SANTA CRUZ / SKARLETT RIOT / MANIFOLD - The Cathouse, Glasgow 10.12.17



The evening began with local Glasgow band, Manifold kicking things off. Featuring John C.J. Gunn on vocals, Rucka Russell on drums, J.B. Storm on bass and Ewan Driver and Darren Mahoney on guitars.


Although the crowd was cold from doors being pushed back 15 minutes – they seemed to be warmed up in no time by the bands set and piled into the venue early to catch them. Playing lead single ‘Stop Teasin’’ from their new album The Promised Land and a thunderous rendition of ‘False Loving’ this seemed to go down well, and the crowd seemed to lap this up. The newest song from the band, ‘Undercover Lover’, which is recorded and yet to be released was driven back dark Slyther-esque bass tones. If this is the direction the band are heading in with their new recordings, we can’t wait to hear what’s next. The band end with a high-octane version of ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ – dedicated to Malcolm Young wherein the audience replaced the usual chant of “Angus?” with “Malcolm” – a nice touch from a Glasgow audience.


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Hailing from Scunthorpe, Skarlett Riot are next to take to the stage consisting of Skarlett on Lead Vocals/Guitars, Danny on Guitars/Backing Vocals, Martin Shepherd on Bass/Backing Vocals and Luke – Drums. Whilst providing less of an 80s element than Manifold, but instead bring far more of the weighty heaviness that you experience from headliner, Santa Cruz. First song, ‘Break’, immediately captures the audience’s attention with singer, Skarlett, almost joining the crowd she’s that close to them. There’s a nice mix of male and female vocals in ‘Break’ which both complement and contrast each other beautifully. ‘Empty Inside’ sees the band turn up the energy a notch even further and a loyal following amass front and centre with hands clapping in the air and a heavy breakdown. The stand out track of the set must go to ‘Calling’, which is from their newest album Regenerate. There’s elements of 80s soundscape guitarwork which is juxtaposed by moments which feel like an automatic assault rifle must be one of the key instruments in the band. There’s a lovely mix between the light and airy feel of the vocals and the rumbling ever forceful music beneath. A band you’ve gotta catch live to get the full effect.


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Finnish boys Santa Crux then take to the stage in what can only be describes as an explosive set. There have been firework displays with less explosions than this band. With huge bass drops and strobe lights throughout – this is a workout for even the most unengaged audience members tonight. In case you’re wondering, the Finnish four piece are made up of Archie on Vocals and Guitar, Middy on Bass, Taz on Drums and Johnny on guitar.


Hitting the stage with ‘Young Blood Rising’, the audience are in fine form and ready to sing along with hits both old and new. The set nicely blends their older albums with their newest offering, Bad Blood Rising to create a rollercoaster of a set. (Although no mention of ballad ‘Skydiving Without A Parachute’.) ‘My Remedy’ – a fan favourite causes the crowd to bounce up and down on a school night whilst newer tracks like ‘Drag Me Out of The Darkness’ hit a softer sing-a-long spot. ‘River Phoenix’ – the first track released from the newest album insights hands in the air moment. ‘Let Them Burn’ sends the strobes, smoke and lighting wild – to the point that most are banging their heads so violently they can barely see. ‘6(66) Feet Under’ has the same effect, with a ruckus even starting a couple of rows into the crowd. ‘We Are The Ones To Fall’ hears both Archie Cruz and the audience in their finest singing voices as does ‘Wasted & Wounded’. The “Woah oh oh’s” in that song were just made to be sung live. All of this is topped off by the cherry on the cake, and one of the bands oldest tracks ‘Aiming High’. To say the audience lost their shit at this gig would be an understatement. And – on a Sunday night. Who said glam rock is dead? These fresh-faced Suomi’s would beg to differ.


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