Gig review: Stag & Dagger Festival (Various venues)

Glasgow's ABC
Glasgow's ABC

Last week saw the sixth consecutive Stag & Dagger Festival take over the musical heartland of Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street.

Bigger and better than ever, the multi-venue event saw more than 50 bands take to the stage in eight venues - from the 1,300-capacity ABC1, down to the intimate Coda Hairdresser.

Early highlights included little-known names impressing crowds eager to find the next big thing.

New York’s Public Access TV stowed out Broadcast’s basement with their angular rock reminiscent of the Strokes. Meanwhile, Dundee’s Scary People wore their grunge roots on their sleeves while rocking a similarly packed Nice ‘N’ Sleazy.

Over to the ABC2 and Brooklyn trio Wet showed what landed them a support slot with Chvrches, playing precision R&B electronica.

Early evening saw the start of the headliners, as The Hold Steady heroically crammed 15 songs into their hour-long set, lead singer Craig Finn cutting back on the chat and letting the music do the talking.

Cardiff’s Los Campesinos! also played the numbers game in ABC1, with a career-surfing 16-songs, culminating in a raucous and gleeful ‘Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks’.

Band-of-the-moment Royal Blood should probably have been bumped up to a larger venue, such was the demand to get into the ABC2. The 350 lucky ones weren’t disappointed by the two-man garage rockers who make more noise than should be possible.

Those who stuck around finished the night with trouble-makers Fat White Family, channelling early Libertines and ending proceedings with a room-wide, beer-soaked moshpit.