Live Review: The 21st State

King Tuts, 9/03

Back in March, qmunicate had the pleasure of witnessing The 21st State headline King Tut’s. Having previously played at the QMU’s battle of the bands, and with a new EP out – Stepping Stones – the stakes were high. Fortunately, they were not only met but exceeded.

The band opened with their song ‘Stepping Stones’, an angst filled song about the uncertainty of the future and sounds like what you’d get if you mixed early Paramore and Twin Atlantic. Despite its broody tone, the audience not only swayed and thumped their feet to the beat, but it became obvious that the band already had a group of dedicated fans as many were singing along.

The band followed with a couple of songs which are not on their EP, but equally as good, called ‘Living in Fiction’ and ‘Shadows’.

One of the true highlights was their song ‘Jigsaw’, a powerful number featuring the lyrics “I know you’ve got what it takes, you just need to believe in yourself… You know I believe in you”. It’s a motivating song, one that could be listened to in the gym, and that also proved to be a crowd pleaser.

Next they played another song which is not on the EP called ‘Hide’ which was slower than any of their other songs. It was not sang by their lead singer Andrew Duncan, but by their other guitarist, Craig Horne, who also showed to be very worthy with some gentle vocals.  This shed light on a more vulnerable side of the band whilst remaining upbeat with some catchy keyboard playing.

The main high point was ‘Waiting’ which was full of energy and had the audience jumping up and down. It featured one of the bands greatest assets – their drum. They always have it at the front of the stage and it’s mainly played by Mr. Horne but also occasionally by Mr. Duncan. It works beautifully in engaging the audience and boosting their stage presence.

This high was then upheld by their song “Colours”, a positive and highly catchy track- a perfect pick me up.

Overall, The 21st state are an excellent alternative if you’re fans of Fatherson, Twin Atlantic or Catfish and the Bottlemen, with their charming Scottish accents, charisma and positive tunes. They can be found on Facebook, Soundcloud and iTunes and are definitely worth a listen!

[Yasmina Todd]


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