Fresh from releasing their second album Burn The Empire, The Snuts smash out anthem after anthem at Edinburgh's Usher Hall.
The problem with a band having a reputation for being good live is actually getting the chance for them to prove it. Recent examples for me include Fontaines D.C. and Gerry Cinnamon. Seeing them in the flesh elevates them to what they sound like on record. Suddenly I get them.
I can add The Snuts to that list. It took me a while to get into their debut album W.L. and I can’t work out why. Latest release Burn The Empire might not have made it to the top of the charts but I felt it was the sound of a band finding their voice.
So that’s why I found myself in a queue on Saturday night almost touching Shakespeare pub waiting patiently to get into the Usher Hall. I thought it was going to be one of those nights but weary I was going to be disappointed.
That wasn’t the case. The band ambled on stage just after nine. Singer Jack Cochrane, dressed head to toe in black with a pair of shades under his curly hair, resembled a Hamburged Beatle. Behind him drummer Jordan Mackay, Callum Wilson on bass and long haired guitarist Joe McGillveray stayed within touching distance of each other, clearly tight as any good band should be.
Two songs in and any fears that the Edinburgh crowd weren’t up for it disappeared with ‘Glasgow.’ It wasn’t just the goosebumps that appeared, so did bodies on top of shoulders stretching to the back of the venue.
New songs like ‘Knuckles’ and ‘The Rodeo’ are as celebrated as some of their older counterparts. They then take things in a dance direction before turning it on it’s head with ‘All My Friends.’
One thing you don’t appreciate until seeing The Snuts live is how good a singer Cochrane is. The band are clearly passionate about what they believe in. They arrived on stage to political quotes being played out while Cochrane gave the crowd a piece of his mind like Bobby Gillespie's wee nephew.
He’s not afraid to push his voice to the limit and occasionally ditched his guitar to command the stage with the mic in his hand. He demonstrated his vocal range during ‘13’ when things dropped down a notch. The solemn account of young folk being raised in poverty left the crowd hanging on his every word.
Another tender moment with fan favourite ‘No Place I’d Rather Go’ coincided with a fight breaking out in a balcony. Cochrane pointed out it was strange it had happened during the quietest song on the set.
The alteration monumentally threw the band and the audience off track. The snarling rap flow of ‘Cosmic Electronica’ managed to rescue proceedings. Support act Heidi Curtis returned to duet on ‘End Of The Road’ in a far more lively version than we are familiar with.
The encore saw the band practically raise the roof with ‘Burn The Empire’ before they finished with the ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ infused ‘Fatboy Slim’ where they were able to leave the emphatic crowd singing into the night.
There used to be a saying that politics and music shouldn’t mix. That was then and this is now. What we need, especially in the current comment and particularly in Britain is a band we can look up to.
A band who are not afraid to speak their minds and inspire others, chiefly the younger generation, to take a stand and inspire them. And do it while smashing out anthem after anthem. What we need is The Snuts.