The Scottish music scene has never felt more exciting than it does right now. An incredible array of artists producing top class material of every genre. So when This Feeling Big in 2023 came to Glasgow last month to showcase some of the best upcoming Scottish talent around right now, it was inevitable that we would have to be there.
This Feeling HQ ‘Big in’ gigs have featured some of the UK’s biggest and best bands in previous years (The Mysteries, The Lathums, The Struts) so if these guys have you tipped for success then it’s worth paying attention.
Friday 27th January saw five of Scotland’s finest acts grace a sold out basement stage of Glasgow’s Broadcast. PG Ciarletta, The Wits, Fright Years, Usual Affairs and Dictator are tonight’s line up.
Early doors at 7pm and there’s no time wasted as Fifer PG Ciarletta takes the stage with his acoustic sing along tunes. The Italian Scot is an unexpected opener. Mostly due to his ongoing popularity and anthemic feel good tracks which shouldn’t be missed by the late crew. As one of these late arrivals I missed the first couple of songs of PG’s short set. Regardless PG was giving it his all and had the crowd warmed up all the same. Gerry Cinnamon is a clear strong influence for PG but the authentically acoustic Scottish act is just pure joy to watch. Ending with one of his best known tracks, The Sesh, PG Ciarletta could have easily headlined the night.
Second up were the not even legal Inverclyde band, The Wits. An indie guitar based band with strong 90’s influences (and not just their hairstyles, which are just incredible) this is a talented bunch of young lads and they have the support to back it up. The front row is made up exclusively of giddy young girls swooning over the guys. I was astonished to discover these guys were as young as they are. These guys are still in their teens and have already sold out King Tuts, supported fellow Inverclyde band Slix and now getting gig slots like this one. Just outstanding and a clear indicator of what’s to come for these guys.
The next band turned out to be the unexpected highlight of the evening. New to the scene is Edinburgh’s dreamy indie band Fright Years. It’s no surprise really they had such a good 2022 with the incredible Juilette (Jules) Kelly on vocals. The combination of the punchy synths, gradual anthemic building structure and the ambient dreamy vocals, Fright Years offered a breath of fresh air tonight. Comparable to the likes of Florence and The Machine, this band me captivated for the entirety of their short set.
Warm up to the headline slot were the indie pop rock crowd pleasers Usual Affairs who seem to have brought the troops along in force. The Edinburgh four piece have a fair few singles behind them already and a dedicated following with many Usual Affairs t-shirts and flags being spotted on the night. As they take to the stage the venue erupts with energy from both the band and crowd. These guys just deliver with every song. Loud, catchy, guitar packed tunes and the crowd are chanting every word back at them. Usual Affairs know how to warm up a crowd and I would be surprised if they don’t start getting some high profile support slots soon. Definitely ones to watch this year.
Closing tonight’s This Feeling Big in 2023 showcase is West Lothian Indie electro pop quartet, Dictator.
Having seen the response to Usual Affairs, it was a bit of a concern if the headliners would manage to match that energy. But needless worry because as soon as the first synth note of fan favourite Anthem for a Doomed Youth kicked in, the crowd were right there ready to go. Even though they have only just last year released their first EP, they are an incredibly tight act who blend so well together. Frontman Michael (or Mic the Dic) is effortlessly articulated with his crowd banter. But all of Dictator are all charmingly charismatic and they bring a lot of personality to their music. It’s hard to leave a Dictator gig without warming to these lads, their enjoyment is just infectious. The highlight of their set tonight is inviting tonights opener PG Ciarletta up for the final song of the night Fin. It was fun and a nice way to ensure their pal wasn’t completely missed by gig goers late to the earlier kick off.
A great night all round with so much talent under one basement bar roof. With This Feeling Big in 2023 nights happening across the country, it feels like the Glasgow Broadcast show was pretty special. All 5 acts were brilliant live acts and will soon appear on This Feelings Big in 2023 already sold out compilation vinyl album released later this year. Check it out!
Words by Anne Kelly