CONCERT REVIEW : Shambolics take Glasgow by storm in explosive Garage performance on 15th April 2023


Times have changed. It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was ‘sardined’ near the barrier of the then Carling Academy praying the pint that had just hit me was beer and nothing more sinister, while punters chanted about The View being ‘oan fire’. Times have moved on, but with Shambolics, we are definitely moving in the right direction … for what promises to be a wild ride.

Fresh from the release of their latest EP, “U Serious Boi?!”, the Fife-born band took to the stage at Glasgow’s Garage on Saturday to a raucous reception; the crowd already singing (or rather shouting) their praises. The Garage is modest in size, but not to be sniffed at; it’s intimacy reflective of King Tut’s or Nice ‘N’ Sleazy, and equally iconic, this is not a venue you can afford to stage dive in … only to belly flop.

Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to be a possibility where The Shams are concerned; their debut LP still in the offing, the band tore through the best of their EPs. “Sharp As A Razor” kicked off proceedings, a furious, zesty affair which set the tone for the evening and confirmed the band mean business; “Take It Or Leave It”, “Chasing A Disaster”, “Like A Breeze”, “What’s Going On In Your Head” and “Never Gonna Change” all shaping a set with echoes of The View, Tommy Reilly and Arctic Monkeys. “Living In Shadow” dialled things down a lot, showing a softer, sensitive Shams, and already seems to be a fan favourite.

Not content with bringing rock ‘n’ roll to the masses, Shambolics reworked Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone” as an indie floorfiller and whipped the already rowdy crowd into a frenzy which threatened to blow the roof off; proof that any audience can appreciate a great song, no matter the genre – an unexpected cover but a definite highlight. It was a short but super sweet set; the first time a male performance has seemed over much too quickly and not generated a complaint.

Shambolics not only sound the part, but they look it; they exude effortless cool and swagger, yet present as equally vulnerable and humble, leaving no-one under the illusion that they’re taking a second of this for granted.

We’ve come a long way since The View were oan fire, and minus the two girls in front of me taking relentless selfies or the young couple behind me trying (and failing) to live stream the whole gig to a a mate via FaceTime, I can make my peace with it. It’s easy to ignore when Shambolics are tearing up the stage in front of you … they’re oan f*cking fire, you know.

Review by Siobhanne Beattie

Author: Siobhanne Beattie

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