Kurt-CobainYesterday marked the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Often referred to as the “reluctant voice of a generation” and the “king of grunge”, Cobain was the frontman of grunge trio Nirvana, who’s song Smells Like Teen Spirit single-handedly brought the Seattle Sound to prominence.

Nirvana released a total of three studio albums and it was their second, Nevermind, that cast them into the mainstream spotlight and popularised alternative music.

The trio visited Glasgow in 1991 as part of their Nevermind tour, with fans paying just £6 to see the now legendary trio. It’s not the best quality, but you can hear an audio recording of the gig here:

The anniversary has made the news all over the world, from BBC to NMEso a tribute night of music comes as no surprise.

King Tut’s was the venue, and the evening featured a host of local talent doing a mixture of Nirvana covers and their own material. All proceeds went to the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

A total of eight bands took to the stage and Nirvana tracks from all three albums were covered to varying levels of success. The room was packed and the gig was a sell-out. The crowd was made up of a huge variety of age-groups, probably due to the fact that every generation feels like they have a claim on Nirvana.

The gig was great overall with a range of talent, all of whom had clearly been influenced by Nirvana in some way. The only real issue I had was with the change-overs between bands. Each act only played three or four songs and the change-overs between them were slow as they each did a short sound-check, taking almost as long as each short set. At some points it was clear that the crowd was getting restless, especially towards the end.

Michael Cassidy impressed with their covers of Lithium and Heart Shaped Box, perfectly capturing the grunge feel. You can thus imagine my shock when they performed their own track and revealed themselves as a Bubblegum Rock band.

 Chris Devotion and the Expectations didn’t look very “grungy” in their smart clothes so I have to admit I was quite surprised and impressed by their alternative rock sound.

United FruitTijuana Bibles and Poor Thingsall impressed with different sounds, as did Felix Champion  and Evil Edison. It was great to see such a variety of acts over the course of one night and it opened my eyes to a few different bands who I will be sure to try to see again live.

222Paisley-based trio Carnivores were the final act of the night and quick became my favourites when they played one of my favourite Nirvana songs, Drain You.

Frontman Kenny Leckie then addressed the audience, introducing the final song of the night:

“Nobody was going to play this tonight, but if it wasn’t for this song, none of us would probably  be here.”

The trio then sent the crowd into a frenzy as they launched into Smells Like Teen Spirit.

If you want to read some more about Cobain, there is a great article that was written by Jonathan Freedland in the aftermath of his death, which The Guardian republished on their blog: http://www.theguardian.com/music/from-the-archive-blog/2014/apr/05/kurt-cobain-an-icon-of-alienation

And finally, here is Nirvana’s famous MTV Unplugged performance from 1993, rest in peace KC:

Image Credits: http://www.theneonangels.com/2012/kurt-cobain-day-grunge-died/



five-finger-death-punch-400lvg073009Five Finger Death Punch were in Glasgow on Thursday to play the O2 Academy. I was gutted to miss this gig as I’m quite a fan of the five-piece and i’ve heard nothing but good things from those who did attend.

They were performing in Glasgow as part of their European tour, which saw them return to the UK after performing here with Avenged Sevenfold last year.

The band released two albums last year, their first new material in three years. The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volumes 1 & 2 are brilliant albums, boasting tracks that are among my personal favourites.

The also released a cover of classic track “House of the Rising Sun” last month and its become one of the highlights of their recent shows. Their intention is to eventually release a feature film, exciting news to their legions of fans across the world.

It was clear the gig was a huge success, with fans flocking to Twitter to share their excitement before, during and after:

My newsfeed on Facebook was also full of people raving about the concert. I’m hoping it’s not too long before their next visit to Glasgow, I won’t be missing it next time!

And finally, here is their rendition of House of the Rising Sun:

To find out more about the band, visit their website: http://www.fivefingerdeathpunch.com 



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1.TEN TONNE DOZER (13th Note, 9th May)

One of my native island’s most successful musical exports, Ten Tonne Dozer are leaving Shetland for a UK tour and you’d be mad to miss it. The band, who won the Best Metal category of the Scottish Alternative Music Awards in 2011, are a must–see live act and the 13th Note is a fantastic venue. Be there!


2. BRODY DALLE (Garage, 21st April)

I can’t wait for this one – the former lead singer and guitarist of punk rock band The Distillers Brody Dalle is hitting Glasgow! She is touring to promote her debut solo album, Diploid Love, set for release at the end of the month. As a big fan of The Distillers, there’s no way I’m missing this!

Get your ticket HERE.


3. THE SEX PISTOLS EXPERIENCE (The Ferry, 18th April)

The days of the Sex Pistols are in long in the past, but this tribute band have got a lot of good hype surrounding them. Steve Jones, the Sex Pistols’ guitarist, has even called them “superb”.  The Sex Pistols Experience is perfect for fans who were too young to see the real thing, or for those of you who want to relive the good old days. This event also has the unique venue of the Ferry as a selling point – the gig will be taking place on a boat on the River Clyde.

Get your ticket HERE.


4.  KVELERTAK (Cathouse, 22nd April)

A six-piece metal band from Norway. Need I say any more? Kvelertak‘s songs are largely based on Norwegian and Viking mythology and their black metal sound is not to be ignored. You won’t care that they’re not singing in English – it adds to their charm, especially in a venue as great as Cathouse.

Get your ticket HERE.


5. NORMA JEAN (Classic Grand, 26th April)

Their ever-changing line-up doesn’t stop these guys from making excellent music. Norma Jean are hitting Europe this year after releasing Wrongdoers last year. The album was met with critical acclaim and is considered a return to form for the band, making this the perfect time to go see them live.

Here’s a recent video:




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Nice’n’Sleazys is once of my favourite bars in Glasgow and every Monday they hold an acoustic night in the downstairs area.

This was the first time I had attended the event and it was clear from the start that there were plenty of regulars, with all the acts being introduced by their first names and everyone appearing to know the evening’s host, Jerry, who himself performed a Bo Diddley cover as well as his own song, Elizabitha.

There was a homely atmosphere – tables with tealight candles and beer crates place before the small stage as additional seating. As the night went on the numbers increased and there were soon lots of people standing at the bar, though it never felt overcrowded.

The level of talent, given that it was an open-mic night with mostly amateur performers, was high. There was also substantial variety in the kind of music, with some acts opting for covers whilst others performed their own material.

One particular highlight was busker David Burns, a regular sight on Sauchiehall Street. He categorises his various musical incarnations under the name “Marshall Chipped”. After plans for a new band fell through at the start of the year, Burns set himself the challenge of writing and producing his own album in time for release on April Fools Day. He had reached this goal and performed two songs from the album on the eve of its release. Find out more about the new album here:  http://marshallchipped.bandcamp.com

Other highlights included Andrea, a Canadian who had just moved to Scotland from Switzerland, who impressed with her understated performance and Melissa, who received one of the biggest rounds of applause for what she described as the “obligatory ex-boyfriend song”. Her strong, bluesy voice caught everyone’s attention and was one of the strongest performances of the evening.

It was also great to see a fellow Shetlander, Malachy Tallack, take to the stage and hold his own among the numerous other performers. You can find out more about his music here: http://www.malachymusic.com/

Overall the acoustic night was a fantastic example of the entertainment available in Glasgow’s city centre and I will definately return to Nice’n’Sleazys to see it again. And to finish, here is a video of one of the performers that I uploaded to Youtube:


AWK-and-MarkyGarage is one of Glasgow’s numerous well-known student nightclubs.  It is also the home to an impressive music venue where numerous gigs take place every week. I hated Garage as a nightclub but ended up going back last October to see Andrew WK and Marky Ramone.

My expectations were very low considering my hate of Garage, but I was really impressed by not only the show but also Garage itself, with the upstairs music venue providing a much more enjoyable experience than the club.

Andrew WK and Marky Ramone were in Glasgow for the conclusion of their world tour. I’d always liked the Ramones  but had little interest in Andrew WK, who I only really knew for his song ‘We Want Fun’, which had featured on the soundtrack of the Jackass movie.

The gig turned out to be brilliant – a relentless assault of some of the Ramones’ best known songs, from Rock ‘N’ Roll High School to Pet Semetary. It was great to see Marky Ramone still so full of energy on the drums, and Andrew WK made for an energetic frontman, working the crowd up into a frenzy.

Together, the pair did a fine job in reinstating my faith in Garage, as a music venue at least.

Here’s an interview with the pair about the tour and punk rock in general:

Image credits: http://spinningplatters.com/2013/10/09/spinning-platters-interview-andrew-w-k-on-marky-ramones-blitzkrieg/