Music: Welshly Arms: King Tuts Wah Wah Hut. 5th Nov 2019 & Interview

Welshly Arms’ Inaugural Scottish Gig Makes 5th Of November One To Remember.

It’s bonfire night: an evening set apart in time. Thick with nostalgic musty post-fireworks fug, and at one of the most iconic venues in the UK, tonight Glasgow offers the perfect setting for a band whose infectiously rocky sound is as ageless as sparklers in mittened fists.

A six-person team with ammunition for the big stage, the bragging rights of seeing Welshly Arms in the personal setting of King Tuts is not lost on fans. The band revel in cross-sectional appeal: it is no inflated claim when they say of their music that if you like rock, soul, blues or pop songs you might dig it.  Only someone without a single rhythmic bone could stop their hips moving to buoyant clap-along indestructible or Sunday afternoon tinged soul-blues Wild.  

Floppy-haired and looking like a rocked-up Dougie MacLean, Sam Getz takes centre stage, but in a Welshly Arms song the top-line is often ballast for the real business happening stage-right. The big joyful super-cool vocals of Bri and Jon Bryant puts indoor-shades on their sound and set the band apart from the mainstream. No seat-of-the-pants delivery: every detail of tonight’s performance is polished, planned and executed to perfection. Bri and Joh have just enough flawlessly coordinated dance moves to simultaneously shepherd the crowd and crack a visual joke at retro backing singer stereotypes. 

As is to be expected, a good chunk of the set draws on their 2018 No Place is Home album. Written at a time when the die-hard Clevelanders were feeling the dislocation that comes from months on the road, it veers between bittersweet and elation.  Uplifting crowd-pleasers such as Sanctuary, gospel-infused Down to the River, and popular-culture coup Legendary keep up the bright-light vibe. Yet the most exciting part of the night is getting a sneak peek at the new material the band have coming out in January. Not to give too much away, Welshly Arms will be setting off more big-chorus firecrackers in the new year.

Long-term tour mates The Glorious Sons rounded off the night, arching it from the gutsy to the gritty end of radio-friendly rock. As the musical embers died down we caught up with the band to get their perspective on a summer of touring and their first gig in Scotland:

How was the Glasgow gig for you?

It was a great gig! We were really pleased with the warm welcome we got for our first visit to Scotland.

King Tut’s is something of an seminal venue: did you know about it before you came?

We did…  In fact, when I saw the venue name on our schedule I remembered reading that it was the club that Oasis signed their record deal and it turns out I remembered correctly. We could feel the vibes of all those great bands last night. It’s a special room!

What is it like sharing a stage with The Glorious Sons?

It’s great! We toured the states together last fall and fell in love with their raw energy. So glad to be sharing the stage with them again.

Are you going get to see anything of Scotland whilst you’re up here?

I got to walk around a good bit today and enjoyed all of the beautiful architecture and stopped for some great food along the way. It’s a really inspiring city!

Following a summer touring in Europe, and now the start of a UK run, have you found any difference in your fans on this side of the Atlantic to back home?

 Our European audience has been really great at letting us know they appreciate our music and our efforts to bring the show across the pond. It goes a long way when you are a little fried from the traveling then walk in to a room filled with people singing along to your songs. It fills you back up and makes it all worth it! I find that every city has its own style of listening and taking in the music and I love that!

What has been your favourite experience touring this year?

 Getting to go to new places we had never taken our music before like Scotland. We played a couple amazing festivals this year in Hungary and Slovakia where we hadn’t been before and were blown away by the whole experience.

You shared some of your new songs with us tonight, what has it been like working on the new material?

 It’s been liberating to some degree… We are making a point to make the music that we want to make. Not that we haven’t in the past but this is a new season for us of digging into who we really are as a band and what the evolution looks like for us after touring hard and playing a lot of shows together in the last 3 years. I’m really excited for the next chapter.

What upcoming plans does the band have going into 2020?”

We are going to be releasing a lot of new music starting right away in January. We will also continue to write and record even more while we are home in Cleveland this winter.