The Old Hairdressers, just opposite Stereo in Glasgow City Centre, is one of my favourite bars to have a drink in of an evening — it's out of the way, has a nice atmosphere, and a bit of a rough and ready vibe to it (albeit one that's entirely intentional, of course).
Like the downstairs, the function room playing host to the gig had its own
shabby chic going on—wooden floor, with the drum kit sat on the classic rug and the monitors and mic stands marking out where the stage area was considered to be. Altogether the effect was quite an intimiate-feeling affair—this was the launch of something special.
Kiki Miller took to the stage first, accompanied only by her guitar amp. She was obviously nervous, performing several songs for the first time in front of an audience, but with a voice oozing soul like molasses, any foibles were worth it to get lost in her songs.
After the changeover, the Dirty Hepburns burst on stage to give us their indie pop stylings, giving us a thoroughly decent set of tight, upbeat, fast-paced songs that are impossible not to at the very least tap a foot to, sounding a lot like a cheerier version of The Automatic (which is by no means a bad thing).
After the obligatory toilet and bar break, it was time for Andy, Adam and Blair to do their thing for the assembled crowd. Starting, as their freshly-pressed eponymous EP does, with The Buck Stops Here, they gave a performance which took no prisoners—but wasn't humourless or inflexible. They segued straight into their second song of the night, Going Nowhere Fast—track #3 from the EP—which has a very different feel to it than their opener.
Later, Poisonous Games (track #2) led into the instrumental from Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, best known by many as the theme to Formula 1 on the television; sometimes a band covering something like this can feel a little too show-offy, but the Cairds took it well in their stride and made it feel… well, fun.
Halfway through the set, Adam and Blair left the stage, leaving front-man Andy to have some fun as a soloist (or, as the setlist put it, "Andy hings"), before returning to play the rest of the set—rounding it off with the EP’s fourth track, Maybe One Day.
It's usually a good sign when the end of a band's set seems to arrive far too early, and this was definitely the case here: if they'd carried on playing for another hour, nobody in that room would have had any complaints at all (except, perhaps, the band).
Their brand new, self-titled, EP is out now, available both to stream and on CD. And, if you haven't yet managed to see the Cairds play live yet, you should definitely fix that the next time they're gigging near you.