Gracing the stage to the sound of a deafening ovation from fans eager to see the artist behind one of 2016's most critically-acclaimed albums, Teens Of Denial, 24-year-old indie pop mastermind Will Toledo wastes little time in bringing proceedings to riotous levels with the punk assault of 'Fill In The Blank.'
Continuing in the same vein, the band then hurtles into tracks from their breakthrough album such as 'Vincent' and a righteously chaotic rendition of the exhilarating '1937 State Park.' Peered up towards the balcony and hearing a 400-strong contingent of Scottish music fans reacting to every chord and sharply penned lyric, it’s evident that the enormity of how far he's came between 2014's How To Leave Town and now has still not quite set in yet.
Venturing into his prolific oeuvre with a version of 'Sober To Death' from 2013's Twin Fantasy, and an electrifying take on 'Maud Gone', there’s a pleasant surprising to be had seeing such lesser-known tracks greeted with equal vigour by the audience and performed with the same degree.
Racing towards a thrilling crescendo, the renovated church that now serves as one of Glasgow's finest venues witnesses anarchic scenes as the much loved 'Destroyed By Hippie Powers' burst into life. Propelled by a mixture of catchy hooks and unhinged dissonance, each moment of 'Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales' and 'Famous Prophets (Minds)' feels as though we were witnessing a band that is capable of reaching the upper echelons of the modern alt-rock landscape. Bringing things to a subtle and wondrous close with the one-time viral sensation that is his take on Frank Ocean's 'Ivy', it's safe to say that the enthralled audience will guarantee Car Seat Headrest an even bigger stage.
Prior to the celebratory headline set from Car Seat Headrest, The Lemon Twigs bound into view and launch into the swooning pop of 'I Wanna Prove To You.' Although labeled elsewhere as a throwback to a bygone era, the honesty and candidness that shines through on every melody ensures that it doesn't fall into the realm of a saccharine pastiche but feels entirely natural.
Communicating with the crowd with a looseness that belies their age, they make their way through the many standouts of their debut album, Do Hollywood, and unreleased songs that are slated for an upcoming EP. There's no telling whether they'll be able to replicate the success of their debut offering but early indic
ations suggest they’ll be a presence for years to come. Over at the iconic Barrowland Ballroom, Thundercat open their set with Apocalypse highlight, 'Tron Song'. Serving as a superb summation of what’s in store, he continues to contort and re-mould the tracks into ethereal, jazzy compositions. Following with a selection of tracks from his newest offering, the energy once again rises as he leaps into 'Heartbreaks+ Setbacks' and vamps on its invigorating basslines.
Clearly having as much fun performing as the audience that's gazing on intently, he treats the crowd to an impromptu rendition of his contributions to Kendrick Lamar's opus To Pimp A Butterfly including 'These Walls' and 'Complexion (Zulu Love)’.
Glasgow punk-rock Honeyblood flies the flag for homegrown talent. Rattling through material from their recently released second record, Babes Never Die, and their self-titled debut, it’s clear to see just how much the band have progressed since they first burst onto the scene a couple of years ago; a fact that can be majorly credited to the arrival of Cat Myers on drums. A ruthless driving force behind Stina Tweeddale’s crunching guitar lines and snappy melodies, her powerful command of the kit adds a newfound ferocity to their live show.
Older songs such as ‘Choker’ and ‘Super Rat’ are beefed up and delivered with real defiance while newer material such as ‘Ready For The Magic’, ‘Sea Hearts’ and title track ‘Babes Never Die’ provide huge highlights thanks to their thrilling combination of jagged riffs, relentlessly infectious hooks and raw punk energy. As one of the best bands to emerge from Glasgow’s current thriving music scene, it was particularly gratifying to see the duo kill it at one of the city’s premier venues.
Meanwhile, Grandaddy make a triumphant return to the city with a truly mesmersing set. Opening with the driving riffs and melodic chimes of ‘Hewlett’s Daughter’ and the plaintive ‘Laughing Stock’, the set perfectly exhibits the wonderfully textured and symphonic indie sound for which the band have become known since the nineties.
Having only recently released Last Place - their first new album in 11 years – it’s clear how much it means to those in the room to be in the company of Jason Lytle and co. Leaving the crowd visibly and audibly enraptured by every jaunty synth line and killer riff, it’s during the new album’s instantly addictive lead single ‘Way We Won’t’ and swooning synth-jam ‘Evermore’ where they really shine.
His distinctive vocals are as stirring as ever, fitting in wonderfully with the waves of electronica and crunchy hooks that are enveloping them. Moving from moments of joyful euphoria to emotional plaintiveness to driving noise, it’s no surprise that the band are given a hero’s reception when they finish with the epic closer ‘He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot’.
The Shins perform a career-spanning headline set which included fan favourites ‘Kissing The Lipless’, ‘Australia’ and ‘Simple Song’. Led by enigmatic frontman James Mercer and his honey-sweet vocals, the band’s evolution from lo-fi indie-pop upstarts to something altogether bigger and more substantial is reflected by the throng of musicians on stage and the intricate musicality on show lends greater weight to some of their more underrated material.
Despite having only just released Heartworms, their first new album in five years, Mercer instead decides to stay close to the crowd pleasers though new track ‘Mildenhall’ receives a rousing response however, particularly after its lyrical reference to local heroes and fellow 6 Music Festival headliners The Jesus and Mary Chain. Slowly winning over the crowd more and more as the set progresses, the band fulfills the crowd’s call for an encore with a beautifully stripped-back ‘New Slang’. A dazzling end to a massive second day at 6Music festival.