New way of working things folks, we will be operating the websites in more of a magazine format from 2017 onward, with Tuesday being dedicated to Live Review posts! We will have other days dedicated to specific articles, including interview days, and miscellaneous music article days!
Hands off Gretal/Bratakus - NiceNSleazy - 17/11/16 (Glasgow)
With L7 recently having reignited their career with a reunion tour, and Babes in Toyland dipping their toes back into the stream in 2014, it's no real surprise that yet another wave of grrrl bands, and female led, rock acts are starting to filter through.
In Glasgow alone there is a vibrant subculture gaining traction, and over on the east coast, in Edinburgh, a recent by women for women event garnered not just interest, but rightly deserved critical plaudits.
And with this being the background it was timed nicely by Hands off Gretal from South Yorkshire to make their presence known in Scotland as part of their Burn the Beauty Queen tour.
Fronted by Lauren Tate, who has already been described as a superstar by Shirley Manson (Garbage/Goodbye Mr McKenzie), the band are without a shadow of a doubt leading the charge in the UK.
Wearing their influences on their sleeves they are the natural progression of the initial grunge sound.
It's all there, the punk fire, the rock flourishes, and it comes with the added bonus of not being draped in plaid, and instead the band look as if they have stepped out of a Tim Burton fantasy about rock stardom.
It's all good.
Everything simply slots together to work in unison and deliver the promise that they are ready to be the next big thing in alt rock circles.
That they are playing club sized venues in the present is little more than them laying the foundation for what is to come, and of course it is the opportunity for the discerning music fan to get in early and tuck the memory away to be pulled out and displayed alongside the comment 'I seen them before they played the stadiums' in a game of cool stories one upmanship.
Sharing the bill were the equally impressive Bratakus.
Short, sharp and intense, the duo are unintentionally in the running to be crowned the queens of the underground.
In every scene there is the cream that floats to the top and right now, along with The Twistettes, Bratakus are that cream.
It's not a great leap to imagine them coming to define a movement locally, and ultimately be part of something nationally.
The sort of band who will feature in a rough guide to riot grrrl as the one to check out in Scotland.
I wouldn't be surprised if in the next year we see them featured in 'what's hot' lists in the culture section of some broad sheets.
In closing it has to be said that the performances that both bands delivered is just another slap in the face for those who claim there is nothing good out there.
You're just not looking hard enough for it.
The Damned/The Media Whores - ABC - Glasgow (20/11/16)
There has been a great deal of talk surrounding the fortieth anniversary tour by punk legends the Damned.
Would Brian and Rat appear?
Would it be the last tour?
Are they past it?
The answers are of course no, no, and definitely no.
It would be a fans red letter day if Rat and Brian returned to the fold, but that's the business of the band, and as each year passes it seems increasingly unlikely that it will happen.
Firm fans, and I count myself as one, will not give up on the idea though.
They wouldn't be the first band that resolved what appeared to be insurmountable problems and gave it a shot.
But realistically let's not hold our breath waiting.
So with the fanfare surrounding this tour going into overdrive the rumour mill was powering along and generating lots of heat, but no flames were actually ignited.
Well let us just say it is what it is. (Watch the documentary for more background)
And for those paying attention, the people who touted it could be the last tour were shot down in flames without mercy due to there currently being a crowd funding push for the next studio album, a successful one, and it unthinkable to consider that they would release that and not tour.
And as everyone associated with the current line up is in rude health it just increases the chances of more shows.
So last tour rumours.
And past it?
No. Not even close.
The whole of Damned Damned Damned may be a nanosecond slower than they did it forty years ago, but what is lost in off the rails dynamics is regained by years of experience, and the power of modern day sound engineering.
Each give an edge, a different edge, that is welcomed by the Glasgow crowd.
Vanian is in fine voice and there is no hint of a struggle to deliver, and Sensible never fails to entertain.
They have been the face of the Damned for many years now and carry the mantle of legends effortlessly.
Fish in particular served to give those attending if not an amphetamine rush, at the least a second wind that would keep them going right through I feel alright.
Let's not beat around the bush here.
The Clash are gone, the Ramones are gone, the Sex Pistols only do it for the lucre, and the Damned are pretty much the only ones still carrying the baton.
If you want the real deal then it is them, and the best of set that follows Damned Damned Damned again and again hammers that point home.
White Rabbit and Melody Lee are a dual climax that sends everyone home happy.
The night most certainly belonged to the Damned, but the Media Whores are not a band that are comfortable with living in another acts shadow, and their performance, largely taken from their latest release Dangerous Minds, is yet another example of them being one of the most relevant, but also entertaining, punk bands in Scotland.
It's laudable that the Damned have local acts opening for them on this tour, but a by product of this is that large swathes of people are now aware that support act does not mean a lesser talent.
The Media Whores made this abundantly clear, and a surge of attention is now a forgone conclusion.
Especially when the brisk business at the merch stall is taken into consideration.
...and here is another excellent article featuring The Damned to check out;