Home Gigs Gig Review : Florence Black @ The Classic Grand, Glasgow

Gig Review : Florence Black @ The Classic Grand, Glasgow

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Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM

This is how you kick off a tour, hark back to the 80s where every tour opened in Glasgow, sell out a venue that is a run down, used to be a porn theatre and put on a blistering set that blows away everyone in the crowd.

I am happy to openly state that Florence Black have arrived. They have an incredible debut album and released a day after this show an album in Bed of Nails that is going to propel them to the top of the pile. They have been working away continuously, gig after gig, festival after festival and support slot after support slot and when it comes to a band I still believe full heartedly that the hard slog is how you make it.

I can still remember vividly their first show in this town, a tiny venue in Broadcast but boy what a set they performed that night. I knew this band were going places but they were nothing compared to the version I have just witnessed.

This band are the real deal folks, totally professional, unbelievable musicians and pure adrenalin junkies and showmen. The level of noise and brutality from just three down to earth Welsh guys in jeans is unfathomable.

Let us just take a minute to introduce the guys. The sonic backbone on bass is Jordan Evans, the man who does not stop smiling and loves every minute on that stage. Perry Davies is the animal at the back and the monster on drums. This guy needs to buy an inflatable ice bath for tours as his body must be shattered at the end of each show. Lastly, Tristan Thomas on guitar and vocals. The man is a sheer genius and tonight is the best I have ever heard his vocals.

Back to the show and I do have to say the sound was outstanding, even when the boys were full on the sound was crisp and clear but alas the lighting was a different matter.

The crowd tonight are not the weekday uni crowd who are bewildered by LED lights. We also would not mind actually being able to see the band as well as hear them but I will park this even though it pissed me off immensely.

You could already cut the atmosphere with a knife but when the intro tape kicked in the crowd got very jumpy and when the band filed onstage with a videographer in tow( good luck with your editing dude) it became a frenzy and the boys poked the bear with a one, two of “Bed of Nails” and “Start Again” from the new album.

It is brave to open a show with two songs from an unreleased album but these tracks are so powerful and steeped in the Florence Black sound all you were doing was flipping the switch on this crowd and shit got very real.

Next up was “On the Ropes” from Weight of the World and Perry goes full on demented as did the punters as they grabbed a hold of an old favourite. We then get another two quick successive tracks from Bed of Nails with “Solid 9” and a bit of reprise on “Don’t Hold me Down”. The boys were quite quiet during this period, I take it the lack of the usual banter was down to first night jitters and focused on getting everything tied down but having seen this band live so many times previously there was something different. I think they may have been a bit in awe on that stage, realising every sweaty fucker here tonight was for them and the reaction from the audience was on fire.

After I had taken photos I went upstairs and reviewed the unfolding scene from above and it was impressive. The hall was packed from side to side and from front to back. I watched a band and fans as one. It reminded me of the rave scene in the Matrix. It was one writhing animal and it was beautiful.

The writhing continued on “The Deep End” and the crowd were singing their hearts out and from swaying to bouncing on the party time hit of “Look Up”. We had another three new songs with “Taxman”,“Warning Sign” and “Back to the End” before we had a weird interlude which saw the band exit stage and a tape rolled. I am not sure if this was a piss break, finding a defibrillator for Perry or just the guys getting together to say how fucking amazing is this.

The band strolled on and with the intro of “Black Cat” things got even crazier. Every word was spat back at the boys and the walls began to shake. The slight reprise was continued with “The Forrest” and this newbie got a lot of love.

Now that everyone had got their breath back it was time to drive this bitch of a show into the ground and it was full on loony bin crazy as we headed into “Can You Feel it” the stupidest question of the night followed by “Rockin’ Ring” and how a mosh pit did not form during this ripper I do not know.

We then had the pre encore run of “Breadfan”, “Bird on a Chain” and an insane version of “Zulu”. Everyone was just about done but the boys took a breather and came back onto the stage to a rendition of the Glasgow here we fucking go before bowing out with “Sun & Moon”.

Florence Black have the world at their feet now. Tonight I witnessed something very, very special and I saw a band reap in the dues they have so dutifully paid.

World get ready because Florence Black is ready for all out domination.

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