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After a lot of pleading, begging and eventual abuse on social media Kriss and the band have decided to come to Glasgow. I wonder if he thought it was worth it? For me it was certainly worth creating all those fake accounts and flooding him with the requests.The opening act tonight is Edinburgh’s Black Cat Bones. These boys are so good they should be selling out larger venues than this on their own. They are blues with a definite twist and with the voice of Ross Craig the only way they were going was Blues.

His raspy tones accompanied by his harmonica and almost sludge sounding guitars and bass make for a new and very interesting sound. I caught them as support previously so I was looking forward to the set and as king Tuts opens late the venue was pretty full for them.

They grabbed the opportunity with their claws and played a blinder. From the southern sounding “Morning Light” to the pure blues of “Love my Baby” and the crowd were on their side and were built up to be blown away with the amazing “Get Your Kicks”, an absolute stunning song.

If you can catch this band live jump at it and if not go buy their latest release in “Get Your Kicks Sessions”, for a measly fiver(basically a pint or a frothy coffee these days) and it will live with you for far longer.

I first saw Kriss and the band earlier this year when I travelled to see Beth Hart and the boys were doing an acoustic set. I already had and loved “Lucky 13” and had put off buying “The Dirty and Devine” for that night so I could get it signed.

It was a great introduction but like a snake kept in a small jar I felt there was a lot of trapped energy in the set that night so I got on board with the bring Kriss to Glasgow campaign and after tonight’s show I was smiling from ear to ear…I was spot on this band is an animal live.

They started with that first taste I got of the band in the debut album’s first track “Heart on Your Sleeve” and yes, this kicked so much more ass that acoustic. This venue opens later which means there is far more drinking done and as soon as the music started the swaying was much more prominent than 5 minutes previous.

Onto the latest album with the slow roasting “ Kick Me Down”. A more rawer blues number. The show began boiling(along with the crowd), bubbling through “Stitch Me Up”, “Blood on Your Hands” and “What a Way to Go” until we hit a moment that stunned the crowd…Kriss’s version of “Fortunate Son” was spellbinding. It was here I realised just how tight this band is, as it swaggered through Kriss’s amazing guitar work, some amazing bass till it hit the “Freebird” break out, man, this was fantastic and blew away my previous favourite rendition from “The Dead Daisies”. This band is just stamped with pure talent from the heart and soul.

This gig had so many highlights it is hard to break down but if I had too there were two incredible moments which I am sure are part of why this band is being noticed. The first was “Hail Mary” a track that runs feathers up my spine and then returns with broken glass. The crowd were in incredible voice for this(the drink does make a difference).

Every song tonight though paled in comparison to “Watching Over Me”. I do love my blues and this song would have won me over in an instant anyway but with the back story to this song and the way Kriss played it just grabbed me. I never took my eyes of Kriss for this song and he played the whole thing with his eyes closed. They say that some of the best songs come from grief and if you take blues it is a mainstay of the genre but I always wondered how a song so close to the artist would come over playing night after night.

I got the feeling this was the way Kriss held onto his fathers memory, his eyes closed he could imagine the man being on his left as he played it. As you got to the solo it was like Kriss’s heart was running down his guitar strap and straight into that guitar, it was a beautiful and yet hard thing to watch. At the end of that song I felt privileged to have witnessed it and Kriss at his most vulnerable, a part no one inside a cage ever saw.

For me that song summed up the night and as much as final track “Lovers and Losers” has a personal attachment to me it did not come close to the power of this song. Thank you for letting me witness this and all I can say is his father would be proud of this son and the journey he is on. He has a very prosperous road in front of him.

Images and words Ritchie Birnie

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