The Dirty Hugos
Maggie Mays Glasgow
Another adventure to the west coast led me to Maggie Mays, a trendy americanised bar with some decent food and an intimate basement venue. On first inspection the floors were sticky and the pillars not ideally placed for a decent gig but the low roof and the cheap drink offers made it a perfect place for an unsigned band to make a big impact on the crowd. The band Dirty Hugos are youngsters, not that im prone to review high school bands I do make an exception when i see them supporting the Twist (relations of the View).
So after the 3 other bands the place started to clear with the other bands supporters leaving and there was around 40 or so left in the venue by the time the band finally arrived on. At first glance they are a compact three peice with no gimmicks, not even a uniform like we see so many young bands having these days (tight jeans, shirt and skinny ties). Drummer Nathan Gallacher has a look of Tom Clarke from the Enemy but plays the drums more like the late great Stuart Cable. Longer hair is a must for any drummer along with an addictive personality, huge amounts of ego, stamina and a fair bit of rage. Cameron Hill the singer and Guitarist has the attitude of a much older musician but with the musical background and education he has its no wonder he is the capable creator of this bands sound. Vocally on a par with most amateur indie bands, obviously no formal training and out of key during the faster elements of the set but in keeping with the rough edge to the music. Easy to compare them to the view but that would be simply seeing the scottish accent as the defining factor, i'd liken them more to the ramones. Alan Sharp the Bassist was the happiest guy I have ever seen play the bass, not that im taking credit away from the bass guitar its a great instrument and Alan certainly made it look like the most fun he's ever had. An interesting mixture for a band three individuals, the angry drummer, the happy bassist and the serious frontman.
The two best tracks from the set were definetly.
Laughs - had me in stitches, which might not sound great for a serious amateur indie gig but lyrically its genius upbeat tempo. Starting with a clever guitar solo followed by the drums and bass kicking in it takes about a minute for the lyrics and has a few difficult changovers that didnt quite come off on the night but that was made up for by the last two minutes of the song where it got the whole crowd moving. And any song that has the line "Bobs your uncle and fannies your aunt, dont know who your dad is coz your mum is a slag" is, in the words of Cheryl Cole to Cher Lloyd ""right up my street"". This song encapsulates so much about this band and lyrically vents the emotions of the writers own experiences, and lets be honest here we arent talking a gangsta rap band here, its a west coast of scotland indie band created from the backdrop of consumerism, private education, technologically advanced and ambitious adolescence.
Could this be my life - A totally different style from laughs, starting like a deacon blue song breaking into a faster tempo, clearly well polished and practiced and got a really good reception from the rather large group of wee lassies there. Alan coming into his own with a two step and huge grin made this sound like a cheerful happy song full of hope and excitment, although lyrically this is melancholy in places.
All in all this gig was an adventure to the west coast with little to no expectations of much being discovered. But having been entertained and subsequently following their moves on Myspace and Facebook their catchy music is infectious and brings you back to listen again and again. One to watch out for in the future and if you see them on a poster around glasgow for a fiver you can't go wrong. Watch this space for more news about their journey in the music business and good luck to them.
Link - The Dirty Hugos MySpace
Link - The Dirty Hugos Facebook
Reviewed by Steven Hill
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