30 December, 2017

[GIG REVIEW] Shambolics // Vida @ Broadcast, Glasgow, 29th December 2017

Shambolics at The Water Rats in London in 2017 
To an outsider at least, 2017 seems to have been a hectic and really exciting year for two of Scotland's most exciting up and coming indie guitar bands.

Kirkcaldy's four-piece Shambolics and Vida, a five-piece from Alloa, have been leading simultaneous professional lives right up until now. Tonight's sold-out gig night at Broadcast in Glasgow is by no means a divergence from that pattern. 

UK specialist guitar music promoter This Feeling have been backing both bands who have been receiving plenty of exposure to playing live in and around the UK in large, high-profile settings as well as smaller, more intimate ones, with both bands enjoying excellent live music support slots.

Having seen Vida and Shambolics at some key venues around London and at this year's Reading Festival, their shared characteristics seem more clearly defined than ever before.

Sharing a love for psychedelic music, harmonies and great choruses, it is evident they both have a love of iconic bands such as The Beatles, 60s psychedelic music and a wide range of britpop acts. 

The bands' shows tonight show where they find themselves at this point in time. They are admired and talked-about in music circles and there is hype about them. Having built loyal fan bases around the UK, there is little doubt of their popularity being on a steady increase, one that is bound to continue in 2018

Vida playing the Jack Rocks Stage at Reading Festival 2017
Vida has supported The View. Their music also made it on to Sky Sports.

At tonight's show Vida delivers a brief, yet incredibly catchy, engaging set. With the exception of a couple of great sounding brand-new tunes, the audiences know all the lyrics and are singing along with passion.

Starting the set with their single Where We Came From is a highly suitable choice and it sounds like a dream. Produced by Ocean Colour Scene's Steve Cradock, the song has musical references not just to OCS, but to Paul Weller too.

Their influences are never too far away to be clear, identifiable or showing respect, but they are subtle enough and together the band members have their own distinctive sound. The way they go about blending their musical influences creates a unique and current psychedelic indie guitar sound.

Shambolics at Broadcast in Glasgow two days before New Year's eve
Shambolics live are quite a force to be reckoned with, even with the 'up and coming' tag but then there are definitely arguments to suggest they are much further ahead.

Their shows are known to be energy-filled, confident and focused. Naturally, being given a longer set, puts them at a distinct advantage. However, each song is strong and has a life, an identity of its own. As with any other artist or band, big or small, some songs are more infectious and instantly likable than others. The likes of Love Collides, Chasing A Disaster, Psychedelic Sally, Scarlett Harlett and It's Gonna Be Okay exemplify that idea.

The band members seem keen to make their political views known, and during the set their guitarist and vocalist Darren Forbes tells his audience what he thinks of the Tories.

As soon as the crowd recognises the guitar riff for the single Love Collides, everyone gets excited. The band has a genuine love for The Smiths and just before the song comes to an end, guitarist and vocalist Lewis McDonald starts to sing and repeat the iconic chorus of There is a Light That Never Goes Out.

It is satisfying and fascinating to see two bands doing well and demonstrating so much talent and potential.

Can only imagine that 2018 will take Vida and Shambolics further in terms of where they want to be and help them achieve their goals. It would be really good to see that happen.