Bigger beards than Paul Hartley

One hit single on the radio is no guarantee of a successful show so it was with slight apprehension that some people headed towards the Iglu & Hartly show in King Tuts on a wet Sunday night in Glasgow. Although there were many more who were glammed up to the nines and no doubt determined to enjoy their night no matter what, probably still flush on the giddying highs of their first student loan cheque or part-time job payment it was a strange crowd that greeted Iglu & Hartly.

Mind you, it was a strange band that greeted the crowd, almost as if a band from the mid to late 80s had been cryogenically frozen and then thawed out on stage such was the abundance of bad hair, sweat vests and beards. If there wasn’t such an 80s revival going on you would expect the bands management and PR would be marching them down to the hippest salon for a Geekpie restyling quicker than you could say Huey Lewis and The News.

The kids may have been here for one song but surprisingly, they received a pretty decent set with the opening two tracks really excelling. The vocal delivery is still not convincing this writer, a bit too high pitched and too many “white man fast raps” to take altogether seriously but crucially, the music works and the vocals tend to work with the music. On the choruses where you have all the band members harmonising and adding strength in numbers there is quite a rush of excitement and there is definitely the suggestion that this act have more than the one hit single in them.

It didn’t take too long for the big single ‘In This City’ to be rolled out but it was a very short set. Coming on later than billed helped the band eat up some time and some extended solos and call and response sections further boosted the set time. Not that this mattered as the bands signature tune bounced off the walls of Tuts and the audience went for it big time with the first few rows pogoing like they had no school tomorrow…some will have had, lets just hope they never had P.E. before lunch.

You will probably have heard the track, it’s a simple song yet really big and brash with a chorus that’s immediately identifiable. Perhaps it was the higher end vocals, perhaps it was the 80s sheen that hung over it but it was hard to shake the feeling of Was (Not Was) throughout the set and this would be a handy reference for anyone who hasn’t heard the band but is contemplating giving them a listen.

During their encore of ‘The Pyjama Song’, the band implored for all the young ladies to join them on stage which made for a fun finale, although not for the security staff who were wandering around unsure of what to do and seriously contemplating cutting the power. They didn’t, the girls danced, they all got a bit sweaty with the band and it seemed as though everyone in the audience had a great time. There is no way that next time around Iglu & Hartly will be playing Tuts like venues on their tour, they’ll be effortlessly upgraded in size and attention but they will need to have a far longer set to justify this promotion.

With an album dropping in the UK next week, the songs should be there and on the live showing they’ll definitely have enough choruses to worm their way into people’s affections. The timing is certainly right for a band like Iglu & Hartly and it would be no surprise to see them push onto much bigger things over the next 12 months or so.