What better place to spend one of the hottest nights of the year so far than a packed Nice N’ Sleazy helping Medicine Men launch their debut album?
What a night it was! Arranged by the band’s label, Last Night From Glasgow. A new label and one that does things differently. Owned by their membership, LNFG is innovative and inventive, just like the artists they promote. They are doing good things for Scottish music and are well worth looking into.
A quick word for the support act, Fly Jackson, who ably whetted appetites before the headliners. A five piece band from Falkirk, their seven song set was a mix of funky guitars and rocking jams which maybe deserved a bigger audience. The crowd did grow through their set and showed their appreciation.
Medicine Men took to the stage just after 9:30pm, to the strains of their album intro track ‘A La Llum’ blasting from the PA and launched into a blistering set that did absolutely nothing to lower the temperature. Immediately from the stomping intro to ‘Show What You’re Made Of’ the die was cast! A raucous start and Medicine Men kept that level up for the next hour. When I reviewed Into The Light in advance of the album’s release on Friday, I was well aware of their ability to meld classic rock with dance elements. Tonight that became all the more clear as they had their appreciative audience dancing, singing, clapping and having some good old-fashioned fun.
A high point, for me, was ‘Golden Packets’, a track that kept the funky guitars of the record but managed to take on a new life onstage. Those grooving guitars and bass wouldn’t sound out of place in a 70’s cop show but as the track built, carried along by Ian Mackinnon’s impassioned vocals, it became a wall of sound. Something that turned out to be a theme for the evening. Sonic grooves, a pounding dance beat and soaring synths topped off by Mackinnon’s guitar and vocals. As a launchpad for the new album it was fantastic.
Ten tracks, including non-album single ‘In The Breeze’ which, while I am not sure why it didn’t make the cut, is every bit as good as the album. They even managed to throw in a couple of covers to round out the set. Charles and Eddie’s ‘Would I Lie To You’ was unexpected and if I am honest – now this is mainly because of my “too cool for school” Indie Kid leanings – I still don’t know if I enjoyed it. The crowd certainly did and sung along to every word.
The last song, the wonderful lead single ‘Out Of The Light’ is Medicine Men’s sing-along song and was a perfect way to close the night… Except, they came back for one more. Another cover, this time of Blue Boy’s dance anthem ‘Remember Me’, accompanied by another wonderful Glasgow artist and label mate Emme Woods on vocal. I’m pretty sure the intention was to play this before ‘Out Of The Light’ but for being unable to locate their guest vocalist. As it turned out it was an excellent way to finish off the evening.
Medicine Men are a must see and with several festival appearances to come over the summer months, you’ll have every opportunity to do so. Don’t miss them.
Photo Credit: Brendan Waters Photography