Halo Tora, A Sudden Burst Of Colour, Mountains Under Oceans - King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, 8th Aug 2014

Halo Tora, A Sudden Burst Of Colour, Mountains Under Oceans – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, 8th Aug 2014

1601316_721331124571171_1110389559801884353_nKing Tut’s is, quite possibly, the coolest place in Glasgow.  However, the bar is definitely the sweatiest bar ever and tonight the bar itself is crawling with people.  Upstairs, the space is chilly and the floor seems to be permanently covered in a mysterious sticky something that is probably best not dwelled upon…

The first of two support bands, A Sudden Burst of Colour, hailing from Motherwell, open with an ominously atmospheric track that eventually gives way to bright and pleasant pop-tinged melodies.  I can’t help wondering if this is either the longest intro ever heard or an instrumental, although the guitarist to my right has a habit of stepping up to the mic, piquing my interest for some vocals to go along with the beautiful sounds, with its quite frankly fascinating twists and turns.  If this is merely a taste of what’s to come from A Sudden Burst of Colour, then this is one very exciting moment indeed, and the crowd seem quietly pleased.  Their sound is many-layered and textured, and yet still buttery smooth.  Turns out is really is instrumental.  And I love it!  It’s actually quite refreshing to be able to hear the melodies, harmonies and the beats and nothing else.  That said, I can’t help it; I keep expecting someone to start singing, lamenting long lost loves and the like but it doesn’t happen.  A Sudden Burst of Colour are a band worth keeping an eye on.  Their sound, whilst being all of the above, gives everything and then pulls back, right back, and drops down into sweet pretty melodies, that are very atmospheric and sometimes ethereal in nature – to stunning effect, I might add – before snapping right back up into those beautifully bold multi-layers.

Mountains Under Oceans, from Glasgow this time, are also an instrumental band. Unlike A Sudden Burst of Colour however, Mountains Under Oceans have much more of a rock edge to their sound, and groove in abundance!  There’s more of a crowd, too although they are a little static, apart from the handful of head-nodders at the front.  Annoyingly, some of the crowd are chatting throughout their set.  What the Hell for?  It’s not as if the band is painfully dull!  Mountains Under Oceans give everything they’ve got, from brash rock to eerie atmospherics.  My only real gripe is this belief that songs need to end on feedback – it just sounds awful and really, as musicians, you can do better than to end a song with nothing but noise, right?  Nevertheless, Mountains Under Oceans are definitely very interesting to watch.

Halo Tora take the stage to whoops, whistles and applause.  Tonight sees them play their debut album in full.  Having had the privilege of seeing them play their very first live show almost three years ago, it’s an exciting prospect of hearing the entire album in a live setting.  Halo Tora have perfected the combination of singing, a touch of screaming vocals and brilliant, truly brilliant harmonies.  The audience seem utterly mesmerised and you can tell most of them are itching to dance, and probably would if space allowed.  It is so good to see a packed out venue for Halo Tora; they’ve definitely earned it.  The downside to all of this is that as soon as things slow down, the talkers start.  Almost as if sensing my disgust, Halo Tora crank up the pace and the power.  They’ve included a couple of acoustic numbers into their set tonight owing to the fact that the album itself contains a couple of acoustic tracks.  I’m always interested in just how and why bands are reluctant to play their songs acoustically.

The first, ‘Run From’, is, in comparison to everything else they’ve done so far, stripped back, at first.  There’s a relentless beauty and passion to it, particularly in the vocals.  It is a little indulgent with the electric guitars but it ends much sweeter and is once again stripped back in time for the last verse.  Yet again those quieter moments seem to invite conversations in the crowd.  ‘House Of Snow’ starts on the keys only and is pretty much obscured by the chattering, but then Halo Tora launch without so much as a warning into a bold and passionate blast of electric guitars and jolting drums, halting damn-near every tongue.  About bloody time…  The second of two acoustic tracks – ‘Let’s Resist’ – is again attempted with one semi-acoustic guitar that is all but lost amongst the remaining electric instruments and is only just heard over the chattering of the crowd.  Sometimes I wish people came with mute buttons…  Still, Halo Tora don’t strike me as the type of band to let something like that bother them and they’re performance isn’t affected one bit.  The band’s penultimate track , ‘Under The Surface’, sees Halo Tora doing what they do best – mixing up the tempo and the volume at every turn.

These boys really know how to bring the house down, and are full of surprises, ending the night on a real high.  Exciting things are most definitely on their way for Halo Tora.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.