Review: Piston – O2 Academy, Glasgow

PistonAfter attending his first ever gig, The Cult in Birmingham no less, and being blown away by Billy Duffy’s guitar sound, eleven year old Jack Edwards was handed a couple of Duffy’s guitar picks by one of the crew who added – “Billy wants you to have these”. A touching gesture from one of the last great guitar gods, and one that had a lasting effect on Edwards. Fast forward to 2019 and Jack is pictured alongside his hero in Total Guitar magazine, six page spread, both holding Gretsch signature White Falcons. Proof indeed, if you needed it, that sometimes dreams do come true.

But, come here, there’s more…it’s almost like Jack was granted three wishes by a genie, as now he is sharing the same stage as Duffy, as lead guitarist of hotly tipped Cannock outfit – Piston. And having dreamt of this moment for years, he was not about to fluff his lines.

Opening four shows on the Sonic Temple 30th anniversary tour, meant two hours for Piston to, not only make some new friends, but also make some everlasting memories. I’ve seen some similar sized bands wilt under the pressure of being thrust from pub stages to Academy sized venues, no danger of that happening with Piston.

It was obvious from the start that these guys understood the magnitude of what was happening. It’s been a while since I’ve caught a new band as confident in the live setting as Piston were. No sign of nerves as they explode into opening number ‘Dynamite’, then quickly follow it up with the radio hit ‘Rainmaker’. After a few early moments where Rob Angelico’s vocals are lost in the mix, the sound soon settles and his impressive pipes fill the sold-out venue. The band don’t waste any time winning the crowd over, and make full use of the stage, constantly on the move and always making eye contact with those who have moved away from the bar to see what the fuss is. Jack especially seems to have his own cheering section, as according to the ladies to my left – “The guitarist would well get it”. Get what exactly is open to debate.

Slowing it down for ‘Carry Us Home’ (perhaps the standout moment on the recently released self-titled debut album), Piston show that they have more strings to their collective bows. And by the time they finish with a stirring rendition of ‘Proud Mary’ (complete with drummer Brad Newlands acting as cheerleader from the edge of the stage), they have the applause from the crowd ringing firmly in their ears.

Piston need to strike while the iron is relatively still hot, a quick return in the new year for some headlining dates is crucial, watch this space.

Review – Dave

Images – Callum Scott 

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