and BBC 6’s Tom Robinson compere the night and you can tell they are just as excited as the crowd to hear the bands and start the festival.

Coming from the band the Merylees, Rituals have changed their sound a lot and have now developed their own unique style.

From the moment they coolly walk on stage the band deliver a full on danceable attack with precise and tight drumming, over this the vocals go from being as rough as Iggy Pop to positively angelic without ever cracking the band’s ice cold demeanour; signed to Skeleton Key records this Edinburgh band is worth looking out for.

After a half hour break ST.MARTiiNS come to the stage, and out of all the acts tonight, these guys really dazzle and win over the crowd.

The lead singer, Katie’s classic sounding lead vocals seem to come from the golden age of alternative female vocalists like the Sundays, while still having a contemporary sound.

The guitar, bass and keys all work together to create a sound that is at once familiar, genuine and relevant.

Tom Robinson wraps up their set by saying that ST.MARTiiNS is a band that in five years time we will be bragging about how we saw them in such a small venue at such an early stage, he could well be right.

JR Green is certainly the folksiest group performing tonight, the lead singer dressed in tweed and playing an acoustic guitar.

The duo’s up beat and uplifting pop songs are a change for the night, and their sing-a-long hooks and simple timpani percussion transform the crowd into a swaying mass.

Subtle and beautiful lyrics mark this band apart and will definitely attract new listeners after tonight’s performance.

There is no doubt who the majority of the audience is here to see, chants of “Pronto fucking Mama” are heard as soon as the last band begin, which must be a hassle for BBC who are recording the show live.

Pronto Mama is a brilliantly strange band, with odd introspective lyrics that are also perfect pop, excellent harmonies and a wide range of instruments being played.

The dynamic performance includes a clap along chorus by an enchanted crowd; alas tonight is only really a musical taster session for these guys, and with each band only playing for about 20-minutes, every one of these acts is worth coming back to for a bigger serving.

Words: Peter Johnstone

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