Altered Sky: Glasgow Garage 1st August 2015

The great thing about an all ages gig is that it shakes up the dynamics, you don’t get any of that stand-offish , too cool for school attitude than can creep into so many gigs these days. Younger gig-goers are up for it from the off , clapping and singing along, bouncing around and not caring at all what anyone else thinks. Tonight’s’ young crowd certainly came to have fun. Unfortunately, due to interviewing Altered Sky we missed out on the opening band ( sorry guys) so Speaking In Shadows were first up for DGM. The boys from Nuneaton were a real find, and definitely made me stand up and take notice.  The band have some real sing-along tunes, which a fair few in the crowd were belting out for all their lungs were worth.

They have a superb and seriously energetic frontman in Adam Smith, who jumped and pounced around the stage like an in training Ninja Challenge contestant. He cleverly wears an Altered Sky t-shirt to win over the fans, and if all that fails just listen to his voice, it is excellent and made for the stage. His patter is none too shabby either, and Adam, do not be disheartened at the lack of uptake to your “You can all come back to my place”, the Scottish are not that stupid. You are living in a van and everyone heard there was no alcohol.
All jokes aside, I would definitely recommend you check out this band and with the likes of “Technicolor Trainwreck” and “Breaking Silence” from their latest EP, “The Lies we Lead”, you will not find a better slice of upcoming rock, and that’s a fact.
Main support act , Cavaliers , have been on a brief hiatus whilst going through a line-up change and tonight was actually their first gig of 2015, although this didn’t show. The local band brought along a fair amount of fans and several Cavaliers T-Shirts could be spotted in the crowd. The guys have a vibe and sound similar to You Me At Six , a sound tailor made for Slam Dunk as well as Reading or T In The Park . Highlight of their set is “Best Days”, four minutes of up-tempo , catchy alt-rock.
When you think of Scottish music you tend to think of dour faced hipster Art-Rock (whatever the hell that means) like Franz Ferdinand, and Belle and Sebastian, or electro-post punk (?) like Mogwai. Only Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic seem to be the exception to the rule that Scottish acts need to be ipsters. One genre, very rarely associated with Scotland, is Pop Rock. Maybe it’s the whole “It’s shite being Scottish” Trainspotting thing, or the fact that it rains constantly. We don’t seem to do happy, hopeful, energetic music. Altered Sky are the exception to that rule . Vocalist Ana Nowosielska is a blur, as she runs past the crowd straight up the stairs and onto the stage. The other four band members have already begun to lay down the opening bars before the pocket dynamo bursts into “I Know You Know”, sending the front rows into raptures. The band have five years experience behind them, and they are a highly polished and confident live act. Confidence is a great quality for a young band to have, and Altered Sky have it in abundance. Since Altered Sky are fronted by a female, comparisons are usually made to Paramore and Tonight Alive , but that’s a lazy comparison to make, as they are their own band and Ana is hardly a Hayley Williams copycat. Altered Sky are more punk-ish than Paramore for starters, with edgier songs such as “Traitor In Me ” and the stonking “Live Wire” backing this up. If you have to draw comparisons then perhaps Gwen Stefani might be more appropriate, since Ana is just as energetic and commanding onstage. Ana says scream: the crowd screams, she says bounce: the crowd bounces. Ana is not the next Hayley Williams or Gwen Stefani, she’s the first Ana Nowosielska . The other band members are no slouches either. Guitarist Rich has some serious chops, and is ably assisted on second guitar by Ryan, whereas the rhythm section of Ross (bass) and Amy (drums/backing vocals) provide the backbone for the others to build upon. Most of the set draws from the “Stop and Live” EP along with some older tracks like “Apple Tree”, but we also get treated to a few new cuts from the debut album, due later this year. Current single and video “Bury It All” is an absolute belter. A perfect soundtrack to the Summer, if it ever arrives. If only mainstream radio could break away from back to back EDM or shoe-gazing Indie Rock, then this would find its way onto many playlists. It’s incredibly catchy. So much so, that I was still humming it going round Asda the next day, doing a big shop! This is the sound of a band going places. The band seem to finish the set with “Bury It All ” and the house lights come back on , but the band manage to squeeze in one more, and “Stupid In The Dark” (Not Stripper In The Dark, like our photographer first though) gets it’s first ever live airing. Another gem from which surely will be an incredible debut album. A great set from a young local band with the songs to break out not just over the border but further afield over the pond .

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Review: Dave Stott
Images: Ritchie Birnie

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