By Kristin Hay
Welcome to Strathclyde; located in the beating heart of Glasgow, where there’s a venue on every street and a band waiting to play every night. Rock bands, indie bands, metal bands, death metal bands, death-core-grind-your-eyes-out bands…the lot!
Our city is famous for its nightlife, its architecture, and the fact that we like to put traffic cones statues. What is overlooked is the amount of opportunities you have, as a musician, to play live. It’s second to none. When it comes to talent, there’s plenty to go around.
This week’s column is a celebration of just that. So, whether you are in first year learning where JA 514 is, or a fourth year dancing on the edge of an existential crisis, here are three badass female-led bands that you have to check out this semester.
Banshee: Formerly Life On Standby, alt-rock band Banshee have gone through a bit of a makeover this summer and have emerged more determined and with the self-assurance of a band well aware of their star power. Lead singer Erin commands the audience unyieldingly – alongside Gavin, Gianluca and Liam – through catchy riffs and explosive choruses that won’t leave your head for days. The titular track of their new EP ‘Say my Name’ is anthemic, unapologetically bold and has the feel of a song constructed with stadiums and festivals in mind. Confident and a joy to watch live, you can catch Banshee at Stereo on the 1st of October with fellow female-fronted band Divides.
The Van T’s: Did you catch the Van T’s at T in the Park this year? Because my Nana did, on her iPad, on holiday in Portugal. So good even your Nan has to have a listen, the Van T’s describe themselves as “everything you ever wanted from a 90s dream”, and they are just that. Effortlessly cool, their new EP ‘A Coming of Age’ has shown progression from their previous EP ‘Laguna Beach’ which adds a new, scruffier edge to their traditional surf-rock sound, like a lovechild conceived by HAIM, Lorde and The Vaccines (I’ll let you figure that out!). So current they’re futuristic, you can see the Van T’s on the 2nd of October at the Garage.
The Blue Lights: Founded in June 2013, The Blue Lights mix up classic blues with a modern, rock/pop twist which is both fresh and nostalgic at the same time. Their sound is powerful, with stripped back guitar licks that explode into grunge rock when you least expect it only to die down into gentle, clean chords, leaving you desperate for more. Lead singer Kirstin Hamilton is a mesmerising story teller. Through her husky, gravelled voice and quick, witty lyrics, she paints a picture of a woman scorned throughout their new EP ‘Show Me Love’ and brings to mind the crazed lyrics of Alanis Morissette with the vocal power of Joss Stone. Dynamic and polished, you can see The Blue Lights on the 3rd of November at Sweeney’s On the Park.