The Imagineers - Stereo
Live Review

The Imagineers – Stereo, Glasgow

Sometimes a gig just comes together perfectly. All of the bands are at their best, the crowd is energetic and involved and the sound is perfect. Well, that’s exactly what happened last night at Stereo as three bands from three different cities combined to produce a great night of music, led superbly by home town indie boys The Imagineers.

First up were The Holy Ghosts from Edinburgh. Their brand of bluesy rock n roll has its roots in the past, but the sound is exciting and modern. With strong lead vocals, lovely guitar work and great keyboards added to a solid rhythm section, the band plays fast and dynamic music. And they soon had the early evening crowd dancing and cheering. The highlights were Ol’ Snake Hips, which included a nice burst of Roadhouse Blues, and Hardworking Man where vocalist Jack Sandison put down his guitar to show off some great moves. It was a fine set from a band made for live performance.

The Hummingbirds from Liverpool were also very good. Their modern take on the classic Mersey beat sound was smooth and melodic with great vocal harmonies and fine instrumentation on show. There is a swagger to the band and their typically Liverpool humour came through strongly between songs. Break Your Heart from their most recent EP was a highlight, as was the stylish and fast paced Bankrupt Blues. The audience loved the bright and emotional songs and the closing cover of Day Tripper, originally recorded by another Liverpool band, almost brought the house down. This was The Hummingbirds first visit to Scotland and I hope they will be back soon.

The Imagineers had to bring their A game to follow two fine support acts, and they did exactly that. The crowd pressed forward, dancing and singing along, as the band delivered a typically energetic and classy performance. With new songs as well as old favourites on the set list, the Glasgow four piece were all on top form from the off.

Opening with John The Terror (Notorious), the pace was immediately fast. Stevie Young’s vocals were strong and smooth, the song driven by Ali Grieg’s thumping bass line. A fine new song, Off The Radar, followed on. Starting slowly, it turned into a rhythmic uptempo number, led by Stephen Forbes’ thunderous drumming.

This show was part of a UK tour to promote The Imagineers’ new Karma Soundcheck: Part One EP and Albert Einstein was the first of its four tracks to be played. Scott Bonnyman’s guitar picked out the lovely melody to the song, a dreamy and inspiring tale. And then two more of the EP’s songs: So Dramatic with the entire crowd on backing vocals and the driving Find Myself were both very well received.

Two older tracks were next: Spanish Sands, featuring a fine guitar solo from Bonnyman, and the fast paced pop stylings of the passionate Dearest One. Then it was back to the EP for its lead track, the excellent Shackles, a song of striving for freedom with a joyous chorus that was quite superbly delivered.

The set closed with a trio of fan favourites. A massive cloud of smoke covered the stage as the band launched into its signature tune Imagineer almost unseen by the audience. The excellent Mariana followed on, its Latin feel and big chorus as powerful as ever. And closing track The Changeover was a cue for one last singalong before the band left the stage to a massive reception.

This was another very fine live performance from a band that seems to get better and better. The Imagineers are slick stage performers yet the infectious energy of their pulsating music never fails to excite. The two support acts played a big part in what was a fine show but it was the headliners who were its stars. The Imagineers are a thrilling live band and this was a typically excellent performance from the boys.

Venue: Stereo, Glasgow
Support Band: The Holy Ghosts, The Hummingbirds

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