Live review: Sports Team headline at Glasgow’s Garage

In the cramped attic of Glasgow’s Garage on a gloomy Monday night, any claims that guitar music had its day were proven fictitious. From the start, the crowded room was packed with animated fans, giving the place a provocative readiness for the acts ahead.

Kicking the night off were Edinburgh locals Cheap Teeth who wasted no time in establishing themselves as an electrifying group to watch, putting a fresh take on the post-punk denomination. Slick melodies married themselves delightfully with the kind of gristle akin to the likes of Pixies and The Slits. ‘The Vicar’s Fingers’ demonstrated their ability to amalgamate swooning vocals and melody without compromising their distinctive grittiness.

Walt Disco were next to grace the stage, led by a frontman whose whimsical charisma made it impossible to look away from. Effectively marrying together groove and tenacity, Walt Disco emulated an experimental energy, not unlike that of Talking Heads. With a curated sense of style and substance, the band effectively represented the era of seventies alternative music whilst still serving up refreshing tracks with a lick of offbeat flair.

Finally taking the stage, the long-awaited Sports Team were entirely in their element performing in the heaving attic, amplified by their frontman Alex Rice jostling the crowd with a natural exuberance. Moving with a Jagger-ish bravado, Rice worked the stage, reaching into the crowd and being met with adoration providing a level of fervor to match the energy of opening track ‘Camel Crew.’ Soon after, they played ‘Margate,’ another excitingly catchy anthem for long-gone summer days, with a cunning beat which effortlessly galvanised the room.

‘Kutcher’ was undoubtedly the biggest hitter of the night, with the crowd singing it back word for word. A wry look into familiar millennial relationship entanglements, Sports Team were met with a chorus of “I just wanted to be your mid-noughties MTV star” from an animated crowd. New track ‘M5’ conjured up a similar reaction; the song somehow made the business of motorway driving sound like an enduring alternative anthem, with its slick and catchy rhythm delivered flawlessly by a band whose alluring live presence is sure to take them far.

Closing the night with ‘Stanton’, their final track brought the show to its pinnacle; ferocious guitar melodies met the percussive flair of drummer, and all-around girl icon, Alex. Launching himself into the crowd once again, for a moment there was a surreal connection between the frontman and his crowd.

Sports Team proved themselves to be the flagbearers of a new revival of British guitar music, and their energetic live shows are a testament to the prowess of this unparalleled group.

 

Image: Erin May Kelly

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