There’s no doubt about it, King Tut’s is one of the most iconic music venues in Scotland. Famous for the discovery of Oasis, not to mention intimate gigs by many a star, it’s easy to see why it was Scholars’ choice of venue for the Glasgow leg of their tour.
Unfortunately though, King Tut’s is also famed for its late curfews, which proved problematic when faced with an out-dated Sunday transport service in the city. So unfortunately the five-piece rock outfit – who’d travelled all the way from Hemel Hempstead – seemed to play to an ever shrinking crowd.
Not that it put them off; they still managed to put on a blinder of a show. Opening with the easy-to-pronounce Hydrochaesin, vocalist Sam Nicholls exuded enthusiasm as he dove into the track, pronouncing ‘more wine’ but not before hitting every note in a Matt Bellamy-esque fashion through the verse. From then on things only got more intense as Nicholls invaded the crowd firstly during the Lostprophets-sounding Wreck, then came and went throughout the set, standing in front of those not only in the front row for a bit of an up-close-and-personal line or two.
Scholars, although define themselves as a rock outfit, still clearly have an old-school punk ethos – attaching socio-political norms and speaking up and rebelling against our current climate in their songs and on stage. This was initially addressed in Bad For Business which Nicholls proclaimed was about the government before the song had even started. He spat lyrics out as though they were bile, shouting about our nameless, faceless role in society.
Highlights of the set included the switching-up of instruments as bassist Chris Aylett opted for keys/synth while guitarist Cal Owen assumed his position on bass. Another was the tale of how they had basically “fucked up” their 7” singles, so were selling them in true modern punk fashion – vandalised to hell but with a download code attached so you could still appreciate the music. Singles in question, Damage and Rage Concern were both executed brilliantly live.
Rounding off a raucous set, all stops were pulled out for final number Fractures, where guitarists Cal and Ethan Owen played snare drums and Nicholls – who by this point had removed his shirt and was still sweating through a vest – gave one last throaty performance, his effort apparent in the sweat and contorted facial expressions present.
An enthusiastic and energetic set, Scholars put on a great show with their punk undertones bringing much to the fore live. It’s just a shame they couldn’t have played to, and received equal energy from a bigger crowd. The rest of Glasgow are definitely missing out here.