||SYTERIA PROVE THEY'RE NO SHEEPLE AS THEY HIT THE PAISLEY STAGE
Syteria/Law Of The Chord/3 Minute Heroes: The Bungalow, Paisley
Friday 23rd September 2016
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid, Main Stage Photography
With a wealth of music venues to choose from in Glasgow city centre, you can imagine my surprise when Syteria announced a gig in Paisley. Yes, Paisley – y'know, ten miles west of Glasgow city centre, and famous as the home of St Mirren Football Club, birthplace of that Tennant bloke who played the tenth Doctor Who and the renowned singer/songwriter Gerry Rafferty amongst others.
Now, I'm not adverse to a night out in Paisley but The Bungalow was a new venue on the list for me, and rather nice it is too. Clean and tidy, friendly bar staff, a big stage and easy parking outside made a good impression from the beginning, it's just a shame that more people hadn't turned out to see the support bands as well as Syteria.
First up were energetic punky three piece, 3 Minute Heroes, with their selection of covers and original material. Unsurprisingly it was the cover songs that got the best reception including Joan Jett's 'Bad Reputation' and Tenpole Tudor's 'Swords Of A Thousand Men' which was preceded by a warning from frontman Jimmy Devlin that his amp could go at any point as it was sounding "a bit frazly!", ensuring he was living on the edge for the rest of their short set.
The latter song was certainly a good choice to get the audience's voices warmed up and even Jackie Chambers and Keira Kenworthy from Syteria were spotted singing and dancing along at the back of the venue. Bass player Craig Brennan stepped up to the mic from a quick dash though 'Hanging On The Telephone', making a credible job of it, as he did with Abba's 'Does Your Mother Know' later in the set - an odd choice right enough, but it was suitably rocked up and went down rather well.
All in all, a fun opening salvo from a band who have the musical skill to hold their set together with songs that really get the crowd involved – and thankfully Devlin's amp made it to the end of the set without exploding!
3 Minute Heroes Set-list:
Sound Of The Suburbs
Swords Of A Thousand Men
Hanging On The Telephone
Do You Wanna Dance
1... 2... 3...
Kids In America
Does Your Mother Know
3 Minute Heroes are:
Jimmy Devlin – Guitar/Vocals
Craig Brennan– Bass Guitar/Vocals
Andy Smith – Drums
Next up were a young and unassuming quartet from Aberfeldy called Law Of The Chord who couldn't have been more different to 3 Minute Heroes.
Describing themselves as 'noise/garage-rock', the band were keen to plug their 'Cynical, Cynical World' EP which was released earlier in the year. A different beast entirely to what went before (and after), the band were a bit disjointed and ramshackle in their performance at times, but I guess that it's part of their charm.
'Summer In Solitude' and 'Serotonin Syndrome' were amongst the best original tracks, the former of which saw drummer Shaun Fraser trying his best to dismantle the house drum kit by hitting it pretty hard whilst bass player Ruairidh Hanna came across well with his more relaxed approach to performance. With the latter number, dedicated to "anyone fucked off with the world", as explained by frontman Ewan Temperley, being a full on punky track and a real highlight of their set for me. Temperley was studious in his performance sometimes and for the most part kept his head down, only occasionally making eye contact with the audience.
Slipping in a cover of Iggy Pop's 'I Wanna Be Your Dog', the band laid their influences bare and had Temperley, without guitar, really coming out of his shell as he paced the stage with menace and at one point almost toppled over a monitor at the front of the stage as he put his boot on it. The band are young and have talent and their raw approach to their stage show can often be electric, if somewhat chaotic looking.
Law Of The Chord Set-list:
Sweetness And Light
Summer In Solitude
I Wanna Be Your Dog
Broke And Begging
No Such Luck
Law Of The Chord are:
Ewan Temperley – Guitar/Vocals
Sparky Buck-Barratt– Guitar/Vocals
Ruairidh Hanna – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Shaun Fraser – Drums
Just after 11:15pm the headliners finally took to the stage to bring what ended up being a rip-roaring seventy-five minute set where they hardly had time to draw breath. The crowd had been building up all night and when it came for their chance to shine, Syteria didn't put a foot wrong with an incredible performance from start to finish.
Guitarist Jackie Chambers spent most of the set grinning from ear to ear, showing how much she was enjoying herself, whilst Julia Vocal more than fulfilled the vocalist role with an absolutely captivating performance.
With only their three song EP, 'Wake Up', available at the moment (and reviewed by MetalTalk here) a lot of songs may have been new to the audience, but their recation had you thinking they were well worn classics already.
All three tracks from their EP were included at various points in the set with the first track, 'Reflection', seeing the audience dancing away. A favourite of mine, 'Sheeple', was mid set with Vocal having some fun with Chambers and bass player Keira Kenworthy before she turned her attention to the audience to get them involved too.
'When I Get Out Of High School', the final track from their EP, was the intended show closer but the audience were making so much noise that the band were persuaded to come back on for an unrehearsed two song encore, and it was clear that if it hadn't been so late, they would have quite happily played for another half hour or so.
As far as the rest of the set was concerned, 'Get A Life' upped the rock quotient of the evening and allowed bass player, Kenworthy, to take the musical lead along with drummer Pablo Calvo showing what a great engine room for the band they are. Featuring all four band members on vocals during the chorus, their voices blended seamlessly together, making this a sure-fire hit with me.
'Kamikaze' was the punkiest performance of the evening from Vocal as she and Chambers made best use of the stage, whilst Kenworthy stoically remained in place, a picture of concentration. Chambers' performance throughout their set is absolutely top notch, making solo after solo look effortless and her skills are appreciated by the audience time and again.
'Loner' gives Vocal a chance to showcase her skills as she stretched her voice and her passion for the band is evident as she tries and succeeds to get the very best from the audience throughout the evening. A quick run through The Ramones' 'Rockaway Beach' gets the audience animated down the front once again as Vocal had fun interacting with them, but all good things come to an end and at the clock strikes half past midnight, the band take their final bows and depart the stage for the last time.
This gig was hot, sweaty, full of energy and enormous fun for the band and the audience and it's what Syteria are all about. There were no downbeat moments and no speeches about how shit the world can be or about how hard it is being in a band these days – just four people giving everything they have for one night of electric entertainment.
They may have only played a handful of shows together so far, but Syteria are seasoned performers who put together a great show and I'm already counting down the days until I get another chance to see them live.
Get A Life
Stuck In The Middle
When I Get Out Of High School
Live, Fail And Learn
New World Order
Julia Vocal – Vocals
Jackie Chambers – Guitars/Vocals
Keira Kenworthy – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Pablo Calvo – Drums/Vocals
Catch Syteria live here:
Friday 7th October: Women That Rock, Club 85, Hitchin
Saturday 15th October: Doghouse, Nottingham
Friday 11th November@ Hard Rock Hell, Pwllheli, North Wales
Sunday 29th January: Giants Of Rock, Butlin's, Minehead
Saturday 27th May: Blank Generation, London N17