13th Note (Glasgow
By: El Diablo
You would think that on a hot summers night slinking into the
13th Notes subterranean basement club would offer some respite
from the heat, but no. It's the opposite. It's an underground
I'm sweating like a paedophile clown at a kiddies party. If you
licked the moisture from the wall you could probably get a taste
of my DNA.
I could claim that the alcohol I was drinking like it was going
out of fashion was for rehydration purposes, but in all honesty
I was just in party mode.
It's been a tough week and Saturday night was the perfect night
to let my hair down (Cue the bad haircut jokes from those who
know me). Good venue, good company and three acts who could give
any other band appearing in Glasgow a run for their money.
For tonight Roscoe Vacant has left his battered acoustic at home
and instead is slashing at his equally battered electric guitar
with the passionate conviction that we have come to expect from
Mild mannered, quiet and charming off stage Roscoe may well be,
but he's the polar opposite once he straps on his guitar and
gets behind a mic. There's a righteous anger there that bubbles
up and spills over. His ire at the world around him is
eloquently displayed and whether you agree with his political
view it's difficult not to be swept away with the passion of the
Right at this moment he is firing on all cylinders and every
line spat out is formed with frighteningly honest intent. He has
a message and you need to hear it
Often enough he has been compared to a young Billy Bragg and
it's easy to hear why.
He has the same strength of conviction in what he is doing and
the one man and a guitar also lends credence to the comparisons,
but the differences that lay under the surface are huge.
Roscoe Vacant is far more immediate, far more forceful and far
more relevant than Billy has been for many a year. He's a true
punk poet, and with his anti fashion punk attitude is a hundred
percent more honest than the latest gap year riot student
diddling about with a studded belt, some converse sneakers and
waxed liberty spikes.
Sticking Roscoe on the bill is the perfect antidote to the
fashinista punks. So vive le folkpunknrolla.
Next were the exuberant Eddy and the T-Bolts, who similar to
Roscoe aren't interested in all the scene bullshit that
permeates so many other gigs. They simply have a remit to rock
and do so with infectious wild abandon. Their frontman is a
stomping dervish who is living out his rockstar dream regardless
of who is there to watch them.
The first word from his lips is “Heeeeeeeellllllllllooooooooo
Glllaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssgggggggoooooow” as if he's stepped to the
lip of the stage at Madison Square Gardens. It's hilarious
considering the size of the venue and even the size of the crowd
he is playing to, but he knows this. This is his shtick.
A little later he dedicates a song to the god of thunder Gene
Simmons pretending that he is oblivious to the fact that the
crowd is made up of punks and psychobillies. I could imagine him
saying that it doesn't matter as everyone loves KISS anyway.
Let's get this straight though. When I say that they play rock
music it's actually got a nice punky edge to it.
In the UK punk a lot of the bands can sometimes be a bit basic.
They see guitar solos and such as prima donna bullshit, wheras
the US ones seem to know their way about a guitar and never shy
away from some guitar wankery, and neither does the fella in the
So if you like your punk rock with added howling guitar solos
then this band is for you.
The last song they play is called "John McClane" and sums the
band up with it's genius Yippee Ki Aye refrain. Everything
bounces along like a Russ Meyer cast jogging in halter tops.
Hugely entertaining and as they finish they tell us all that
they have an ep for sale at the bargain price of £4, but will
settle for £2.51 with a bit of haggling.
The night just gets better and better.
The Hyperjax is the band that the majority are here to see
though and they don't hang about. I think Eddy and the T-Bolts
were still packing some of their stuff away as Sam. Liam and
Neil kicked off.
I don't know what was in the coffee that Sam was drinking
earlier on, but it banished his hangover blues and seemed to
give him a new lease of life.
Everything was played harder and faster than I've heard before
and although I've never felt that any of the music needed
toughened up it does work better when it's pushed hard like
Neil is a thrashing blur in the background while Liam seemed to
think that he was still slapping for The Termites. It wasn't as
if Sam was being dragged along by his rhythm section though. He
had it all in hand and was leading from the front.
I've never seen the band play a less than sterling gig, but this
was the best so far.
The Wildest Card sounded like a rock and roll behemoth. Fuckin
There wasn't one single solitary moment when the gig dipped
below the very high benchmark that they set themselves.
This is how every single band should approach their gigs. No
prisoners should be taken and no quarter given.
Talkin' New York City sounded as fresh as it did the first time
I heard it, as did everything else.
I could literally just keep going on and on punting forward
increasingly more ridiculous superlatives about how good these
guys were, but I guess you just had to be there.
There's even a new single coming out and to my buzzing ears it
sounded pretty damn good so keep an eye out for it and if you
haven't seen the Hyperjax before then you really have to ask
yourself why the fuck not?
It's not as if they only do the occasional gig in far flung
places. These guys are road dogs and have been pretty consistent
in playing up and down the country over the last few years.
So my advice would be to get your finger out and make sure you
do before the year is out.