Catholic Action have been gigging around their native Glasgow for a while now, building a reputation as a must-see live act and leading a line of exciting new artists currently emerging from the local scene. A personal invitation from Alex Kapranos to support FFS, along with support slots with The Libertines and Swim Deep have certainly helped matters; so it is no surprise to see Nice N Sleazys extremely busy tonight in preparation for the band’s arrival onstage.
With only a couple of singles to their name, the four-piece have notched up an impressively solid setlist that shows both depth and progression. One thing is for certain; they know how to write a catchy melody. These are hugely enjoyable pop songs with a garage rock edge. With a lot of gigs under their belt now, they’ve developed into a very tight live act; the riffs on lead guitar are glam-esque over a driving bassline, while Chris McCrory looks like the frontman of a long established band. Having experienced acclaim as drummer for the popular Casual Sex, he now takes centre stage with a confident vocal delivery, reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand’s Kapranos.
The 40 minute set moves from moments of introspection to upbeat choruses worthy of a singalong. New single ‘L.U.V’ gets an emphatic response, having just received airplay on Radio 1 earlier on in the day. It’s short, snappy and catchy with irresistible riffs that will stay in your head for days after you’ve heard it. Meanwhile, ‘Stars and Stripes’ shows the band are capable of both light and shade, starting quietly before building up to big chorus. It’s led by a moody, assertive bassline with a brilliant breakdown in the middle reminiscent of the Stones.
They finish the night with the captivating ‘Rita Ora’, getting another big reaction with its huge singalong refrain and a heavy take on ‘The Shallows’. It’s a great night for the band as they prove why they’re one of Glasgow’s hottest prospects right now; it surely won’t be long until the rest of the world takes notice.
This Catholic Action review was written by Suzanne Oswald, a GIGsoup contributor. Photo by Siobhan Shots