Consuming either of The Dunts two fierce original singles released last year, there’s an unquestionable sense of primal energy that runs through the spine of the tracks which when listening on record creates an enticing tension in the listener. It’s a sensation which makes you want to bomb for the hills, leap around the room or punch the air with a fist of triumph, conjuring up a wide plethora of emotions in the process. But whether you find yourself travelling on a sleepy bus, strolling through a quiet suburban park or reclining at the back of a dull beige university lecture theatre with one headphone slyly plugged in, seldom can we simply let all loose and move to the music in whichever manner we desire.
Seeing The Dunts live however, has always been a rare desirable opportunity to abandon all care and relieve the tension established in their recorded music as one becomes unchained by social boundaries and free to move to their roaring anthems exactly how they wish.
In the last few years the four piece have evolved from hometown headline shows at venues such as The Priory, Broadcast, Stereo, King Tuts and Garage. The progression has been an organic one, the hardworking group rapidly working their way through a chain of hallowed Glasgow venues leaping impressively upward in capacity each time until selling out Garage’s 700 limit this last December.
On Thursday 12th March The Dunts bounded upward once more with their greatest jump in size and scope yet, taking on SWG3’s 1300 capacity Galavaniser’s Room and selling said venue out weeks in advance.
Supports Memes, the newly signed to LAB Records Crystal and Voodoos primed the crowd well with distinctively powerful sets that saw fan’s response increasing in ferocity and passion from artist to artist. However, it was The Dunts who took full command of their headline from the second their walk-on music echoed through the speakers and off SWG3’s atmospheric concrete walls.
Unsurprisingly it proved to be the group’s best show to date and whilst this is a striking achievement in it’s own right the event itself couldn’t help but feel like something more. There was an atmosphere in the room that felt as if every soul present was witnessing a moment, soon to be crystallised in time and set firmly in memories for years to come. This was not only a mark of unwavering achievement for The Dunts but for the entire current Glasgow punk scene and community as a whole. This was what every artist, producer, manager, promoter had been working toward for years; a group from the current crop of astounding talent standing tall on stage before well over one thousand people who were all resonating and reacting to the music in their own individual unique way.
This palatable sense of accomplishment and occasion extended far further than the stage and was strongly felt amongst a crowd of 1300 fans bouncing and screaming to every beat. The show could’ve easily just been another Dunt’s gig only blown up to a far larger scale but instead it was the closing of a glorious chapter, a final celebration of everything that has been whilst preluding the excitement for that which is yet to come.
It was a wildly chaotic and untamed affair spawning constant mosh-pits from an undomesticated hyped-up audience that exhaled mayhem and sweated Buckfast in a fitting arena where crowd-surfing is not only to be expected but a common custom. The Dunt’s never let their captive fans slip once and from the moment they cooly strolled out on stage the crowd failed to leave the palm of their hand.
Whilst Rab Smith, donned in his trademark tri-colour striped shirt, may stand centre the beauty of The Dunts’ stage presence is that they have no defined frontman, each individual member reciprocating with one and other to form a unified commanding whole. What’s truly remarkable is just how tight the group have become, whilst spontaneously performing fan favourite cover “Hey Ya” the true weight of their live power became particularly apparent as they oversaw a crowd erupting into a rowdy display of passionate elation.
Fresh hits including the punchy “Bad Decisions” and lyrically enthralling “Marilyn” go down a treat alongside well-chosen classics such as “Dimitri” and the inclusion of deep track fan favourites like the shouty “Hampden Cabs” are a welcome one. It’s a set that has a flow and a rhythm about it, delivered with an affable swagger by a band at the peak of their punk powers.
Buoyed by an intoxicating sense of occasion which they more than rose to, The Dunts turned in a pounding set as thrilling as it was quietly affecting. In years to come many will likely look back to the 12th March 2020 as a mark of success for the current west-coast crop, an impressive end to a chapter in a story that’s far from finished but also a noteworthy night that will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of Glasgow heavyweights…