Culann - Nice N Sleazy
Live Review

Culann – Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow

Ayrshire rockers Culann kicked off a short September tour of Scotland by playing a storming set in Glasgow last night. Heading a bill of four young Scottish rock acts, Culann stood out with a quality performance that mixed raw power with melody to create the massive rock sound that has become their trademark.

Local band 7 of 7 got things off to a strong start. The unsigned Glasgow rockers were the best of the support acts, dynamic and exciting and with a real edge to their music. Their singer spent most of the set in the front of the crowd, confidently leading his band from off stage. Whisper, which featured some nice lead guitar work, and riff heavy track The Pirate were the highlights from a powerful and entertaining set.

Another Glasgow band were next, Empty Avenue, who describe themselves as mainstream friendly post-hardcore. Their sound was thin in comparison and, although it was an energetic performance, their more mellow approach fell a little flat. An offbeat cover of Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble was good fun though.

Aberdeen trio Duke put on a good performance of upbeat rock music. With a distorted and fast paced sound they tore through a short set in breathless fashion, although a broken guitar string momentarily slowed them down. Just Enjoy, a song about life’s simpler pleasures was a typically optimistic offering and the up tempo Tides also stood out.

Culann are fast making a name for themselves as rising stars of the Scottish rock scene, And they delighted their many travelling fans with a typically strong performance. The two guitars and keyboards work over a solid rhythm section to give a big sound that has plenty of melody as well as pure rock power. Lead singer PJ Kelly’s strong vocals soar above the heavy mix, and his emotional style suits the strong backing he receives perfectly.

The band were quickly into their stride with Grafter, the heavy riffs that opened the track subsiding slightly as the fast paced vocals alternated with Greg Irish’s lovely lead guitar parts before the typically huge chorus took over. Each song that the band plays seems to have a clear structure that plays to their strengths: the bass lines, the guitar solos, the fluid keyboard parts and the massive drum fills all have their role in the band’s sound. And it all comes together with a polished ease. This is a band who always seem so comfortable on a stage making music.

The Lowlander’s Great Hatred, a standout track from Culann’s debut album, was as massive as ever, a song that sees the two guitars working off each other very well. An older song that I didn’t catch the tile of was also excellent, rising and falling several times before the big ending. And Salvation was typically passionate, another with an anthemic chorus that had many in the crowd singing along.

All too soon the set was at an end and unfortunately time did not permit the encore that was called for as soon as the last note was played. But Culann had showed exactly what they have to offer: good songs performed with feeling and talent by a rock band with a big future. We will be hearing much more from Culann in the coming years.

Venue: Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow
Support Band: 7 of 7, Empty Avenue, Duke

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