Review: No Sinner – King Tuts, Glasgow

After a brief run through mainland Europe, pausing for a few shows in Norway, Canadians No Sinner brought their brand of highly charged rock ‘n’ roll to Glasgow for a late night at King Tuts. Late night? On a school night? As much as I rate Tuts as a venue, it would be nice if gigs finished before public transport packed up for the night. Anyway, as per the norm with Tuts, local bands provided the warm up for the headliners. First up were Perpetual Motion, who performed acoustically. It’s hard to get the gauge of a band when it’s all out acoustic, but regardless of what they sound like plugged in, these guys put on a stellar performance with killer vocal harmonies. Mhairi Wilson has a gorgeous, soothing voice, powerful enough to make the chatterboxes actually stop talking for a brief few minutes. A very laid back and enjoyable, if short, set. Following on, were The Blue Lights, a five piece alt-rock band with some goth and blues rock mixed in. A hell of a mix for sure, but it worked. Vocalist, Kirsten Hamilton has a mysterious air about her that is very intriguing. There are shades of Cure frontman Robert Smith, but just as you’re feeling smug about making that comparison, the band pull out a slowed down version of ‘Whole Lotta Love’, and it’s time to re-think. Pigeons need holing. Two very different bands, but both deserving of anyone’s attention. After a few lineup changes, Colleen Rennison has hit gold with the musicians that currently make up No Sinner. Weeks on the road have seen the band come together and form some impressive onstage chemistry. With one of the strongest voices in rock today, Rennison needed a band to match, and it seems like she has found them. Latest album, ‘Old Habits Die Hard’ formed the lion’s share of the set. One of the finest albums to see daylight this year, these songs were meant to be heard live, and thankfully they didn’t disappoint. ‘Leadfoot’ crushes in a maelstrom of guitar riffs, heady keyboard fills, and pounding rhythms. Live, this increases 100%. Likewise, ‘All Woman’ takes on a new life when performed in front of a crowd. The sound took a while to settle, but when it did, the full range of Rennison’s voice could be felt by the crowd. It’s clear that Rennison feeds off the band, her interplay with them is natural and unforced, and at no point do they seem like hired hands. As well as sporting a cracking beard (less hipster, more not bothered shaving), guitarist Kyler Pierce is a wizard on the six string, and got more than his fair share of attention from the crowd… as did drummer Max Grant, who as well as impressing with his powerful playing, also has a neat party trick in opening bottles of beer with his drumstick. Gotta love drummers!
Debut album ‘Boo Hoo Hoo’ was visited on a few occasions, with ‘Work Song’ being a particular highlight, but it’s the likes of ‘Mandy Lyn’ from ‘Old Habits Die Hard’ that impressed the most. It’s slow, sweaty, and has a real kick to it. When Rennison slows it down for both ‘Hollow’ and ‘Lines On The Highway’, it truly did make the hairs on the back of the neck stand on end. Rennison proved, with her stunning solo album ‘See The Sky About To Rain’, that she is more than just a screamer, but No Sinner play rock n’ roll. It’s loud, it’s raunchy, and it’s the type of music that would have once been called ‘The Devil’s Music’. Had she been around at the birth of the genre, then Rennison would have been rightly hailed as a corruptive influence, like Elvis was, filmed from the waist up to protect the nation’s morals. She has more sex appeal than starlets like Ariana Grande, Rihanna, and countless others have combined, but with Rennison it’s never staged or an attempt to shock, like so many other performers today. With everyone on board for album number three, I’m expecting it to surpass what Rennison has already achieved with No Sinner. If you get the chance to catch them in action, don’t pass it up. Review: Dave Stott Photos: Dave Jamieson [gallery type='flickr' user_id='132278830@N06' view='photosets' photoset_id='72157674500286581' columns='3' tag_mode='any' sort='date-posted-desc' per_page='27' layout='random' ]

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