Live Review: SKAM/Black King Cobra – Audio, Glasgow

SKAM pulled a sickie and jumped in their van to play three gigs in Scotland. Kicking off in Edinburgh on Thursday, the weekend was indeed brought forward 24 hours. Having local groove merchants Black King Cobra along as special guests gave the “mini-tour” an added Brucie Bonus. Late last year the four piece launched their latest EP ‘Law Of Attraction’ at King Tuts in Glasgow, and since then have quietly gone about the business of spreading the word. Guitarist Ross Clark throws everything into his playing, which at times echoes John Frusciante and is spellbinding to watch. At one stage he gets so carried away that he snaps a string and has to dash offstage for a replacement. Bassist Robert Kennedy and new man behind the kit, Lloyd Griffiths, fill the dead air with a little jam, whilst vocalist Callum Moran points out that it wouldn’t be a Black King Cobra gig without a technical issue. We are then treated to some new material in the shape of ‘Lie Through My Teeth’, which was aired for the first time the previous night in Edinburgh. Even in its infancy, it sounds massive. “Old” favourites like ‘Wrack and Ruin’ get the asses moving, while the full-on intro of ‘Quake’ gets the dandruff flying. Expansive and jam orientated, Black King Cobra are rapidly growing into a band that offers up something a little different. I’m intrigued to hear what the next release will sound like. SKAM upped the ante on their latest release, the ambitious concept album ‘The Amazing Memoirs Of Geoffrey Goddard’. On stage the songs become larger than life. With Neal Hill on drums propelling the band forwards, the three piece put in one hell of a shift. His playing on the likes of ‘The Iron Cross’ rattles the fillings in your teeth, and before long his light blue RAF shirt is soaked in sweat. In front of him is older brother Steve Hill, who keeps the riffs flowing while attending to the small matter of singing lead vocals. Completed by the manic four stringer Matt Gilmore, SKAM produces a sound that a trio has no right to make. ‘Fading Before The Sun’ gets an early airing, prefaced by Hill senior stating that it’s one of his favourites on the new album. It’s a muscular few minutes, with a fantastic bass groove from Gilmore and a lovely guitar solo from Steve Hill that gives the neck muscles a right seeing to. SKAM don’t do anything fancy, but what they do, they do very well. It’s bass, drums, lead guitar and vocals – the very bedrock from which great things are built upon, with next single ‘Bring The Rain’ being the perfect example. Bloody hell, it is a belting few minutes. Mixed in with the newer TAMOGG material are some tracks cherry picked from earlier SKAM material. ‘The Wire’ has a fab ‘Sweet Emotion’ style bass groove from Matt Gilmore, king of the gurners, and develops into a soaring piece of music that leaves a lasting impression. Likewise, on the trippy intro to ‘Massacre’, Gilmore gets another chance to shine, while on ‘Holy City’ and ‘No Lies’ the neck muscles get another workout. Two fantastic sets from two very different bands. Perfect examples of the high quality of new bands out there, just waiting for you to put down the remote and get off the couch. Review – Dave S Images – Dave J [gallery type='flickr' user_id='132278830@N06' view='photosets' photoset_id='72157678900964448' media='photos' columns='3' tag_mode='any' sort='date-posted-desc' per_page='45' layout='square' caption='title' thumb_size='s' main_size='z' ]]]>

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