Review: Altered Sky – Glasgow G2, 30th Nov 2015

Definitely celebrations for Altered Sky, as they finished up a 9 date tour in their hometown for their last gig of 2015, and yes, it was St Andrews Day to boot!
Before we get to the hyperactive headliners, there were four, yes four, support bands tonight. Unfortunately due to interview duties (stay glued to the DGM website for this, and some exclusive Altered Sky 2016 news), I only managed to catch two of these bands, so a big sorry goes to the bands I missed and I will make it up to you the next time you are in town.
 
The first band I managed to catch was Magic Trik, A Glasgow band who were sneaked well up the bill, and got to play in front of a well-packed hall. They definitely grabbed the chance with both hands. The lead singer and guitarist, David McFarlane, may look like a geeky Bret Michaels but he has charisma in spades.
 The band are all young, and there were a fair few rough edges, but myself, as well as a lot of the audience tonight, saw something there worth taking notice of. They covered Zep’s ‘Rock And Roll’ with skill and precision well beyond their years. The real stand out for me was Alek McMillan on lead guitar. I have no idea how old he is, but I would say he is plonked well into his teens, but boy can this guy cover a fretboard. I was seriously impressed, and I will be watching out for these guys in 2016.
 
Everybody Looks Famous have been making waves, and their name proceeded them here tonight. I have to admit, before this evening, I had only heard the name and not the material, so I was here to see if the hype was deserved. This five-piece, took to the stage in a flurry of cheers and kicked straight into some top class punk/pop songs and my attention was grabbed very early, even to the point I was wondering if Altered Sky had made a wise choice in picking these guys, as they sounded as if they were going to give them a run for their money.
 The band was polished, the songs were excellent, and vocalist, Lex, has that X factor… the sprinkling of magic dust that few people have. I truly enjoyed their set and I will definitely be paying more attention to the name Everybody Looks Famous in the future… take my advice, you should too.
Now we get to the reason this hall was crowded. Managerial confirmation of attendance, in purely technical terms, was given as “a bawhair away from a sell-out”. On a Scottish scale this is only one step away from a sell-out, that step is of course “a midge’s bawhair”.
 The fact that the last visit to this venue was only four months ago tells you how popular this band is in Glasgow, and based on the numbers tonight, I expect it to be the last visit to this hall. The next time I come here to see this band it will be in her big sister, I’m sure.
 The last two weeks for Altered Sky have been a blur, the long awaited (that is an understatement) debut album “Without Wonderland” has finally hit the shelves, and the latest UK tour. To be honest, when I was speaking to the band earlier, it seemed as if it hasn’t hit home at all. Maybe after tonight, when they can sit down and read all the reviews without any distraction, they will realise just how monumental a moment this is.
 The album is outstanding, and well worth the two year wait, but we have to put all this aside, as there’s a baying crowd of hyper Glaswegians to appease, and the band did that in seconds as they took to the stage with “Livewire”. I can think of no better way to describe the rainbow-haired vocalist. The very same Ana, who took delivery of her first wireless mic just before the show and, without testing, went for it. It sums up this young woman to a ‘t’. She has no fear, no qualms or worries, and grabs every opportunity available.
 The first song went without a hitch, and next we kicked on into my personal favourite ”This War Is Mine”. If you want to hear what this band are about, you need look no further than this brilliant song, an upbeat toe-tapper, and pop/punk brilliance.
 As the gig went on, the crowd got rowdier and the smiles on the bands faces got wider. We also had some excellent news revealed to us. The perfectly set, flame haired guitarist, known as Ryan was officially declared a full time member of the band. I have wondered all these months as to how this would play out, and wondered what was keeping him from the position, as I can imagine no better fit for this band. He was the perfect piece to complete this puzzle.
 It is not only the band that got praised and thanked. This is not just a band, it is a tight knit community, and ever present photographer Laura, and the youngest sound man in the world, Cooper, also got a well-earned thanks. The amazing thing is, even the crowd know the guys on the periphery of the band, with Cooper getting chants of “Cena, Cena, Cena” from the crowd, and I have to say, a lot of people ”should have gone to Specsavers”.
 This is Altered Sky, They are just like your own family. Jayy (manager) is that happy, drunk Uncle you always bump into at weddings (and always makes you laugh), Lara is the mother hen, running around making sure everyone is okay, fed, and watered. You have the terrible twins in Ana and Amy, who you know are up to something. Good old Richard is the all-seeing Father and voice of reason. Ross is the bolshie big brother with the cheeky grin and dodgy ideas running through his mind. Ryan is the newly adopted child, who sits there taking abuse and nodding with Cooper the youngest sibling, who gets away with murder and is full of silly ideas and faces.
Altered Sky played 90% of “Without Wonderland “ tonight, and although this album has just been released, the crowd sang the lyrics at the top of their voices. The band nailed it tonight but they always do. You always get an energetic, full on rock show, that makes you happy and wanting more. Outside these walls there are a lot of horrible things going on, but Altered Sky make you forget that for the all-too-short time they are on that stage. They epitomise everything that is good about music and, as always, they made this old man feel young and tok me back to the reason I fell in love with music and why I attended gigs all those years ago…. if I shut my eyes long enough I am sure I felt hair bouncing on my shoulders again.
2015 may well be over for these guys, but mark my words, and check your Chinese calendars, as 2016 is the year of Altered Sky…… the rainbow unicorn.
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Set List
Livewire
This War Is Mine
Where I Belong
Stupid In The Dark
Apple Tree
Live For It
Songbird
Waves
Bury It All
 
Images and review Ritchie Birnie
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2 comments

  1. Awesome article! I’m The photographer for Magic Trik so firstly thank you for the kind words about the band, we all put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes and secondly Alek is only 17, so plenty of years ahead of him!

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