This Halo Tora article was written by Gavin Wells, a GIGsoup Contributor. Lead photo by GeorgiaHutchinsonPhotography
January is usually a quiet time for music, both in terms of record releases and live shows. Glasgow venue King Tut’s however, have chosen not stick to this trend as they kick off their ‘New Year’s Revolution Festival’, which this year will host over 80 bands across 16 nights in January.
Headlining the 8th night of the festival are Glasgow’s very own Alternative/Post Rock band, Halo Tora, along with support from Verse Metrics, Nothing Universe & Toy Mountains.
Up first were Melodic Math band, Verse Metrics. The 4-piece opened the show with a very mellow, layed back set. Unfortunately, being the opening band, a significant part of the audience didn’t give them the attention that they deserved. Despite their entrancing sound however, they lacked any real stage presence, standing in the same spot for most of their set.
Nothing Universe started off with a similarly mellow opening instrumental track, which gradually got heavier as the song progressed, switching from a Prog-Rock sound, to something closer to Prog-Metal. The following songs followed this structure of transitioning from mellow to heavy, but also took on the form of some other styles, with the second song sounding almost like a Dance Anthem, and the third starting off very minimalist. Unfortunately, Nothing Universe only had enough time to play 3 songs during their 30 minute set, with each song tending to feel dragged out near the end. Combine that with very little interaction with their audience, and at times it felt like watching a band rehearsal rather than a show.
Easily the most energetic band of the night were Alternative Rock/Post-Hardcore band Toy Mountains. They succeeded in getting blood pumping within the crowd as they opened with their latest single, ‘I Could Care Less’, before kicking into the heavy Hardcore of ‘Warm Blooded’. Before jumping into a brand new track, frontman Callum McClune took a moment to announce that the show had officially sold out, a welcome surprise for all of the bands performing that night.
Toy Mountains kept the party going with big hitters like ‘Suspended Animation’ and ‘Anybody Else’, somehow performing perfectly while thrashing around the stage. Closing their set with ‘…For a Few Seconds, Came Harmony’ Toy Mountains gripped the audience with their catchy riffs and lyrics. As the final section of the song approached, McClune had the audience help him out by singing the lyrics back to him. A fantastic way to end an outstanding set.
Last up were headliners Halo Tora. The 5-piece performed a beautifully paced set, with a mix of new tracks from their debut album ‘Omni/One’ along with some older ones for long time fans. In contrast to Toy Mountains, there wasn’t as much movement in the crowd for Halo Tora, but it also felt like they didn’t need it. The mesmerising melodies and incredible vocal harmonies felt like they deserved everyone’s undivided attention, which the band inevitably got. Halo Tora showcased the best material they had to offer, with the likes of ‘Permanant Revolution’, ‘The Bones that Rock the Cradle’, and ‘Under the Surface’.
Frontman Chris Alexander took breaks throughout the set to speak with the audience, thanking them for coming, helping them sell out King Tut’s and for their support over the years. Halo Tora ended their headline 7-song set with the fantastic ‘Age of Terror’. After saying goodnight to the audience, Alexander climbed over the barrier and into the middle of the crowd to perform an extended outro/breakdown, much to the surprise and delight of everyone around him. A fitting end to a great night of Rock.