Bloodlines – Stereo, Glasgow – 18/02/17

Hot on the heels of releasing latest single ‘Mother’s Misery’ into the wild, Bloodlines took to their headline slot at Glasgow’s premier small venue Stereo to unleash their energetic and colourful live show on a sold out crowd.

Following two opening acts who could, and probably should, be headlining shows themselves – Crystal and the 21st State – Bloodlines had everything to do to prove they were worthy of being top bill. They didn’t just prove it, they absolutely blew any questions of their ability away with a performance you’d expect to see of bands taking top place at the Barras or ABC.

As the last support band vacate the stage, it’s obvious that this one is going to be a bit more of a production than you usually see in a venue this size. The curtains that were draped over the back half of the stage for the majority of the night are taken down to reveal a lighting rig of epic proportions. During the main set, this rig is put through its paces and elevates a performance that’s knocking on the door of an eleven out of ten.

Blasting out the traps with ‘Skeletons’, the scene is set with expert precision. Gritty, loud, in-your-face rock at its best. A statement of intent for what’s to come as two and half minutes pass in a blur and the crowd have little time to catch their breath before they’re picked up by the Bloodlines Express, transporting them to a musical dimension for the duration of their set.

Pulling together a mix of songs from their first EP Love the Taste that lift and drop like the landscape which surrounds this band’s home region of Scotland’s Highlands. The set is punctuated with new material that keeps it fresh and although on record, these newer tracks stand out from the older material, on the night they blend together smoothly, creating a seamless transition which would have you thinking that this is one hour-long track being played out in full.

Since winning the 2016 SAMA award for Best Rock/Alternative Act, Bloodlines have been hard at work to bring us new music. ‘Mother’s Misery’ being one that fits this bracket is the penultimate song of the evening and is an absolute belter. The raw nature of Jamie Coltart’s delivery of the song is portrayed magnificently alongside the aforementioned lights which are enveloping Jamie Allanach’s drum riser at the back of the stage and cutting across a soundscape of chanting vocals and mechanical beats blasted at those brave enough to get close to the front.

The band finish the night off with ‘Cathedral’. Building from quiet, subtlety to a poppy crescendo at which point we have all four members of the band gathered around the drums sitting on their perch to the back of the stage, covered in blinding white light until the song ends, the lights drop and it’s all over. The perfect end to a great gig.

Photos: Alan K. Gray at akgphotos

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