It's not very often, outwith the confines of the worst kind of student-aimed Sauchiehall Street based cheesy dives, that you can go out with £6, have 5 drinks and leave with a pound so I'll begin with praising the fact that King Tuts do a £1 bottle of beer. This pleases me. Unfortunately, the quaffing of said beverages in the downstairs bar led me to miss 2 of the nights acts, so we are left with 50% of the intended review, which was also the ratio of blood to alcohol in my system by the end of the evening (no, not on 5 beers…)
I arrived upstairs just as Johnny and the Giros were kicking off their set. Reasonably typical indie band look and set-up, except for a total of 3 guitarists to add to their keyboard, bass, drums and vocalist combination. Their first song was a brand of funky, epic indie-disco which, although common, is engaging and fun when performed well. Think Foals with a Scots twang and you're almost there. Except not quite, as they mix-up their art-rocker style with elements of reggae, classic rock, disco and more. None of the songs seem boring or contrived and plenty of heads nodded and feet tapped in approval. As musicians they were tight as hell and never missed a beat. Definitely a band I'd go out of my way to see again.
Next to take the stage were The Gazettas (which I have probably spelled wrongly but that's what you get for picking a name like that …) who kicked off their set with punky energy and a Joy Division/Dead Kennedys-esque vocal delivery. Lead singer Steven, backed up by guitarist Gary on vocal duties, has a strangely subdued and inanimate stage presence but his vocals are delivered clearly if not raspily. You get the impression this is a band that want you to hear every word of every song. The bassist has a penchant for scuzzy, distorted sounds, and seemingly both he and the sound engineer are oblivious to the feedback that his amp settings are causing, which added to the slightly over the top stage lighting that blinds me repeatedly and starts to give me a bit of a headache. I am treated to a first, however, to the sight of fake tanned girls with their sparkly handbags on the floor attempting to head-bang. Hope they had their straighteners with them! Overall The Gazettas are a very enjoyable indie rock band with a post-punk twist, who clearly put as much thought into their songs lyrical content as their guitarist does to his haircut.
Final word, for the second time in as many weeks (barring tonight's technical problem) I was impressed by the sound in King Tuts but someone has to tell the lighting guy that it's not a Jean Michel Jarre Concert.
And the less said about ending up at a gay night afterwards the better…