[Gig Review] Baby Strange deliver 'sonic depth' @ Glasgow's SWG3

Photo Credit: Sinead Ferguson Photography

At the time of year when people are mostly occupied with all things festive, it is encouraging that some focus, inspiration and valuable time is dedicated to pulling together a really good music event.

Hosted by PCL Presents, today’s event (22nd Dec) impresses with its line-up. It is a smooth-running music event comprising the likes of the Vanities, Crystal, Walt Disco, Voodoos, Lucia, Neon Waltz, Rascalton, the Blinders and headliners Baby Strange.

There is never any reason to doubt the selection of bands to begin with but as the day progresses, all talent and strengths are displayed in full.

Known for their raw, dramatic and highly-charged live sets, the Blinders have spent most of 2018 touring and playing gigs, and the intensity of exposure that gives is reflected in the strength of their performance. The release of their debut album Columbia in September continues to increase the band’s appeal.

But as the crowd is about to experience Baby Strange’s set really does deliver, and although 2018 has not seen the Glasgow band play live as much as the Manchester based trio, their experience and knowledge shines through and comes in handy.

Photo Credit: Sinead Ferguson Photography

 With large doses of energy and passion already filling the room, there is plenty of anticipation, excitement and their hometown support is represented in healthy numbers. The band know how to engage them as they deliver a classic but current rock display with ease and precision.

Kicking off the set with Pure Evil followed by Distance Yourself and Viewpoint sets the tone and pace and really gets every crowd moving about. The decision to proceed with Trouble is a suitable one as the combination of frontman Johnny Madden’s vocal delivery and the tight drumbeat adds an edge and maintains the sense of vibrancy throughout the set.

Highlights includes Job in the City, as the scale of their sonic depth reaches a peak at this point creating strong euphoria, and it brings out lots of emotion. In similar fashion, the harmonies and cadence of California Sun both demonstrate the band’s ear for nuance and emphasis on variety.

Completing the set with the upbeat Friend provides everyone with a feeling of fulfillment as its Rolling Stones-resembling vibe delivers in more ways than one. Equally, the big, anthemic quality of Pleasure City alludes to the fact that this is a grand finale but it does so in a suitably smooth way.

With a vocal style at times resembling Joe Strummer supported by a slick instrumental setup and a well-composed show all-around, there’s an awareness of the fact that we are going to see and hear a lot more of Baby Strange in 2019 and that definitely belongs to the ‘good news’ category.