Live Review: Baby Strange – Glasgow

Baby Strange

baby strangeCCA Glasgow, 3rd February 2015

Words: Gary Feeney

The Ramones, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Libertines, The Strokes…Baby Strange.
This is not an odd-one-out question about who doesn’t have a “The” in their name, although there are more than a few differences between the latter and the rest than the format of their name. Instead, it is more about what Baby Strange have in common with the rest and what that is is that you can’t help thinking that their live performances share the same visceral energy, the same primal thrill as acts like their predecessors must have in their early shows in small venues like tonight’s.

Playing their first home-town show since last summer as part of a co-headline tour with Dolomite Minor, it was obvious before they took to the stage that the sizeable crowd gathered for the homecoming heroes were well in the mood to be entertained on a cold Tuesday night, and entertained they were.

From the opening Rat Song the front rows of the crowd were as frenetic as the band on stage, but that didn’t stop singer Johnny Madden goading his audience by informing them that they had “let the team down” compared to the aforementioned Stereo gig from last year and demanding “more movement”. Being Glaswegians, no-one was about to turn down that challenge but regardless, the reaction he wanted was always going to be unleashed when his request acted as the intro to a quite brilliant version of their single, Pure Evil which features the clarion call of “tired of my generation”. Things took a real upturn from that point, the song and crowd reacting as the blue touch paper that really set the night on fire.
Whilst the irresistible drive of many of their songs are what makes Baby Strange so exciting, the growing maturity and melodies of new songs like the previously mentioned Rat Song and No Future take that energy and transform it in to an even more formidable proposition than their already impressive earlier songs although the combination of the two was perfectly encapsulated by the closing onslaught of crowd favourite Distance Yourself and recent single, Friend; the latter saw Madden pushing a punter on someone’s shoulders over for what he later described as “shouting in my face and blocking everyone else’s view”, an act that served to underpin the intensity of his band’s music.

Whilst it would be more than a little hyberbolic to suggest that Baby Strange are destined to reach the heights as those mentioned in the intro, when the present is this exciting then the future can wait. Baby Strange proved tonight that they are the finest new band going at the moment and with any justice in the world, they’ll get the chance to prove that on bigger stages than those offered on their current tour in the near future.
Fancy a listen? This is the excellent VVV, sounding somewhat like a 70’s glam-rock number after it rolled about in a pile of mud then drank a few bottles of Buckfast:

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