03 March 2011

Live review: Admiral Fallow - Glasgow Arches (02/03/11)

photos by Claire Thomson

Okay so I'm a bit of hypocrite, I know that it clearly states on the side panel to the right that I don't do reviews. Yet, low and behold just weeks after I wrote up a review of the Burns Unit for the BBC, here I am once again breaking my own rules. My excuse,? I don't think I need one. This is my site, so I can pretty much do what I want. Anyway, that's enough of that nonsense, on with the Fallow...

Arriving somewhat late for the gig as I wanted to watch as much of the football as I could, I was amazed at quite how rammed the Arches was. Having seen the Concretes play there a few months back to around 50 folk, this felt somewhat different. In fact I'll be brave and suggest that there was a feeling that we were about to witness a band who are on the cusp of greatness.
Having spent about 10 minutes trying to find friends, I soon came to the conclusion that this was pretty pointless as the place was that packed. So for the first time in years I found myself alone at a gig, normally I find myself getting overly paranoid about being alone and end up getting ridiculously pished. Tonight though no alcohol was consumed, so for once I can vaguely recollect some of my evening.

Having received a lot of critical acclaim last year for their debut album, 'Boots Met My Face' and having put in the leg work by playing numerous shows, which included supporting Frightened Rabbit on their UK tour. It's a widely held thought that this could be the year that Admiral Fallow break through to the mainstream. If the band are to make the leap, then one key factor will be their ability to win over new fans with their live performance. On tonight's showing I don't think they'll have any problems on that front.

Opening with a couple of downbeat numbers, the whispered tones of Louis Abott's voice brings and end to the drunken chatter, with the crowd showing a respected hush respect for the home town heroes. It's not until the first lines of Subbuteo, "Hello my chum, it's me and my banging on your door', that crowd has something more upbeat to dance to. It was around this point that the feeling that this could be a really special night kicked in. I guess the thing that makes Glasgow crowds so loved by touring bands is our willingness to join in with a good sing song and the Fallow have those kinds of songs by the bucket load.

We're even treated to a couple of new songs, The Paper Trench being the stand out song for me personally. If that's any indication of what we can expect from album number two then we are in for a real treat. The other newbie getting an airing, which I initially thought was called John The Resonator before realising that Louis was actually referring to the name of his guitar, is a more downbeat song that didn't seem to connect as much with crowd and was slightly marred by a poor wee guy having a fit in the middle of the crowd (thankfully though he looked alright as security waded in to save the day).

By the time the band played Squealing Pigs, I realised I was witnessing something pretty special with the crowd being left to sing the chorus "It's that sinking feeling of being alone, and it's the way it makes you screech And pulls the skin off your bones, and I can't help but think, as I pick my mouth off the floor, will you still know me in a year?"
Leaving to rapturous applause, they are soon ushered back to the stage for the inevitable pre-planned encore. I can't help but help remember back to their gig in Edinburgh last August, when the band were forced to play a song off the album that they didn't like as they'd actually ran out of songs to play. Instead, we are now faced with artists who almost feel comfortable taking the praise they deserve.

We're then treated to a solo outing from lead singer, Louis, who announces that this will be his Jeff Buckley moment, before covering Elbow's 'Switching Off'. He then leads the crowd to a chorus of 'happy birthday' for his girlfriend Kirsty. Before finishing off with "Old Balloons" and sending me off into the night with massive grin on my face. 2011 the year of the Fallow? I certainly wouldn't bet against it...

Admiral Fallow - Old Balloons

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a brilliant gig, gutted I missed them. Will look out for the next one...