Plenty of 'Trash' talk.
There is a saying that a week is a long time in politics so you can imagine how long a year in music feels. It was the 2007 edition of the Camden Crawl that first introduced Room13 to The Whip and like all crazy love affairs, it was great from the word go although we do believe that we were more smitten with them than they were with us. I suppose it is always the way of these things though, there's always more attraction on one side than the other. With a year gone by, The Whip rolled up in Glasgow and Room13 were keen to catch up with them and see how they had progressed because after all, they hadn't called, they hadn't written but there was that fleeting glimpse at Rockness and the full length debut album.
Yes, The Whip had finally released their debut album 'X Marks Destination' and where better to celebrate this event by a Friday night in King Tuts but when the band rolled onto the stage, it was a rather restrained opening track that had to rely on the band encouraging the fans to get involved by means of hand-claps as opposed to slaying them with a knock-out song. As the song progressed though, so did the levels of backing vocals as lead singer Bruce Carter focused on adding percussion whilst bassist Nathan Sudders grabbed centre stage to holler out the vocals.
Things improved with the instrumental 'Divebomb' which was certainly more exciting and the crowd started to develop some dancing moves and the evening looked as though it was going to be a great one. The unfortunate thing was that the pace didn't follow on from here and some slower moments of the band's arsenal highlighted the full spectrum of the band but hindered the full-on assault that many were looking for.
Its fair to say that there was a difference between The Whip playing to a new audience in an attempt to win them over and The Whip who were playing to their own crowd. Out was the immediate headrush energy that was vital in winning the hearts and minds of the casual observer, replaced by the varied approach of a band confident in the range of their material and the album that houses it.
'Frustration' really shouldn't be a mid-set song but it managed to spark the crowd back into life and set the band up for a finale dash and no wonder, as even a year on, it remains an excellent song that manages to conjure up the influences of the band whilst still remaining fresh and vibrant.
There are plenty more battles for The Whip to fight and win and the first week of the tour when their debut album is released is no time to judge them harshly, the show was a competent appraisal of the merits and deficits of the album but perhaps we were just looking for a little bit more from the live show. There are bound to be plenty of summer festival shows for the band to skip back into kick-arse mode so the balance of both types of gigs will give the full flavour of The Whip and its likely that the band will kick on from here and with set closer 'Trash' giving the masses the set-closer they craved, the evening was rounded off very satisfactorily.