This ‘Alvvays and White Reaper’ article was written by Gemma Matthews, a GIGsoup contributor
The sweaty basement of a beautiful former church provided the venue, for what proved to be a truly magical Wednesday night.
As Alvvays and labelmates White Reaper graced Glasgow with their sound. The night opened with White Reaper, an all-male 4 piece band from Louisville, Kentucky. Comprising of twins Sam and Nick, and their pals Tony and Ryan. The band list some of their biggest influences to be Iggy Pop, The Ramones, T Rex, and Metallica, all of which can certainly be heard in their music. Their energy is something which is truly unrivalled, bringing a blunt sparkle to every song, whilst lovingly head-butting each other during their performance. It is clear that these boys are all about having fun and working hard, something else which makes it hard not to fall in love with their insatiable sound.
This is homegrown music at its finest, with simple but catchy melodies which scream a gentle reminder to the crowd – ‘Everything else might be dead, but you’re not’.
Signed to Polyvinyl Records (alongside Alvvays), the band released their first 6-track record in June 2014, with their debut album ‘White Reaper Does It Again’ released in June 2015. Fresh and ready, this lot are definitely ones to watch, proving an excellent opening act who could easily be headlining their own tour this time next year. After the glimmering ruckus that was White Reaper’s performance, Alvvays took the stage. Walking on stage to the sound of bagpipes was a humourous start, but later proved a genuine testament to their love of Scotland, with lead singer Molly Rankin talking about attending ‘Gaelic Camp’ during high school summers. This resonated with the crowd, and made for a very sentimental atmosphere for the rest of the night. Rankin, who can be likened to a young Kay Hanley, and her bandmates played a mix of new material and favourites from their 2014 self-titled album throughout the night, including a spine-tingling solo from Rankin of the band’s ‘Red Planet’. With vocals even more sublime live than recorded, and a set played so cooperatively between bandmates, it was hard not to feel like you were dreaming. The new material played out in line with the band’s first record –dreamy, seductive pop-rock with overtones of high-paced glitter. The night ended with a cover of ‘Kirsty Maccoll’s’ ‘He’s On The Beach’, and a highly satisfied crowd. This band are going places, and their charming Canadian personality goes a long way to getting them there before they even start playing.
Wednesday night’s gig can only be described as an ‘Unforgettable festival of hope for the young’. Both bands left the audience more than happy, and dazzled us with their performances. These acts are destined for big things, that’s for sure, and you felt truly privileged to have been a part of something so intimate before the rest of the world discovers them.