Chris Devotion and The Expectations
25 October 2012
On this, the opening night of new Glasgow venue Broadcast, local heroes Chris Devotion And The Expectations set the tone for what is hopefully a vibrant new place for bubbling under-level groups.
Thereâs still wet paint on the doors and walls, the bloke at the box office is randomly letting people in on the guest list, and owner and all-round good chap Paul Cardow is wandering around grinning broadly whilst distributing shots of honey-flavoured Jack Daniels to one and all. Sitting here suffering this morning, I kinda wish he hadnât.
Thereâs a good buzz about the new venue and the organised chaos is adding a nice little edge.
Taking the stage in the downstairs live room, Chris Devotion and band swiftly overcome early sound issues to deliver a pulsating set.
Since I first saw them during the summer, CDEX have clearly benefited from a hectic live schedule. Theyâre tighter, more focused and much more confident onstage.
Devotion is a man who wonât usually use two words onstage when one will do, much at odds with his bubbly, livewire offstage persona. Tonight, however, theyâre clearly having a good time. Shapes are thrown, guitars are slung and Devotion, legs astride spits out his venom with aplomb.
I Donât Need You Anymore is a string-shredding, skin-bursting blitz. Many of Devotionâs songs are underpinned by his, erm, colourful love life and this is a real heartbroken riposte to equal anything a certain Mr.Costello ever spat out.
Graham Christieâs drumming is a flurry of Clem Burke-esque fills, rolls and snare cracks. Despite having his kit sitting sideways onstage (something to do with the other band having a percussionist) Christie drives the band on with energy and fiery abandon. Thereâs little respite between songs, its quickfire smash and grab into each punk/powerpop molotov cocktail.
The Expectations can all sing, too. The backing vocals add a real colour and gravitas to Devotionâs part crooner, part Iggy voice. The twin guitar attack of Devotion and sideman Colin Reid wind and slash across each other recalling some of The Replacements wilder moments.
One could describe their sound as powerpop or pop-punk but that would be doing them a disservice. The Expectations are from an older, deeper place.
Think The 13th Floor Elevators, The MC5, Ramones and the best of â77 punk, add a hefty dose of classic songwriter smarts and youâre closer to the mark.
This is a band who have little excess in their songs. Theyâre short, fast and extremely memorable. Their debut album Amalgamation And Capital, released earlier this year is a contender, as far as Iâm concerned, for album of the year.
Thereâs not a weak song on it, something thatâs rare these days. Itâs a joyous, bittersweet call to arms that, in a parallel universe, would be all over the radio.
Leading the band into a walloping cover of Woodie Guthrie song I Ainât Got No Home, Devotion has a wild-eyed glint in his eye. He knows his band is good.
Give this band an iota more of self-belief and a sharpening of image and theyâd be world beaters.
Right now, tonight, theyâre the only show in town.
All words by Joe Whyte. You can read more from Joe on LTW here.