Live Review – Sons of an Illustrious Father

King Tut’s, 20/05/19 

“You always hear that the crowds in Glasgow are crazy,” Ezra Miller comments from his place at the drumkit to the sweet sounds of everyone cheering wildly for the band.  

Sons of an Illustrious Father is a band that inherently defies the idea of being locked into one ‘genre’ for their career, hence their chosen label of genre-queer. And it’s an appropriate label to say the least.  

The show opens with two supports. First, the Glasgow-based alt rock band Quotes of the Dead treats us all to a set that leaves the crowd buzzing. Of course, it’s almost expected that we can’t get too comfortable in one genre at a gig like this, and so the second support bounces onto stage, drenched from head to toe in glitter. This is Charismatic Megafauna, a London trio who are the main support for the entirety of the European tour. The girls play songs commenting on equal access to education and feminism and they do it all with energy that would put any of us to shame. 

The idea of exploring social justice through music is something that Sons of an Illustrious Father do spectacularly and, as they make their way on stage, it becomes clear that this gig will be no different. They open with U.S Gay, a song written in the wake of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, and despite the sombre subject matter, there’s something beautiful about a crowd screaming out “to be gay in the USA is not feeling light and gay, who knows how long we’ll live anyway?” 

There’s freedom in this gig. The crowd yell out their favourite lyrics and stomp along to the drumbeat set. Despite the fact that King Tut’s is not a particularly large venue, Sons of an Illustrious Father played with enough energy – and volume – to fill a stage twice the size. 

With ears still ringing, the crowd were invited to calm down and enjoy a soft, acapella rendition of Nirvana’s All Apologies. For this, Larson, Miller and Aubin stood at the very front of the stage, engaging their crowd on a more personal level. This was my personal favourite moment and perhaps more stripped-back versions of songs would fit in well with a set from them. 

However, the undisputed highlight for me was yet another cover. This time, it was their cover of the Pussycat Dolls’ Don’t Cha, recently released on Spotify as a single. The moody, dark tone of the song is carried by vocals by Larson and Miller alongside a masterful turn on the guitar by Aubin and goes down a treat with the audience, who channel their inner darkness to join in. 

On the whole, Sons of an Illustrious Father provided an excellent gig that left me wishing they had played just a little longer – a problem that I’m sure many bands want to have. 

[Rebecca Gault – she/her – @rebeccagault7

[Photo credit: Rebecca Gault]

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