Live Gig Review – Arcade State – Guest Reviewer Paula Cairns

“Oh what a night,” sang The Four Seasons and what a night Saturday 28th August was for the people lucky enough to purchase a ticket for Arcade State’s sold out debut gig in Nice n Sleazy bar, Glasgow.

I first got into AS following the inclusion of their track ‘Begin to Break’ in the monthly ‘Top of the Radar’ show in March.   This encouraged me to check out their back catalogue on Spotify and from then I was hooked on their sound.

No matter what the future holds for AS, this night will go down in the discography of the band as a momentous night; this was the first time the band in its current line up but more astonishingly, the first time brothers Ciaran and Jordan have even performed on a stage together.  After being let down by promoters, the original 3 date mini-tour was shortened to one gig in their home city of Glasgow in Nice n Sleazy’s.  At a ridiculous entrance fee of £4, yes £4 we were treated to a feast of some of the best acts coming out of Scotland presently.

First on the bill was soloist Daley (@Daley_Boy) who I had recently come across in the previous few weeks with the launch of his EP.   I am going to sound clichéd here to say it reminded me of a Gerry Cinnamon performance, but not because of the Scottish link, more how he commanded the stage equipped only with his guitar in a similar way GC does.   You can tell he enjoys being on stage as his interaction and delivery was first class.

The second act of the night was DMS (@dmstweetz), another local band and the ones I knew least about.  The audience was mesmerized as we listened to their vocal – the biggest compliment I can pay them is their recorded songs does not do justice to their live sound.  This is a group who you definitely need to watch out for.

The popular ‘Black Star Jackals (@BlackStarJackal)’; a guitar driven band were the next on the line-up.   Their setup was professional and extremely tight.  All too quickly their set was over and it was time for the AS guys to claim the room as theirs. 

By now the energy in the room was high and most people, including myself and Kimberly moved closer to the stage as we waited in expectation. This was the moment family, friends and new fans had waited for as AS took to the stage for the first ever time.  “Are you ready?” shouted Ciaran as the band launched into the opening track ‘When It Hits Home’ a high energy track which was a perfect start to the set and it was clear the guys meant business.  The audience gobbled it up like a thirsty man at a tropical oasis.

Next was ‘The Rabbit Hole; a song about Mental Health released in 2020 when the profits of the downloads were donated to a local MH charity.  By now they were in their groove for crowd favourite (and my personal favourite) ‘Alone Again.’ Ciaran encouraged the crowd to sing the chorus back as he reached notes only prepubescent teenagers should be able to reach also doing an impromptu walk into the crowd.

The gig continued at the pace of a runaway train – with the band banging out the tunes with enthusiasm and a tightness of a band you would have thought had been together much longer.  ‘Follow’ is their most successful streamed track to date and it was an incredibly touching part of the night when the band dedicated this to Kimbo who, despite her own personal cancer battle, is a massive supporter of AS and other New Music Acts on Twitter and was determined to travel up for the gig.

All too quickly the guys had come to the end of their set.  As a stranger, it was lovely to witness the pure joy, exhilaration and pride as friends and family cheered, hugged and applauded as the final drum beat and guitar riffs faded.  It was also clear to see the band themselves were buzzing by their performance.

My only complaint?  It was over too quickly. I am keeping everything crossed that this is the start of something big for Arcade State whose talent, good work ethic and professional approach to their brand is way beyond the short timescale they have been together. 

Personal thanks to each of the guys; Ciaran, Andy, Wee Davy, Scott for coming over to say hello and Jordan for the Laminate and drum stick!!!  Bring on world domination!

Hot off the press:  @ListenUpMusic have announced that AS will now replace Crimson Bloom as headliner on their Manchester gig on 19th March.  Tickets are available now and I would encourage you to get yours!

Peace N Love


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