Tax The Heat @ Stereo, Glasgow
Tax The Heat stroll into Glasgow at the end of their “Change Your Position” tour and they showed just how good a band they are and why lovers of all genres should be paying attention.
York based duo Naked Six are support tonight and knowing very little about them I had no expectations. The clockwork orange theme had me intrigued but I was a bit unsure of how they would sound with only two members.
Well was I shocked and stunned. With just drums and guitar those boys filled the room with sound. Tom Witts on drums was like a man possessed, he didn’t as much play drums as beat the living shit out of them. I have never felt so sorry for an inanimate objective in my life. He was also playing drums side on tonight due to lack of space and the tracers I was getting from the speed of the drumsticks was like a flashback to a Vietnam war I was never even in.
Singer and guitarist Seb Byford was just as busy, the boy did not stop and played guitar and sang in between big gasps of air. He was all over that stage and having seen his father in his youth way back in the 70s at a local festival he definitely did not take that from him. The boy had me sweating just watching him.
As much as the look and the effort were top notch it has to come down to the music and again the band ticked another box. I love the label of Schizoid blues they have taken as their own and it paints the perfect picture of a live show.
With the looks, the noise and the songs you do not even notice the missing instruments, something I have only every witnessed with the band The Picturebooks. The creation of sound from two instruments without the loss of one single note.
The songs range from blues, punk and pure rock and I loved every minute of their unconventional set. I can see this band going places with such a different sound and approach so take it from me…check them out now.
Tax The Heat are part of this classic rock resurgence that is building in the UK and with latest release “Change your Position” you can see why they are up there with the best bands out there. Tonight was my first taste of these boys live. As much as I enjoy both albums I had a funny feeling that the live setting was where they would excel and I was not wrong.
They opened with new track “Money in the Bank” and that staccato riffage bounced off the walls as the lighting rig lit up the crumbling walls and roof. The band had cut off half the stage so they were right in your face and the power of this song had nowhere to go but straight through your skin, ripping your ears off in the process.
The four piece from Bristol are as tight as they come and their slightly poppy rock converts to a much heavier beast live. “On The Run” has a punk urgency about it and another new track has slipped into the set with ease.
It is back to “Fed to the Lions” for next track “Animals” and it hits me how much the band have a Lenny Kravitz sound. The fuzzy guitars and high pitched vocals along with those pop/indie hooks should mean they are a radio hit.
The fuzzy guitars continue on “Playing With Fire” and JP is looking almost alive as he dances through the light show like a young Frankie Boyle. On the other side of the stage Antonio is as cool as the up market magician his dress sense portrays.
As we go through songs old a new the boys look really happy to be here. The venue may not be sold out but word of mouth and two excellent albums are slowly but surely bringing in the punters and as they commented a lot better than the 10 punters that they played to the first time they hit this city.
There is a lot of banter from the boys and a great part of the set was seeing them let the crowd pick some tunes and I can confirm it is not nonsense as the set list was full of question marks so up stepped Glasgow’s favourite ligger with the perfect choice in “Caroline”, a real bluesy number that went down a treat.
The set was closed with both title tracks and that was a wrap. My first live taster and it will not be the last. This band take the recorded songs and rock them up live, they are tight as a unit and fun. Everything you want from a gig so get out there and check this band out. They will be going from strength to strength and carrying the UK banner far and wide.
// Set blueimp gallery options
Images and words Ritchie Birnie
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