Image courtesy of Stag and Dagger @ Facebook
‘Stag and Dagger’, came once again to Glasgow this year and it did not disappoint!
What’s the Score?
Mind you… the sun disappointed, ‘Stag and Dagger’, big time. Maybe it missed out on the first few waves of tickets and didn’t have forty quid on it’s person. Whatever the reason, it’s pals wind and rain had fucked off with him, so Glasgow wasn’t looking too dismal for the day ahead, despite the suns absence.
The time was two in the afternoon and all over Sauchiehall Street, punters and musicians were setting up for the next twelve hours where bands would be playing all day and wherever time would take you was a mystery we were all excited to know.
Shelf Life @ Broadcast
‘Shelf Life’, were a perfect start of the day. The two-piece were a bomb in a water bottle, trapped in the nonchalant cynicism of hungover Scottish people at three o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Nevertheless, they prevailed by throwing a storm with their techno-rock-punk singles. Crushing through their songs like feral animals.
It was clear though, they were freaked out though with the lethargy of the crowd which at times which was one of the most entertaining things about their set in a sadistic way. One thing to be said about, ‘Shelf Life’, though, they gave everyone a kick up the ass with their unwavering spirit and earth shattering sound. After this, no band that followed could be tame. We would only settle for music that sounded hysterical.
Maruja @ Firewater
‘Maruja’, were an absolute devastation to, ‘Firewater’. Bursting with energy that could strangle the silence out of a room, this band conquered. ‘Majura’ are a mixture of three albums to my mind: Imagine, ‘Brutalism’ by ‘Idles’, ‘Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath’ by ‘The Blinders’ and ‘Night Lights’ by ‘Gerry Mulligan’, all mixed into one and before you start to wonder, yes… they’re that fucking good!
“This is apocalyptic!”, I heard a mate whisper in admiration. Another pal moshed by himself, totally absorbed in the moment and the rest of the room watched on, entranced in an atmosphere that only this band could create and when they left, they made sure to take it with them!
Swim School @ Garage
The only band of the day I actually knew were up next. ‘Swim School’, are a great indie noise-rock band, based in Edinburgh. A fitting band to kick off, ‘Garage’, for they have the image and sound for a big stage. If there was one word I could use to describe this band it would be pristine. Everything about them runs like clockwork.
Singles, ‘too young to know’, ‘how it should be’ and the closing tune that I don’t believe is released yet but absolutely killed, were all highlights. My only criticism was that unlike the records, the lead singers voice could get lost in the music sometimes but that’s the heaven and hell of shoegaze. Irrespective of this, it was great that in the middle of all the incredible madness of the day, we had a band to show us what an anthem sounds like.
Scalping @ St Andrews West
‘Maruja’, might have been the best band of ‘Stag’ but ‘Scalping’, were the best experience. Stumbling into the Sunday School room of an old church, we were full of anticipation. I was expecting a mad prodigy-style rave, a pal had a bucket hat with googly eyes all ready for it! As the room went pitch black, all we could see were psychedelic visuals flashing in front of us like the chapters of a dream and the music begun.
Techno rose up and down like waves over our bodies and as the set unfolded, more people started to lose themselves and dance until the whole room was one. ‘Scalping’, can take even the most stubborn of people’s inhibitions away. They are a pure example of organic rave culture and of all the moments of the day, this is the one I miss the most.
Lebanon Hanover @ St Andrews West
Only an iconic goth duo such as, ‘Lebanon Hanover’, could keep, ‘Scalping’s’, party momentum going. For only being a pair, the group can conjure a up a great death disco atmosphere. Lost in the mesmeric quality of the swinging frontman and the deathly still frontwoman, we all danced on as the band hit us with tune after tune. Who knew sadness could feel so good!
Wrapping it All Up!
‘Stag and Dagger’s’, edge is as razor sharp as ever. It’s a festival that always refuses to be predictable and never fails to make a whirlwind of confusion, music, madness and memories for music lover’s universally. As I staggered home with a smile on my face, I couldn’t wait to tell the sun all about it.
Here’s a wee playlist of some of the amazing acts I saw. Don’t just read my mad digressions, have a listen for yersel!