Unlearning yet yearning for more.
We’ve said it once and we will say it again, ‘It’s great to curate, yeah?’ that’s exactly what Walt Disco seem to have done this evening. They have put together a fierce selection of ethereal, goth rock.
Opening the show this evening is Glasgow’s very own Fauna who are a delightful quartet peddling beautiful grungy synth melodies that are at once reminiscent of Radiohead but with bluesy vocals of Billie Holliday too. With dewy skin, impressive frills, frocks and thumping bass they are definitely ones to keep an eye on. We enjoyed their track ‘I’m Still Here’.
Up next are Priestgate – who may as well have arrived in a Delorian, as they are serving uber cool, Teddyboy, goth looks in trouser braces and breeches it also doesn’t help that lead guitarist Connor Bingham looks surreptitiously like the dad from Back to the Future…
The band have been hailed as NME’s one to watch in 2022 and based on tonight’s set it’s easy to see why. Big suits, big hair and big sounds the band hailing from Yorkshire are bringing a small scale riot on stage and we are very much here for it.
Lead singer Rob Schofield cuts an enigmatic figure on stage, strutting about with all the hip wiggling prowess of Iggy Pop. It’s not long before he is in fact, tearing off his wife beater vest whilst spitting the lyrics to latest single ‘Eye’s Closed for the Winter’ which is a surly, yet intimate slice of beautiful 80’s prog-rock that is both 80’s Matchbox and Echo & the Bunnymen. Other standout tracks included; ‘Summer(air)’ and ‘Bedtime Story’.
‘How are you doing Glasgow? We’ve missed you!’ James Power, pirouettes on stage beaming with a joy and elation that only playing to a packed out hometown crowd can give you. Side F have been slowly championing Walt Disco since their infancy, when the band played We Never Heard of You at Lion Coffee Records in London way back in 2019.
Two years and one pandemic later it’s great to see that the band haven’t rested on their laurels, having just completed a very successful stint at SXSW were the band even played at some Texan wedding nuptials, the boys have a tremendous vigour and bounce in their step as they have finely crafted their debut album out today (and no that’s not an April fools) titled ‘Unlearning’. It’s a beautiful, honest and youthful flight of fancy, doused in glitter filled with witty jems based on love, identity and becoming your true self.
Opening track ‘Heather’ is hypnotic, gaudy and delightfully camp. James Power, sporting a cute black dress, could be the long lost love child of Shirley Bassey and David Byrne – and yes, you’re correct that is a winning combo indeed.
With fun choreography the whole band skip through a set studded with hits including; ‘Those Held High’, ‘Malicent’ and ‘The Costume Change’.
‘You’ve made me the happiest girl in the world, we are going to play you an absolute banger’ and James, doesn’t let us down. Lurching into ‘Weightless’ it’s a hark back to 90’s rave or even later work by Crystal Castles, with its catchy chorus that has the crowd singing along full force.
‘Hey Boy (You’re One of Us)’ is another change of pace with stand up percussion and pounding drums the track is reminiscent of dare I say… Marlyn Manson dipped in sugar.
‘I usually do a bit before this track, in a thicker Scottish accent, but no one overseas could understand us… lets see if you can’ James is clearly having fun with the crowd, ‘Come back Charlie, I think you are bloody lovely, I don’t care what they say about you…’ laughs James before hurling into current single ‘How Cool Are You’ which is a tongue in cheek take on pretention, which doffs its cap to Kim Wild and Bowie alike.
‘Selfish Lover’ sees more Macarena style dance moves before the band play ‘Something for those of you who have been with us a little longer’ before playing ‘Pop Sensibilities’ followed by ‘Macilent’ is a nice juxtaposition.
Set closer is an oldie too with ‘Past Tense’ showcasing the bands true, ability to skirt between saccharine sweet synth and moody 80’s goth kids. Walt Disco are making Glasgow proud, blurring gender roles and bringing a party wherever they go, it’s clear to see that these promising young upstarts have so much more in store for us going forward.
Words: Angela Canavan
Photos: Natalie Vanderpool