RFB ROAD TRIP: Part One - JD Roots Twin Atlantic at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow - 3/05/2012

03 Jul 2012

We sent writer Michael Nebraska up and down the UK in support of Jack Daniel's JD Roots shows for our first ever RFB Road Trip. The first stop was King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow where local heroes Twin Atlantic played a triumphant homecoming show to 300 lucky fans. 

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For some music fans it’s a bit of a dream come true to see a show at King Tut’s – certainly from a personal point of view it was one of those far away and fabled venues listed beneath the name of your favourite band in the back pages of Melody Maker in the 90s. You’d probably never get to go there but damned if it didn’t sound inviting.

Today watching the English rain transform by train into the Scottish sunshine it’s hard not to feel a little self-created nostalgia for this place previously unvisited – of course it’s nothing to be compared to the piqued emotions of the crowd we’re about to be a tangential part of – this is all for, and about, them.

Jack Daniels’ JD Roots has put together a little homecoming tonight at the Hut, which itself was born in 1990, just at the point when Scottish indie was about to go global, and booked hometown heroes Twin Atlantic, fresh off the back of successful UK and US tours and with an arena jaunt avec just around the corner these proud Glaswegians are an ideal choice for this kind of grass roots return.

While they may be wildly different stylistically to what we would expect from a typical Scottish alt band they match the concept of this series of shows (Jack Daniels takes local legends, sends them home, they play a tiny show, local bands reap benefits) and the venue perfectly – a young, honest, proudly Glaswegian pop metal band with choruses that raise to the heavens and reverberate through the gathered masses like canyon echoes, they are glad to be home, happy to be on stage and proof positive that the city is as vibrant and vocal as ever.

Drawing mainly from last year’s breakthrough album ‘Free’, Twin Atlantic drop stop-start stadium slammers that dabble in the maudlin (opener ‘Yes I Was Drunk’) the utterly furious (‘Make A Beast Of Myself’) and the heartfelt (a wonderful, crowd-led version of album highlight ‘Crashland’) – each with a skyscraper singalong moment or chest-bursting chorus. Usually both. The whole rammed room knows every word here tonight and so they sing; Vocalist Sam McTrusty encourages them, teases them a little but mostly comes across as a humble, talented man plying his trade to people who genuinely appreciate it.

That their 90s-centric blend of Smashing Pumpkins and Jimmy Eat World is not to all tastes is a given – but irrelevant tonight as it certainly suits the 300 baying contest winners and local mega fans out in force at King Tut’s.

Older favourite ‘You’re Turning Into John Wayne’ proves a crowd participation highlight, while closer ‘Free’ is as rousing and genuinely ‘what the fuck’ show stopping as it was on release a year ago. The fun is tempered by McTrusty’s honest speech about how special this night and this city are to him, a genuinely lump in throat moment.

The show is typified when, at the mid point of the set we give way to that most ‘90s conceit – the solo acoustic break – McTrusty lays it all on the line with a guileless and half-genuine run through Marc Cohn’s ‘Walking In Memphis’. People scream the words. Everyone laughs. It’s warm, it’s genuine, it’s a homecoming. 

Check back tomorrow to read part two of Michael's RFB Road Trip, a journey to Southend to catch The Horrors play a very special gig at local venue Chinnery's. 

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