So I had two options. One. Sit here in my room and smoke some crack (aka watch Freeview telly as, metaphorically, it is much the same thing). Two. Go to the Tunnels to see Johnny Foreigner, Min Diesel, Playlounge and Forest Fires. As I can already recite every line of every episode of the Big Bong Theory (hey, another contrived drug reference), going out and getting it loud seemed both logical and somewhat inevitable.
Forest Fires first. I don’t know what I was expecting of this band. Another indie rock band high on low brow chords, I suppose, but that was not what this band were all about. Their songs were too long to be the product of mediocrity and their ragged post rock approach was more redolent of a band from Europe than you might have thought possible. I’d like to say they drove me to drink but I was heading down that road already.
Min Diesel were similarly untogether but in a more twisted, edgy and bounced off the wall after too many glasses of abbey blessed refreshing tonic wine kind of way. Stumbling enigmatically through a set weighed down with wash your hands post punk meets grunge influences might have made a lesser band seem anachronistic but instead it helped Min Diesel make their mark on an audience that seemed to know just where they were coming from. A job well done, as they say.
Playlounge next. I don’t do irony - unless in a jailhouse scenario, of course – and yet I recognise it when I see it. There was definitely something ironic about this duo from somewhere south of Carlisle as they unleashed thrashing guitars and anachronistic drums to push their songs of life, death and taxes out into the cosy confines of The Tunnel. The moment of extreme irony? They borrowed a proper drummer from Johnny Foreigner for their last song making you wonder why they had not done so sooner. It’s the punk ethic reborn and that’s the truth.
Headliner time. Being as hopelessly unfamiliar as I was with Johnny Foreigner, it would not have been that difficult to impress me. It would not have been difficult at all and, as if to prove that very point, this four strong purveyor of offbeat sonic maelstroms did just that as, from a middle of the audience a cappella start to an all hands on deck power chord finish, each and every song seemed to enhance their stance as a band of integrity soaring high above the deep grey ocean of mediocrity that is forced upon us by today’s music business. They were, in all honesty, the kind of band that made you want to be in a band. It wasn’t just me either – the entire audience knew that too.
On an aside, you can take a man out of Glasgow and put him anywhere in the world. Anywhere at all, in fact, and the first person he will meet will inevitably also be from Glasgow. Figure that one out.