Whilst the gig I’d gone to the night before was chosen based on hearing one song from the headliners, I’d known since the King Tut’s Summer Nights line up was revealed that this was the gig that I most wanted to see. The reason that I was so happy to brave the dodgy Scottish weather and head down to what is now officially Britain’s Best Small Venue according to NME, was that the headliners were Aerials Up, one of my favourite recent discoveries.
Having experienced an evening full of good local talent the night before, my expectations were high, and first act on stage, Little Fire, didn’t disappoint. Little Fire is the stage name of Jamie McGeechan, a singer/songwriter from Ayrshire, who managed to fill the space armed only with his voice and an acoustic guitar. He balanced emotional songs with funny banter, and kept the crowd entertained throughout. My personal favourites were Fire Me Up Now, and the highly memorable Horny in the Morning.
Next up was a total change of pace with Where We Lay Our Heads, with a line up of 6, including a pair of violins, which added an extra dimension to their music (plus I’m a sucker for a violin or two). Whilst there were some beautiful melodies to their music, there were some rather dark lyrics, which resulted in a fairly haunting set overall.
The third act of the evening was Blochestra, which consists of a bunch of musicians that meet up to play together in local bar, Bloc. At over 20 members, this was definitely the busiest I’ve seen the Tut’s stage, with every one of them co-ordinated in red, black and white outfits. The group’s set was a mix of tracks written by the band, and a number of covers, including Feist’s 1234, and a grand version of Queens of the Stone Age’s Make it Wit Chu. And in the meantime, there was a woman at the side of the stage painting the whole thing in watercolours!
Finally, came the act that I’d been waiting for. Aerials Up took to the stage, and ploughed straight into their set with plenty of chat and good tunes. The best of these were two tracks that can be found on the band’s current EP, Superglue, and one of my favourite songs of the summer, All Your Mothers’ Daughters. I only wish their set was a bit longer, but being left with the feeling of wanting more is not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re lucky enough to be hitting Belladrum Festival this year, they are definitely ones to catch.
The band invited as many of the members of Blochestra as could fit back up on stage for the final song of the night, a fitting finale for the first weekend of the Summer Nights series.