To say Prides are carrying a bit of weight these days is an understatement. Since performing to the world at the Closing Ceremony of last year’s Commonwealth Games, the Glasgow trio’s music has been everywhere; from Made in Chelsea to FIFA 15. Thus, it comes as no surprise that their current headline tour has been selling out across the country, from Aberdeen to Brighton, including tonight’s performance at the Liquid Room.
That said, despite not being around for long, Prides – Stewart Brock (keyboard, vocals), Callum Wiseman (guitar, keyboard) and Lewis Gardiner (drums) – are by no means inexperienced. Like fellow synth-poppers CHVRCHES, they are an amalgamation of various Glasgow bands, and having former Radio 1 DJ Ally McCrae as their manager can only serve to heighten their already strong background.
Opening boldly with ‘The Seeds You Sow”, they set the bar pretty high for what was expected to be an hour of pure Glaswegian power pop. Starting with one of their better-known tunes, with only a small back catalogue, was pretty risky, but arguably paid off and awoke the Edinburgh crowd.
However, they then broke into a segment of songs less familiar, including their latest single “Higher Love”. Although a few faithfuls sang along, the majority were hearing these tracks for the first time and would probably have enjoyed them a lot more if Brock didn’t act like he was Robbie Williams performing “Let Me Entertain You” at Wembley.
There may be a day that such songs feature on Prides’ ‘Greatest Hits’ album and are performed to sold-out stadiums, but upon most people’s first hearing it all seemed a bit too much.
“Out of the Blue”, their first, and still by far their best, single, picked things back up a bit and encouraged a genuine, unforced sing-a-long.
Reappearing after a quite painful encore, they ended on a high; performing a mash up of their favourite songs of 2014, released online at the end of the year, which saw them cover Taylor Swift’s “Out of the Woods”, Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and Ella Henderson’s “Ghost”, to name but a few. If the rest of the set could be accused of being dull, then this definitely gave them a chance to show how good they actually are; and thankfully, that’s exactly what they did.
It’s hard seeing a band you’ve spent the past year and a half raving about disappoint.
Maybe they just had a bad night on what must be an exhaustingly long tour, maybe the crowd weren’t as strong as they have been at previous shows, or maybe it was just the slightly unnerving cordless microphone that made it all seem a bit false.
Make no mistake, though, selling out the Liquid Room is an achievement for any band, especially for one that has yet to release their debut album. And when the album does come, it’s going to be pretty great.