Kerbdog w/Hey You Guys! & Elk Gang

Kerbdog should have been huge. A storm of record label shit housing and general cuntery prevented that however and right now they are embarking on their final UK tour nineteen years after the release of the brilliant On The Turn. Any chance of global domination may be long gone, but those songs still slam, and for one night in Glasgow, we can almost pretend that the world was a fair place.

Before that, though, we have Edinburgh band Elk Gang to kick things off for us. Blending alternative rock and melodic hardcore you can see why they were granted this spot. It’s a shame then that the crowd would need to double for it to be described as sparse. To their credit, the band don’t seem to let that get them down, and they put together a strong set that will surely have won them a few new fans.

You’ve got to feel sorry for Hey You Guys! Lead singer Pete Adams’ voice has given up on him, and he is obviously struggling from the off. With the help of some ripped up pieces of cardboards and a pen he manages to get the problem across to the audience (although as someone who was standing quite near the back fucked if I know what they said) but it’s not their night. They power through a few songs, and Adams’ almost spoken delivery is certainly interesting, but it feels unfair to review them off the back of this.

It also means the wait for Kerbdog to take to the stage seems all the longer but when they finally appear and launch into the title track of that stunning album everything is okay. Considering this band’s tiny discographies, the number of riffs and catchy as fuck choruses on show is ridiculous. Sure, we all know ‘Sally’, and it gets the sing-along treatment it deserves but ‘Pledge’, ‘Same With the Hammer’ and ‘Dummy Crusher’ are even better.

For what could be their final tour in Scotland they have a few tricks up their sleeve, and it’s the world’s worst held secret that a few members of Biffy Clyro are in the house tonight. In fact, Ben Johnston joins them on drums for ‘Mexican Wave’ and does a damn good job at it too.

It’s just another piece of the puzzle in a night that feels like a big party. Cormac Battle is obviously having the time of his life, and he brings out some of that radio charm in between songs. It’s as much fun listening to him chat shit with the audience as it is hearing them play and it sums up Kerbdog working class appeal.

Kerbdog may never have reached the globetrotting superstardom they deserved but as the final notes of “J.J’s Song” ring out tonight it is easy to forget that. They are a band who have an entire setlist of greatest hits, and if you are anywhere near the venues they are playing on this tour, go out and have that party one last time.

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