Review: Shining – Glasgow

Ivory Blacks, Glasgow – 20th Nov 2015
The mighty, and completely unpredictable, return to Glasgow, but this time for a headline show. You know it is not going to be a quiet, peaceful evening.
Before I get to the bands tonight, I have to get some moaning out of the way before I go mad. It is the venue tonight. I avoid it wherever possible for these three reasons:
As a photographer               The lighting is crap
As a reviewer                   The sound is crap
As a punter                     The beer is crap
The only reason to visit is the music alone, and tonight the three bands playing made up for each of the complaints above. I did have my doubts beforehand, to be fair, as this is the most mixed bag of bands on a bill I have seen for some time. Hardcore, prog and Shining… how was that ever going to work? I am still not sure how this was pulled off, but it was one brilliant and crazy night of seriously good live music.
First up were Jack Dalton, the supposed hardcore band. Yes, supposed. I want you to go into your heavy metal closet (I know you all have one) and start digging through the boxes. Pull out the one marked ‘Hardcore’ and have a look inside. Yip, no Jack Dalton in there. You seriously cannot saddle them with that genre, there is way more to them than that. They have the laptop open on the side of the stage for the strange and wonderful sounds that permeate throughout their songs. I have no idea how this never got smashed to pieces as the band bounced about that stage for all of their short set.
 We saw Vocalist, Jimmy Nymoen, swinging from the (lack of) lighting rig like a monkey in some sort of weird alien human zoo. The crazy antics work perfectly with the music, as you really do not know what you are going to get next with these guys… hey Forrest, life is not like a box of chocolates it is like a Jack Dalton gig.
 This was an eye opening, and very enjoyable, set from the Olso band. I would recommend anyone go see them, and also give their latest offering ‘Past Swallows Love’ a listen, and stay tuned to DGM for an interview with the guys.
So from Hardcore we move smoothly onto Australia’s alternative proggers Caligula’s Horse (yeah, I am not sure how we did that whole smoothly thing either. This band should never have been on this bill. They should never have slotted in between the other two bands, but I can tell you I am really happy they were.
 I will be honest and upfront, I have not heard of the guys before, so I spoke to our Oz reviewer, Craig, who has seen them live, and is a lover of all guitar of the twiddly-diddly style. He raved about them, and after seeing them live, I can see why.
 Vocalist, Jim Grey’s voice was outstanding on the night. The range was magnificent, and to the point on the song ”Daughter Of The Mountain”, I was wondering where the hell the female vocalist was hiding. The pitch and tone reached throughout this song was incredible.
 Another highlight was “Firelight” as it was dedicated to the events that took place in Paris recently. This tour was probably one of the first to play after the horrible events, and to a packed house. A mention also has to go to Sam Vallen on guitars. He may be quiet ,and less frenetic than his frontman, but boy can he play guitar. A great set from the band, and definitely one for lovers of anything from the prog metal world.
Okay folks, let’s go back to that metal cupboard of ours. Pull out all those boxes and I can promise you Shining will not fit in any one of those boxes, unless it is labelled ‘Orgasamically sexy and unpredictably brilliant’. This Norwegian band cannot be compared to anything out there. The closest I can get to is NIN… with a saxophone.
 Most of tonight’s set is from the critically acclaimed (I hate that phrase, why not just say kick-ass?) ‘International BlackJazz Society’. An album full to the brim of organised chaos, brutal lyrics ,and balls-out originality.
 From the very start, vocalist/guitarist/saxophonist, and all round genius, Jorgen Munkerby, went mental. He was definitely the focal point, as you just can not take your eyes off this man. He was on the lighting rig, the amps, the crowd… no space is sacred. After the opener ‘I Won’t Forget’, he was dripping with sweat. He did not let up for the whole show.
 As I dragged my eyes away from the unfolding cacophony of noise and images, I took in the audience. There was no shortage of Shining t-shirts, but it was the fans themselves that intrigued me. The mixture was unprecedented for a show. You had goth, emo, techno, metalhead, rockers, and some people in suits? The age was just as varied, such is the appeal of this band, and not one person was there to just look on. The crowd were as crazy as the band, there was some very bad ‘dad dancing’, some dodgy techno moves but nobody cared. The smiles were on the faces of each and every person.
 This was one hell of a gig Hots off guys this being my first Shining show, I was blown away. It is a day later and I still cannot fathom what I witnessed last night. Words actually fail me, and that is a first I can assure you. Whatever it was that I saw last night I want more. I want more crazy saxophone, more distortion, more mind blowing songs, and a performance to leave me baffled and bemused.
Review and images: Ritchie Birnie
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