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The Flatliners - Stereo, Glasgow 18.10.2017

A school night in raintown, a venue tucked down a dark lane and a wispa and 3 mints for tea…what could go wrong?

October 18th saw Glasgow’s Stereo invaded by The Flatliners and friends for a barnstorming night of music, stage diving and impossibly young people. Brilliant support acts, Shit Present from Exeter and New Jersey’s Prawn, started the night off on the right foot. Although the crowds were sparse at that time, those there were treated to, two bands playing with intensity and great songs.

Before I move onto The Flatliners, a word about the venue. If you get the chance to see a band at the Stereo I urge you to do so. Down two flights of stairs from the aforementioned dark lane, it’s the kind of sweaty basement room where great nights are forged and the walls run with sweat…awesome.

So the scene is set, the room is filling up with those impossibly young people and cans of Red Stripe and then “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” comes over the PA. Now, to my mind, if you’re going to walk on to The Clash and especially that song…you either better have the hutzpah to back it up or get the fuck off that stage pretty damn sharpish. Fortunately, messers Cresswell, Brigham, Darbey and Ramirez have hutzpah enough to spare.

There’s something refreshing about going to see a band you’ve never really been into before. There are no expectations, no past gigs to compare with...just a feeling of OK, show me what you got…and believe me, The Flatliners have a lot. The first thing that struck me was how tight and together the band were…yes they’re on tour so they’re going to be tight but I’ve seen bands where you can see and feel a little bit of tension…not with these guys. I guess when you’re driving 10 hours between gigs in Canada then you’ve got to get along and forge true friendships…or be prepared to leave one of the band in the Canadian tundra.

I’d love to be able to say that they played a blinding version of X, or that Y brought the house down as usual but I can’t…all I can say is that the 75 odd minutes of the show passed in a blur of Indie-Punk greatness and bonhomie between Chris Cresswell and a clearly partisan audience…it didn’t hurt that the band had some Canadian friends there, but the guy clearly has charisma. And then, all too soon, it was over and I found myself emerging back into the Glasgow night with my ears ringing and a genuine smile on my face.

Go see The Flatliners…you’ll be smiling too.

Review - Chris Watson

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