Two trains of thought when it comes to Amigo The Devil playing one of the smallest (and most awkwardly shaped venues) in Glasgow: one would be that it was a baffling decision considering that it is so small and the stage is practically at floor level thus rendering a view of the man himself pretty damn difficult, the other would be – fuck it, you are never going to see him in a venue this size again so go with the flow and enjoy the intimacy that The Attic brings.
It’s called The Attic for a reason: it’s located up several flights of unwelcoming stairs, and to quote Lemony Snicket, it is “…darker than a pitch-black panther, covered in tar, eating black licorice at the very bottom of the deepest part of the Black Sea.” It is also very, very busy. Sold out in fact. And upon reaching the top of the stairs, out-of-breath ATD fans are met by the heartwarming sight of one almighty queue for the merch stand. Tshirts are doing a roaring trade, as are vinyl versions of the latest album ‘Born Against’, and the must-have item for anyone that enjoys a cold beer or two – a can koozie listing surnames of some of the most infamous serial killers in American history (Gein, Bundy, Gacy, etc), and right at the bottom of the list the name of the man that everyone has come to hear preach tonight: Amigo The Devil.
Opening act, and Amigo’s sister Katerina Kiranos, aka Katacombs, is making her UK debut on these dates, and with her recently released debut ep ‘You Will Not’ scoring very highly on the good-shit-o-meter, Katacombs is here on merit – if you want to see what nepotism looks like then check out Paul Stanley’s kid’s band The Dives opening for Kiss back in 2017. Playing solo, sans-band, it’s only Katacombs with a keyboard on stage, performing material from the ep in a stripped-back manner. Even with sound issues throughout her set, the quality of Katacombs’ voice is never anything other than stunning, and if you can listen to both ‘Blue Beard’ and the title track of the ep itself without being reduced to a quivering wreck, are you human? Deliciously dark and dreamy, this is the kind of set where the only thing to do once it ends is head to the merch desk to buy the CD; nope, too late, sold-out. For a taste, check out Katacombs online.
Danny Kiranos climbs the back stairs from the dressing room to the stage, and when he reaches the top of the stairs and surveys the people packed in front of the stage awaiting his arrival, his eyes light up like a sixteen-year-old boy entering a bordello for the first time. Once he has made his way through the merch desk, and onto the stage, the place erupts. An Amigo The Devil solo show might just be him and a guitar, and a banjo, but Jeez it is noisy! Since his debut UK tour back in 2020, the word-of-mouth factor has been working overtime, and not only has everyone from said debut tour returned, but it would seem that they have also brought some friends along with them to see what the best-kept secret in music is all about.
Once Kiranos has finished soaking up the applause, and the noise from the crowd dies down, it’s straight into the barnstorming set-opener ‘If I’m Crazy’. The sound issues from earlier have been resolved, and when Kiranos delivers the opening line “Don’t act surprised if I disappoint you…” in his booming, herculean voice, he is met with the vast majority of those in front of the stage reciting the words back to him in a similar manner. It is indeed a sight and sound to behold, and when the sudden change in gears arrives mid-song it brings with it a wall of feedback as Kiranos howls “…if I’m crazy, I’m crazy for you…”. An incredible way to open a show. A seething tale of revenge; ‘Drop For Every Hour’ is the first visit to the most recent album ‘Born Against’ and the lines “Every word from your fucking mouth, is like bringing wood to a burning house…” are spat out as Kiranos assaults his acoustic guitar rather than merely playing it. “Not all songs are about murder…some are about hating yourself…” jokes Danny as he launches into ‘Another Man’s Grave’, and for the entire length of the song – the crowd is as quiet as a church mouse. You honestly could have heard a pin drop. A guy with a guitar, baring his soul in front of a pissed-up Glaswegian crowd on a Saturday night, and not a sound to be heard other than this stark tale of suicide. I believe that the phrase is “arm hairs standing up”?
Other noteworthy moments of the set include the way that Kiranos segues into ‘Murder at the Bingo Hall’ (which comes complete with lashes of audience participation) with a few bars of the Rupert Holmes classic cheese-fest ‘Escape (The Piña Colada Song)’, an unexpected and quite tragic backstory to the dark and wonderful ‘I Hope Your Husband Dies’ that has many wondering if they should really be laughing (until that devil appears on the shoulder and says “Go for it”) especially since they think that Kiranos is joking, the boisterous shit-kicking ‘Hungover in Jonestown’, the sway of ‘Quiet as a Rat’, the insanity and irony of having thoughts of killing one’s spouse, only to have her kill you instead – ‘Perfect Wife’, which has the crowd shaking the floor through some vigorous stomping as the music gets louder and louder.
Like his maiden voyage to Glasgow two years ago, Danny Kiranos put on one of those shows where it’s best described as “You had to be there”, maybe next time though, a bigger venue?
Given the fact that Amigo The Devil is playing Aftershock Festival in California later this year, alongside headliners Slipknot and acts such as Rob Zombie and Killswitch Engage, it’s not too far-fetched to suggest ATD for Download Festival, this show, in the cauldron of The Dogtooth Stage: unmissable.
All forthcoming Amigo The Devil tour dates can be found here.
Review – Dave