Audio – 6/12

Audio, the cozy, dingy venue below Central Station, is ideal for a beer-drenched folk punk evening. It probably suits pig blood-drenched black metal evenings too, but thankfully there’s none of that tonight.

The duo of Broken Stories kick the evening off in a graceful fashion. Hailing from Perthshire, their troubadour-esque tunes are warm and inviting, and their brand of punk is one of emotion rather than the syncopated drum beats that the evening’s headliners are more familiar with. Indeed, utilising only a guitar and a fiddle, the more melodic passages make for some fine Scottish folk punk. Extremely likeable.

Dave Hughes & The Renegade Folk Punk Band prove that punk music isn’t about being technically gifted. If Hughes were to be critiqued on his vocal performance alone, then this would be a poor show, but he and his band put on a heartfelt experience with the right mentality and the right kind of passion.

Crazy Arm step it up a gear. With a stage full of bodies, even though this is an acoustic performance by the band, it’s the first time tonight an act sounds massive. The syncopated folk punk drum beats arrive, the camaraderie of us-against-the-world is present, and they rock in a most charming way. A cover of Peggy Seeger’s ‘Song of Choice’ is a rousing call to arms against fascism and a particular highlight. The crowd could do without being patronised to (“We’re from Devon. Does anyone know where Devon is?”), but Crazy Arm can label this one a success.

No one in Larry and His Flask is called Larry. Hailing from the west coast of the USA, the band look like they’d fit in just fine with an Amish community, with their beards heaving and swaying as not a single band member can stand still for more than a second. Songs do blur together as they all contain manic strumming and that same folk punk rhythm – but who cares? AC/DC have been playing the same song for decades.

The band’s vocal performance is one of their defining features. Their harmonies are slick and classy, to the point where they sound as if they could come from an early 20th century black and white movie; the difference being they’re juxtaposed with the power chord brutality of a modern day rock’n’roll band.

Glasgow didn’t exactly have its finest dancing shoes on for what has to be one of the finest dancing bands around on this evening, though numerous alcohol fuelled punters did their best to get some jigs going. Crowd participation or not, Larry and His Flask are a hell of a lot of fun, and they excel in the live environment. It’s hard not to feel damn good about yourself after attending one of their shows.

[Scott Wilson]

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