Before tonight, Divides had played the grand total of one gig. That was at Òran Mór in the tough opening slot for Vukovi. Quite a big venue for a band who’d been together less than a fortnight, but, had you seen them you’d have thought it was easily their twentieth show as it was a natural and astute performance on the night.
That performance raised our interest, it certainly made me stand up and move a little closer to the stage for a better vantage point. From there I saw a group of very self-assured individuals come together and deliver the few songs that they have in their locker with the precision and flair that other, more established bands fail to find after years of playing together.
Tonight they played their second gig at Nice N’ Sleazy’s in Glasgow. We arrived at Sleazy’s early, with high expectations and were hoping to see some more of the magic that was promised from the initial show. Before we see the band head onstage we had the chance to speak to the group and find out a little more about them as a band and how they came together in a whirlwind fashion to find a formula that would allow them to create in the studio as well as pull a live set together that could get them noticed.
It’s no coincidence that they seem at ease onstage, having all been involved with other bands prior to Divides but the fact that they make it look and feel effortless is a massive bonus for a young band starting out; it adds to the thought that they have potential to make it to the big time. There’s no ego here either, you can see that they’re all pulling in the same direction and most importantly they look at ease in each other’s company. This is something that translates into a tight, uniformed display onstage.
It’s hard to describe just how good they are live. You can listen to their first single and it’s good, really good in fact, but it’s when you gather all the components in a live environment, when you witness the collective ability being harnessed into a crescendo of musical, aural beauty that you get sucked right in.
Luckily, the band takes to the stage and don’t waste time in getting things underway with ‘Anywhere & Nowhere’. A great opener which has a touch of nerves about it but by the time we get to ‘Vacant Hearts’ – with its backing vocals and heavy reverb out the way – all of those nerves have disappeared.
‘Polar Opposites’ certainly has a sound that could be described as a mash-up between Biffy and Paramore. Not surprising given that both bands are heavy influences of individual members within the group. The togetherness that I keep banging on about is summed up during ‘Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost’ when both guitarists Colin & Dave, bassist Andy and singer Tasha are lined up at the front of the stage head banging to the beat in unison like a big four-headed musical beast.
Divides aren’t afraid to experiment and try new things either (although you could say everything is new at the moment, given the time they’ve been around) and tonight we were treated to a new song – created a mere few days earlier – with ‘Spiders’. This track was, in my opinion, the best of the night and one I’m looking forward to hearing again.
Tasha turns to the crowd with “this is our last song” to which she’s returned a loud, collective “awwwwww” from the mass of folk who’ve gathered round by now. That sums it up for me, the crowd wanting more of the same for even just a little longer. Seconds later, the intro to ‘State of Flux’ rings out with its System of a Down sound and cool-as-shit guitar effect that I can’t quite put my finger on – I must find out.
I’m happy, the crowd are happy, the band look happy. All in all, a successful second outing for a band we’ll be keeping a very close eye on over the next couple of years. I can see massive potential and considering they drew a larger crowd than the headliners on the night I think there’s good reason for you to do the same. There’s talk of an EP release later in the year, it can’t quite come quick enough.