It’s a Saturday night and we hit the legendary King Tuts in Glasgow for Culann’s final gig of the year. 2013 was a good one for the band to put it lightly. Among other things they won Best Rock category at the SAMA awards, played at the sold out Tiree Music Festival, rocked the legendary Barrowland for SaviFest, packed out Broadcast, got air time from Jim Gellatly and finished it tonight, selling out arguably the best small venue this side of the Milky Way.
With support from Alburn, Keeping Dirt Clean and Ripley the crowd were ready to see Irvine’s finest entertain them and packed up at the back on a bench so I could get a decent view, I elbowed some space for what’s always a top gig from PJ, Sean, Greg, Ross and Calum.
The band started at an absolutely blistering pace and volume tearing through opening tracks ‘I Am The Red’ and ‘Beat Your Chest’. ‘I Am The Red’ was great to hear as it’s a track I love from their debut album that wasn’t played live until recently (at the aforementioned Broadcast gig). It’s a big track to start with and got the crowd right on side from the first note and flowed perfectly into ‘Beat Your Chest’. 2 tracks in and the place was electric, cheers from the crowd and banter from friends and followers was flowing and adding to the excitement that encapsulated the opening tracks.
A surprise was in store next when the band started off with a personal favourite track of mine, ‘Bogus Conclusions’. I’d not heard the track live before and it was a real treat to hear, particularly the reggae break raising a smile and round of applause from the crowd – halfway through the song!
With the crowd thoroughly rocked so far the band blasted through a thundering rendition of ‘The Lowlanders Great Hatred’ and into the magnificent sing-along ‘Jerusalem’. As much as the crowd were enjoying the gig it was particularly nice to see the band looking over at each other and smiling, enjoying their moment they so thoroughly deserve. Just after this track finished, fellow scrambler Gareth commented: “They are ready. All they need is a break”. Couldn’t agree more.
A spectacular version of ‘Brain Canyon’, with some remarkable work from Ross on keys, closed off the set before the band left the stage for a few moments. Thunderous clapping and foot-stomping from the crowd welcomed the band back on stage for the final song, ‘Salvation’. This was the first Culann track I ever heard and still enjoy it today as much as I did the first time of listening. Clearly, this was a notion shared by the rest of the crowd who sang along word-for-word with a sweat-matted PJ who gave it his all from beginning to end.
With the feedback still ringing from the guitars the band left the stage and the excited buzz followed us all downstairs and back into the bar to discuss how much we all enjoyed it. A great band playing a blistering set in a sold-out top venue is always a great way to spend a Saturday night and tonight was no different. I have a feeling a few years down the line it’s going to be one of those “I was there” gigs to discuss as the band take off to the next level.
Feature image © Andy Mills
Article image © Bill Gray