WHITE and Baby Strange Co-Headline Tour @ THEKLA
I first saw WHITE at Dot2Dot and Thekla in 2015 – now almost a year to the day later here I am back in the same spot, at the front (obviously), in my dancing shoes. I came here to party. This time, the lively Scottish 5 piece have bought along their pals ‘Baby Strange’ for a co-headline tour! Both come highly regarded from the Glasgow music scene and they really do not disappoint. The contrast in styles of these guys performing is brilliant, light Indie-electro pop from WHITE and the darker post-punk sounds from Baby Strange.
WHITE take to the stage first, kicking off with the hard and heavy ‘Be the Unknown. You can almost immediately identify influences from the likes of The Talking Heads, Bowie, ABC but with a modern twist. Not only does it sound phenomenal but brings an infectious energy - you cannot help moving in some way!
Every song in their set is a potential hit, their latest ‘Fight the Feeling’ pushes home the Bowie influences with front man Leo Condie’s vocals. He makes it look so fun to be on stage, the mic, part of his performance; dancing and swaying. Meanwhile, Lewis Andrew adds an accomplished bassline to this track - with the breakdown hitting like a wrecking ball of sound. Hamish Fingland features on guitar whilst also layering euphoric synth sounds on the keys - you just want to close your eyes and feel it.
Kirsten Lynn on drums has been referred to as the hardest hitting drummer in Glasgow – with good reason. When she hits the drums, and then I hear Chris Potter’s distinctive opening to ‘Living Fiction’ – that is it! Peak of excitement! This song is something you will have stuck in your head for all time, or until you hear their closing hit ‘Future Pleasures’.
Just enough time to grab another Ziggy Stardust from the bar before Baby Strange. These guys are the dark to WHITEs light. Imagine the Cribs (two of them are in fact Brothers) combined with the Clash. The View meets the Damned.
Baby Strange are bringing back the sounds of the 00’s Libertines and marrying it with all the best elements of raw British punk and garage rock. Frontman Johnny Madden has a clear Sid Vicious/Ryan Jarman charisma. They showcase their new single ‘Pure Evil’; dark, hard and fast with killer vocals! ‘Pleasure City’ is the set highlight; Madden chanting the lyrics and the crowd chanting back! They blast out ‘Friend’ and I hear the Ramones – it has such an old punk sound to it.
Aiden McCann then nails the thumping yet seductive bass line to ‘VVV’, a sort of Thekla sonar emanating from the depths of the hull across the floating harbour. Connaire McCann giving the drums another heavy workout. They bring it down a notch for ‘California Sun’; beautifully crafted verses and a catchy chorus – one of my tracks of 2016.
I always get nervous seeing a three piece but these guys project their confidence to all corners of the room; their sound is simple but there is so much depth to it! During one song, Hamish Fingland from WHITE picks up a guitar joins them on stage – now it really is a co-headline tour!
And that was it! My only disappointment is that the sets were too short and I didn't get to see ‘Blush’. Both acts left us wanting more. For one night Thekla was drowned in their sound.
What I love most about both acts is the strength in their sounds and the skill of taking classic influences and injecting them with something so new and unique. Both these bands are in my opinion the best breakthrough acts I have seen in years!
- ‘Living Fiction’ – I still cannot stop singing this
- ‘Fight the feeling’ - That breakdown PHWAOR
- Leo fondling the mic
Three words: Electric, Vibrant, Funky
Baby Strange - Highlights
- ‘Friend’ – It reminds me so much for the Ramones.
- Hamish from WHITE joining the band on stage – real camaraderie between the two act
- Everything about these guys was great, it has restored hope for me with new post-punk acts that are breaking through
- The fact that I have now got a new favourite in my personal repertoire
Three words: Raw, Loud, Punk
You can see their upcoming tour dates or hear more via their social channels.