Following the release of their second album Different Creatures, indie pop outfit Circa Waves come to Glasgow for a headline show. Danny Mackay witnessed the band's Barrowlands debut and their frenzy of fans.
Date published: 22nd Mar 2017
Image: Circa Waves by Fabio Paiva
Kieran Shuddall strutted on stage at the legendary Barrowlands, wrapped in a Scottish flag, to a rapturous applause from a youthful sell out crowd. Shouts of Glasgow were responded to with roars. It was immediately clear how popular the Liverpool quartet were within this city, their army of fans almost exclusively dressed in skinny jeans and Chuck Taylor’s.
Their strong opener was the first single, ‘Wake Up’ off of their new album Different Creatures, it was a chaotic sing-a-long with the frenetic stage lights matching the seemingly unrestrained energy of the crowd.
After that came to an end, front man Shuddall endeared himself to the spectators even further by announcing, "tonight we are your band.” Their fans delved even further into a frenzy as the next three songs from their comparatively lighter debut album Young Chasers were played. The tempo did not let up and the audience’s jumping and dancing made it feel like the wooden floor was moving in waves.
Mosh pits kept spawning throughout, as their fans bounced off one another. Four songs in and Shuddall had to appeal to pick up anyone that had fallen in the pandemonium. Just as he had said this a teenage girl emerged with a bloodied nose, a souvenir from the commotion, but with a smile still beaming across her face. A medic saw to her and one song later she dove right back in.
The sold out venue was playfully hushed before a live rendition of their single, ‘Goodbye’, although the relative quietness barely lasted a second as both the band and the crowd were clearly feeding off of one another. Just past the halfway mark of the gig and most of the hallmarks of gig at this infamous venue had already been fulfilled; beer missiles and jackets had flown overhead and the crowd’s nonstop chanting was labelled "beautiful" by the Circa Waves front man.
The evening was temporarily slowed down as the lights adopted softer tones and slower fades as 'Out on my Own' was introduced. The once rowdy swarm were encouraged to wrap their arms around whoever they were with, and it became apparent not many were their on their own.
This calmness soon dissipated as the crowd screamed the first three lines of 'Stuck in my Teeth' without any accompaniment from the singer himself. For a highly anticipated encore, Shuddall appeared first completely solo with only an acoustic guitar for company, as he performed 'Love’s Run Out' to a mass of people drowning in adoration.
Before the band's explosive finale of 'T-Shirt Weather' - the single that blew them up and saw them rise to fame - a more sombre atmosphere took over the venue space as Shuddall made a heartfelt dedication. He spoke of The Lapelles lead singer Gary Watson, who tragically died on the morning of his 22nd birthday last year after falling into the River Clyde.
As the unmistakable riff for their chart-topping hit rang out, the crowd were the craziest they had been all night and it only proved Circa Waves' first headline gig at the Barrowlands was a rollicking success. The night was everything you’d hope for from a high-octane indie rock band, one destined for many more headline shows.