Gig Review | The Academic w/ Support @ Barrowland Ballroom

The Academic show off their immense talents in Glasgow’s incredibly iconic Barrowland Ballroom.

With support from two Scottish support bands, Easy Days and The Notions, the Irish group created one of the most energetic gigs I have ever attended.

Easy Days

Easy Days are a band from Glasgow who primarily create material in the indie-pop category. The five-piece start off the night with their captivating performance. With a setlist of almost all original material, they break up the setlist with a cover of a newer song by the 1975. They said that the Manchester band are their main musical influence. Being featured on Spotify playlist ‘Hot New Bands’, Easy Days did not disappoint and we will definitely be hearing more from them soon.

Among the set of mainly their own songs, they debuted ‘Voices’. This track was released at midnight prior to this performance. They have a discography of easy listening and very uplifting tunes that kept everyone in the audience dancing the whole duration of their set. Easy Days are energetic and their light, elevating songs reflect this. I loved the Glasgow band’s performance and look forward to seeing them live again sometime soon.

The Notions

Next up were another Scottish band called The Notions. Incredibly refreshing is how I would describe the four-piece band. The group played a setlist made up of all of their own songs including ‘Better Than You’. This track is perfect for fans of Stereophonics and bands like them. ‘Better Than You’ sounds like the latter bands’ song ‘Dakota’. Alongside already released songs, they debuted new and currently unreleased tunes, which were very successful with the crowd.

The Notions’ set definitely did not disappoint and they will absolutely go on to keep being successful. They have previously sold out King Tuts, another iconic Glasgow venue to add to their impressive musical background. The Notions are only just getting started and it will be interesting to see what they achieve and what they do next.

The Academic

The headliner, The Academic, were the final band of the night and I don’t even know where to begin. The band are made up of frontman Craig Fitzgerald, bassist Stephen Murtagh, drummer Dean Gavin, and guitarist Matthew Murtagh. When I saw the band in April 2022 at SWG3, another Glasgow venue, I didn’t think anything could beat that gig. However, I was completely blown away with their performance and no amount of words will fully tell how much I enjoyed this gig.

Starting with a 2016 single that quickly became a fan favourite, Mixtape 2003 was the perfect song to begin their set. From the starting note, the crowd were dancing and jumping along, frontman Fitzgerald included. Fitzgerald’s iconic dancing was a key part in their set and it was really impressive that he was still able to hold notes. Older tracks were from 2018 album, Tales From The Backseat. These included other fan favourites like Bear Claws, Why Can’t We Be Friends?, and Girlfriends.

The Irish band also debuted their brand new album, Sitting Pretty, released at midnight on the 10th February. This was also the same day as the performance, so the Glasgow crowd heard the new tunes first. Sitting Pretty consists of an eclectic array of songs and each one played went down really well with the audience. These included singles Don’t Take It Personally, My Very Best, and Pushing Up Daisies. Also included was my personal favourite from the album, Step My Way. The album and songs are universal, and this gig catered for fans of all ages.

I really encourage people to see The Academic if they ever get the chance. Everything they do gets better and better and they really do appeal to every age group. Their unique personalities really shine through when they perform on stage and you leave the venue so much happier than when you went in.