All the way from sunny California, The Regrettes graced Glasgow, performing in King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. It felt like a sort of exotic novelty, seeing them here in Scotland, such a contrast to the images of them in front of blue skies and palm trees we are so used to. Despite the sub-freezing temperatures, they sure did bring the sunshine.
For support we got the brilliant Lauran Hibberd, a rising star who played the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury earlier this year and has gone from strength to strength. Light-hearted and edgy with not-so-subtle lyrics brimming with dark humour, to get to see her live was the cherry on top and no one would have been a better match for The Regrettes. She could almost be a British big sister to teenaged lead singer, Lydia Night. In between songs she chatted away, riffing off the audience’s friendly heckles. She seemed so comfortable on stage it’s hard to believe that this is her first time on tour.
They make their first appearance to set up, Lydia in an enormous orange puffer jacket, and all wearing their trademark medical masks. A reminder of this tour’s theme, love sickness, an incredibly contagious epidemic. The band claims, their latest album, How do You Love? Is the only cure. Continuing this narrative, when they reappear, masks and jackets off, the sound of heartbeats and hospital noises came over the speakers. This was followed by Lydia’s voice, diagnosing us all with lovesickness. As this is also the intro to the album, we all of course knew the words by heart and belted them back at a volume not nearly as soothing as Lydia’s mock doctor voice. Then, opening with ‘California Friends’, the music began.
The first song brought such excitable energy from the crowd a girl unfortunately collapsed and the show had to be suspended for a time. The whole band were incredibly empathetic, Lydia making sure the girl had water and that we would have access to some for the rest of the show. When they returned any worries over an awkward atmosphere was quickly dispersed and they picked up where they left off, zero to sixty real quick.
Behind them ‘The Regrettes’ was emblazoned in yellow across a banner held up by heavy-duty clothes pegs. It’s partly this makeshift feeling that gives King Tut’s it’s charm, along with the rich history and reputation as well as the people that attend. I love that the audience sang along with the instrumentals so enthusiastically. No lyrics, just ‘dah dah duh duuuuh!’ And the Scotland specific ’here we effin go!’ s between songs. Watching the band, you could see there eyes glance at each other in bemusement. I think we were a good crowd.
There’s something dreamily American teenaged movie about this band, with their colourful clothes and quirky upbeat anthems however there is also clearly a huge amount of talent and understanding of the history of their genre, a mix between rock and pop. Lydia grew up with classic rock and punk around the house and started writing songs and playing guitar when she was only six years old. Despite still being young, she already has a solid thirteen years of experience under her belt and it shows. There’s an overall feeling of a sort of girl power grit to their music and it was an uplifting and supportive environment to be a part of while still feeling welcoming to all. The night closed on ‘Poor Boy’. A message of courage to all women who feel they don’t have a voice. Lydia instructed the all girls and non-binary people to step forward. It was probably the most wholesome mosh pit of all time.
After touring as support with Twenty-one Pilots earlier this year, the band have had a taste of the stadium arenas and it felt like a treat for us to get them back in a more intimate venue. They clearly felt more than at home on stage, springing and leaping and making each other laugh as well as us. It feels as though something huge is on the horizon for this band. Their latest album was not only a masterpiece in its own right, but came accompanied with a storyline, comic strip images for each track and extensive merchandise including first aid kits to help with the lovesickness affliction. They clearly have their eyes set on the stars and it won’t be long before they make it there. I’m not sure how much help their love sickness cures will be however, if anything they are only further spreading the epidemic. We are all very much in love with them.
Image: via Wikimedia Commons