When it comes to hot new bands emerging in the ever-notorious Glasgow music scene, Her Picture are very much top of my must-see list! Dazzling with an ethereal set of heavy rock anthems, crowd infatuation was guaranteed.
Opening the night at Nice ‘N’ Sleazy were Milange, who showcased a varied set going from some heavy Beastie Boy-esq riffs to some ragged punkish grit, all the way to some melancholic synth-led ballads that wouldn’t be out of place on a mid 80s chart topper. All sprinkled with some impressively composed complexity, making for a delightful cocktail of catchy but very interesting and memorable tunes, that the crowd were happy to drink up.
Up next were Fright Years, who with some Cocteau Twins inspired jangle, deployed catchy chorus after catchy chorus to a warm reception from the crowd. All members of the band were incredibly tight, with some especially impressive pop vocals. Not one tune felt like filler.
Finally, Her Picture took to the stage all donned in black looking every bit the gloomy yet glamourous rock band. Providing the audience with a superbly paced set comprising of songs from their debut EP, Don’t Try to Comfort Me and much more.
The well-rehearsed trio consist of lead singer Anny Tahaney, bassist Catriona Reid and drummer Finlay Smith. Together they carved a vast soundscape of harsh, heavy rock guitars and drums, juxtaposed with enchanting vocal harmonies to create a distinctly unique and memorable live experience.
Spliced in the middle of the set was a powerful rendition of The Doors classic, People are Strange. Hearing a rather jaunty tune turned into a song that villains everywhere would be more than satisfied to use as their theme song, most definitely caught the crowd off guard. In the delightful way an unexpected cover should.
If swapping out the ragtime piano parts for a ripping guitar solo wasn’t enough to steal attentions, the nights’ main event undoubtably would. The new single, Choir Song, an ominous gothic rock anthem, partly recorded in a church, took the already colossal sound of Her Picture and turned it up to 11. Superbly showcasing all the member’s abilities to a frighteningly impressive extent.
Just before the band launched into their especially written prelude for the new single, they brought on new Scottish music icons Lizzie Reid and Russel Stewart to do backing vocals, if that gives you any indication of the calibre of these guys.
The song begins with a swooping broken riff backed by a marching militaristic drum and bass sound. If Evanescence had done a Bond theme, was my first thought. The haunting backing vocals throughout make the song sound like if someone were to reimagine a hymn for modern times. Such a notion only becomes more apparent as Tahaney displayed the incredible vocal range she has, reaching some glass-shattering high notes that ensured many an awe-stricken face in the crowd.
All the above twinned with some head-bang worthy metal guitar, leads the listener to the spectacularly menacing drone of the final chord. Even more spectacular when all of this is replicated faithfully live.
Finishing with their most popular tune, The Nature of It. The band encompass all the best parts of the preceding set, these alt-rockers left it all on the stage. It’s by no means an easy feat to ensure such an enamoured audience on a frosty Monday night in November, though it seems to be second nature to some.
Her Picture play King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut on December 20th, 2023. Not one to miss!