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Single By Sunday – O2 ABC, Glasgow, 07/01/2017

You know what they say about too many cooks spoiling the broth?  Apparently the same can be said of some gigs with promoters squeezing too many bands in.  Tonight sees no less than five support bands ahead of Single By Sunday‘s biggest headline show to date.

First on are Parallel Lights who are interesting, to say the least.  And I mean interesting in the way that your art teacher back in secondary school takes a look at your work, their eyebrows mashed together – that you spent all term perfecting – sucks their teeth, sighs heavily, and utters the words nobody wants to hear: “Oh.  That’s interesting…” before walking away and hiding their expression.  One thing they do have going for them is the fact they behave as though they’re playing the gig of their lives.  Instrumentally, it works great, it just isn’t quite enough to distract from the out of tune vocals. Points for effort, though.  This Mankind are marginally better but are ultimately forgettable.

District 55 are really good, actually.  It would seem things get better as the night goes on.  The only downside is that the singer doesn’t quite know how to use the microphone properly.  A great sound should never be spoiled by muffled vocals.  Altered Sky recorded is, going by this, better than Altered Sky live.  They arrive on stage late, and then leave later than they should; it’s almost like they planned it…  Entering the stage (finally) in total darkness and doing what I can only assume is some weird interpretive dance, they’ve pretty much perfected their sound in terms of music.  Vocally, however, it’s like watching Britney Spears try to reinvent herself as a hardcore rock star.

Main support for the night comes in form of Miami Monroe, who are incredibly confident, competent, and they look like they’re enjoying themselves.  They do sound like a carbon-copy Green Day, though.  They’re great at it, but I suspect that they’re a young band who haven’t quite found their own sound yet.  Perhaps all they need is a little time to figure things out.

The curtains are drawn and the crowd goes a little wild.  Bad disco is playing – as it has between bands all night – and a small group of girls are repeatedly, but sporadically chanting “S.B.S.” as they wind their way around the room and closer to the stage.  Then a video is played (at first without sound) and the crowd are momentarily disoriented and turn their attentions to the screen on the left of the stage.  The video is the premiere of a new track – ‘Nevereverever’ – setting the tone for the rest of the night.  Despite having a lot of bands to stand/lean through, the majority of the crowd are about ready to burst, while the rest of us brace ourselves and load up on caffeine.  Finally, the curtains are opened to reveal one very excitable bunch of guys, and launch right into ‘It Is What It Is’.  Pretty much every hand is up, some of them leaping into the air.  It’s about time Single By Sunday had a livelier crowd.

When the lights are inhibiting your ability to see what’s going on stage, there’s a problem.  Not one to let that hold them back, ‘Amazingly Brilliant’ lives up to its title, with the middle-eight sung in a canon.  Oh, that’s clever, and yet so simple – the lights reflect not only where each member of the band is positioned, but it also matches each member’s hair colour.  If nothing else, it makes identification much easier – if only they’d stay still!

‘Get Up Get Out’ sees the audience practically boil over.  They seem to draw a bigger and better crowd with every show, and Lord knows, they’ve definitely earned it.  For ‘Romeo’ the stage is swathed in bright pink.  It’s a curious song, really.  If you know the story of Romeo and Juliet… It doesn’t end well, does it?  Neither of them are the poster kids for Romance, that’s for sure.  That said, Single By Sunday have made it work, even if they have had to alter the narrative somewhat to do so.  A giant homemade banner is lurking in the crowd, and then a handful of smaller ones go up.  That’s it, boys.  You’ve almost made it!  The only way is up, now!

Apparently, it’s an evening of Firsts; Single By Sunday have branched into ballads.  The mic stands are decorated with strings of tiny lights; phones and tablets with the torches turned on are being waved.  Lighters would look cooler, but this is pretty special.  It’s a good effort nonetheless, and a real sign of our times.  ‘Cold’ is a gorgeous track, and would make a pretty darn awesome Christmas song.  It’s a bit of a tearjerker, actually; a proper ballad so to speak.  And it works really well.  Who knew the boys had it in them?

‘Atom Bomb’ sees them back to what they know and do best, and, well, normal for them: upbeat, catchy, and more dancing, less swaying.  According to guitarist Jonny Eakins ‘I Want You You Want Me’ is “jumpier” than ‘Atom Bomb’, and brings yet another First – a drummer bathed in lights!  This is also the first time I’ve seen Jonny stand in one place for more than five seconds.  The encore comes in the form of ‘Nevereverever’, from the video played earlier.  The video clearly hasn’t done it justice, and although the twin guitar part towards the end doesn’t quite work as well as it should, it’s a great effort all around.

It’s been a long night – too long, really.  Do too many bands spoil the evening?  Perhaps, but Single By Sunday are worth the wait and the effort.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – one day they’ll headline arenas across the country and beyond.

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Photo:  Clare Ballott

  1. This review is incredibly biased, I was their and altered sky blew everyone out the water. It so clear that the writer is trying to grab some SIngle by “bore” Sunday. Ps Johnny eatkins was thee worst singer of the night. But you failed to mention that hmm ? Get your straw out the ass you fraud!!!

    1. Firstly, although I shouldn’t have to explain this, the review is of course just one person’s opinion, and I write what I see and hear how I see and hear it. Altered Sky won a large proportion of the crowd, but they didn’t sound great from where I was. That may or may not have been their fault – I know there were some issues with the sound. He wasn’t the worst singer; I think you’ll find that title belongs to the opening band.

    2. “This review is incredibly biased”. You don’t really understand what music writing is do you. If want boring, objective reporting on gigs – “I went to see (x) and they played this song, then that song, then another song, then they finished” – then go to

  2. I saw most of the bands that night and thought the vocals on District 55 were some of the clearest all night, from the support bands. Their music was refreshingly different from all of the other bands.

    The overall sound from the PA was slightly distorted, but got better by the time SBS appeared.

    Good luck to District 55, Altered Sky and Single By Sunday on future gigs.

    1. As I said above, there were some problems with the sound, particularly from where I was behind the sound desk. Problems with microphones tend to occur when singers hold them too close to their mouths (causing the slight muffled quality). When notes/vocals are extended, the microphone should be pulled away from their mouths – that’s what happened with District 55, although overall I thought they were very good.

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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.