Blindfolds - Broadcast
Live Review

Blindfolds – Broadcast, Glasgow

Glasgow rockers Blindfolds played a fine set at the city’s newest music venue last night to launch their newly released Voodoo EP in great style. Not even a total loss of power halfway through their lively thirty minute set could derail the young band and a capacity crowd was well entertained by their blistering, bluesy sound.

Broadcast opened recently (near Charing Cross, for those who know Glasgow) and is run by the folk who operated the now closed Captain’s Rest. The downstairs venue is pretty good acoustically and the sound was spot on. I didn’t like the lighting much as the right of the stage was gloomy and the drum kit set back almost in darkness. But I’m sure they will get it right in time. It’s a good addition to the live music scene in a city with many fine venues.

The Amazing Snakeheads opened with a typically dynamic and dramatic set. The three piece band combines crunching guitar chords, heavy pounding bass and frenetic drums with bursts of mostly screamed vocals. Their punk style, high energy and forceful sound is wildly exciting and the large crowd enjoyed songs like Testifying Time and the dark, brooding Where Is My Knife. The Amazing Snakeheads have an astonishing intensity and an unusual style, which makes them a very entertaining live band.

Tijuana Bibles had the difficult task of playing next and they made a fair job of it. Their fast rock sound is good and features some lovely lead guitar work. As with the first time I saw this band, I thought their slightly slower songs came over better. The lead singer dispensed with his guitar in the middle of the set and the simpler sound allowed his impressive vocals more space to shine. The closing song, newly written and played live for the first time, was a highlight, a crashing drum flourish leading to the big ending.

Blindfolds strolled onto the stage in leather jackets, looking every inch the rock band. They burst into Black Magic, the opening track of the EP, and the quality they possess was clear from the off. John O’Neil has a quite majestic voice, deep and melodic and he uses it well. Standing centre stage, gripping the mic as he sings, his blues soaked vocals are raw and commanding. He is backed by a fine band, as Conor Goldie on lead guitar adds finesse while Stuart Ivens’ strong bass and Joshua Campbell’s pounding drums bring the power.

There was a real party atmosphere throughout the show and the band played with similes on their faces all night. The crowd pressed ever closer to the front of the stage creating a marvellous sweaty rock atmosphere. Blindfolds seemed to react to the energy, playing at a fast pace and showing off their EP songs. Girl Gang with its fifties feel and great guitar was well done, as was the infectious Young Blood. Another highlight in a great set was Razorblade Johnny, a song with a menacing edge to it.

A complete power failure would leave a lot of rock bands helpless. But Blindfolds simply encouraged the crowd to take over the chant along vocals backed by the drums until the technical crew could get things fixed, which they did quickly. It worked well and the day was saved. Not many bands would have shown the confidence to play through that situation.

The set ended with a great burst of Love Me Tender and then the EP’s closing track Columbus, fast paced and very energetic. This one is a perfect closing song, coming to a massive crescendo which saw John O’Neil disappear into the crowd, still singing. He finally made it back to the stage before dropping the mic and taking his leave. Conor Goldie was by now enveloped in the front row of the audience, still playing, while a fan picked up the mic to add her own vocals. The rest of the band finally left the stage to a tremendous, and well deserved, ovation.

Blindfolds have a great dynamism to their fifties inspired music. They mix blues and rockabilly influences to create a modern rock sound and are already polished stage performers. A sell out here shows that they already have a loyal following, and the future looks bright for this talented young band.

Venue: Broadcast, Glasgow
Support Band: The Amazing Snakeheads, Tijuana Bibles

Share this!