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The Hotelier, Stereo, Glasgow

  • Published in Live

Despite last year's Goodness being my first proper introduction to The Hotelier, I can't help but feel they are the band my heart was yearning for about seven years ago, which is about the time they first formed. The band blend the strands of Biffy Clyro and angst, the two flavours of choice throughout my high school years.

On their second visit to Glasgow, they play Stereo, an appropriately tight basement venue in which to broadcast their sound. That latest record is well represented, with the one-two of 'Soft Animal' and 'Sun' showcasing a duo of the stand out tracks, whilst an encore of 'Opening Mail For My Grandmother' was a fittingly endearing end to the evening.

Euphoric singalongs of 'Your Deep Rest' and 'An Introduction To The Album' made me guilty of my unfamiliarity with the band's second - and perhaps seminal - record Home, Like Noplace Is There. There's a late New Year Resolution in there, and I hope to be able to scream along those same lyrics should the band return.

Like those aforementioned Scottish rockers, The Hotelier's sound borders on epic, yet unlike that trio they have a much more tangible grip on emotional songwriting. Starting with Christian Holden's lyrics and crooning vocal performance, and ending with some enthralling loud-quiet flows on the instrumentation, the Massachusetts outfit know how to jerk a tear.

Despite starting 15 minutes early, following a swift soundcheck, the band simply launched into their set with gusto, and the tentative Glasgow crowd was likely treated some additional tracks to make up the difference, which is an unexpected treat. Throughout the set, Holden gives sincere thanks to the crowd, and they respond thanks in the form of singing and dancing.

There's no frills here, just an emotive band who've traveled thousands of miles to play to their eager fans, and at the end of night everyone appeared to have lifted spirits, and surely that's all the matters? Gratefully received, The Hotelier's dynamic emo-tinged sounds are welcome in Glasgow, and it was a pleasure to watch them play, and to be part of such an emphatic crowd.


Yellowcard, O2 ABC, Glasgow

  • Published in Live

I started out my Yellowcard fan career with a CD or two loaned from a friend, and now I have *ended* it with a free ticket to their last ever show in Glasgow, so it's certain that the fun-cost ratio of this band has been pretty phenomenal for me. Being the first and last time seeing this band, the set resembling a greatest hits record was something of a blessing, showcasing to me the band's highlights throughout all those years I missed since Paper Walls

Whilst the set was suitably mixed up, I can't help but feel that playing a reverse order retrospective ending with 'Ocean Avenue' would've been highly appreciated by the crowd, but they do have considerably more than one album after all. 

Playing 23 songs in total, the usual quartet is expanded to a quintet by stand-in drummer Jimmy Brunkvist of Like Torches, who put in a blistering performance, outshone only by the charisma of violinist Sean Mackin and his skills in getting the crowd fired up. With a career spanning set, the band's emotive and distinctive brand of pop punk had the Glaswegian whipped into one final flurry for at least two hours. 

Frontman Ryan Key's sincere introductions and heartfelt thanks strung the night together, as he explained the gravity of certain songs, and simply inspired some powerful sing-alongs like you would expect. From the rousing opener 'Believe' to the euphoric closer 'Ocean Avenue' the band took control of the venue and showcased why their art has sustained then for 20 years. 

The intense one-two of 'Gifts and Curses' and 'Cut Me, Mick' towards the end of the set were particularly enjoyable, with the emotion of the slower songs like 'Sing For Me' providing some respite throughout the lengthy set. Overall, if this quality is replicated on ever night of their extensive tour, then Yellowcard will be leaving their fans with hoarse voices and fond memories, which is the most you can really ask for, and a fitting end to a band some would consider legends. 

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