SWG3 is massive. There are so many different venues, I’ve never been in the same one twice. I didn’t even attempt to fight my way into the building, past the massive queue of fans already standing outside in the typical Glasgow summer rain; instead I stood waiting to be collected by the band’s tour manager.
Not wanting to disturb the band and their dinner, we hung out in the main venue whilst we waited and for the first time, I witnessed ‘doors opening’ from the inside of a venue… absolute madness. People dove to claim their space at the front barriers, others sprinted towards the merch stand, and a fair few made a bee-line for the bar. Everyone was equally as excited to see The Hunna perform in the days after the release of their sophomore album, the place went from quiet, content and rather surreal to buzzing with energy in seconds.
Not long later, we were being guided up to the top of the building (via an industrial lift with creepy-looking doors included…) to have a chat with the band themselves. Possibly the most kind and humble group of guys you could come across. Singer/guitarist Ryan Potter, lead guitarist Dan Dorney, bassist Junate Angin, and drummer Jack Metcalfev were fed, prepped and ready to roll when we walked into their dressing room; although Dan claimed he was ready for a nap… understandable after releasing an album on the Friday, and proceeding to play shows up and down the country in the three consecutive nights.
Introductions, hugs, and bottles of water were passed around before we settled down on a couple of couches. It was clear to see the guys were totally at ease, discussing the album, life on the road, their fans and their favourite tracks….
We wrapped up the interview (purely so that Dan could get his nap), but I got the feeling that we could have sat there chatting for a good wee while. The ‘all important Instagram pictures’ were taken (the band are experts – running off to find white ‘background’ walls and hitting out with the perfect smoulders… please see exhibit A) and we shot back down to the stage to find the perfect spot in the crowd –where we’d not get caught up in the mosh pits; easier said than done!
A thing that I’ve seen a lot more of recently, is bands playing through their entire album. I really, really appreciate it. Everyone is going to have a different favourite song, and it means everyone gets to hear that one specific track that they’re desperate to sing along to. When I was told this is what was going to happen, I was beyond excited that I was getting to hear “Mother” and “Y.D.W.I.W.M” and I wasn’t going to have to spend the whole gig waiting anxiously to see whether or not I’d experience my favourites live.
I had listened to nothing but this album in the three days it had been available to me; and from the sounds of it, the rest of the crowd were the exact same. Belting out every word and every line, jumping about, keeping perfect time and – much to the band’s excitement – the classic Glasgow, “Here we… Here we…” chant.
You could tell that every single person in the room was having the best time; and that included the four people on stage.
Here’s a quick run through of my favourites from the gig;
Kicking their set off with “Dare” really threw the crowd into action, with people on shoulders and bouncing around like a box of frogs – this track and “One” have been available to stream/buy/download/(however you listen to music these days) for a while, so it was inevitable that the crowd would sing along from the outset.
“Babe, Can I Call?” is my resounding favourite from the album; the most catchy song I’ve heard all summer and, I’m unsure why, but there was genuine shock in the faces of the band when they heard the crowd instantly singing along – it’s one of those tracks you can’t just listen to once, I’ve attacked the ‘replay’ button more than a few times with this one!
“Flickin Your Hair” and “NY to LA” were the other tracks available before the album release. Sometimes when a band only releases a couple of tracks so far in advance, I play them so much that I’m fed up with them by the time I have the rest of the album, but that certainly was not the case, and it didn’t seem to be the case for anyone else either! There was sassy hair flicking going on in every direction during “Flickin Your Hair”, and, although I nearly lost an eye at the pearl of the girl in front’s pony tail, it was brilliant.
“Mother,” is one of my favourite tracks from the album. Ryan’s voice carried every possible last drop of emotion from the front of the room to the very back corner. Although it’s a totally different tempo and feel to every other song the band played, the audience were still completely captivated, and took in every chord, beat and lyric.
From one extreme to the other, “Y.D.W.I.W.M” (‘You Don’t Want it With Me’ for anyone wondering…) worked the crowd back into a bouncing, moshing frenzy and then the band disappeared; possibly for a 5 minute nap, who knows?
Storming back onto stage to another round of the classic “Here We! Here We! Here We Fckn Go!” Glasgow chants The Hunna finished their set with classic fan favourites from the first album – “She’s Casual” and “Bonfire.”
Clambering into the crowd at the end of Bonfire, throwing drumsticks, guitar picks, towels and water bottles, it was clear that the band had enjoyed themselves as much as the audience had, and that’s definitely one of the most important factors of any gig.
Did we sing “Babe, Can I Call?” on a loop the whole 45 minute journey home? Maybe… Definitely.