‘Breaking Bands’ at Mad Hatters, Inverness, 3/4/2015. A review.

alternative rock band based around the Capital of the Highlands of Scotland.
Alternative rock band based around the Capital of the Highlands of Scotland.

Good Friday at Mad Hatters brought us Breaking Bands a night of up and coming bands both local and national. With four bands on the bill it kicked off just after 10.

Opening the night were Audio Jar who promised an energetic set. Yes, there was energy but in equal measure there were sweeping guitars. With the guitars comes extended periods without vocals which they are particularly comfortable with.

The guitars kick in heavy and for a young band, it was drummer Liam’s 19th birthday on the night, they hark back to influences beyond their years. They brought a following too and no doubt are doing the right thing in the eyes, and ears, of many.

One of the features of the night was that for me there were three bands who I knew nothing of before tonight. Audio Jar were one, as were Crash Club. Crash Club promise electro rock,and boy were we not disappointed.

The lights dropped, the smoke machine kicked into overdrive and the lasers sprung into life. In amongst the mist Crash Club delivered. Bobbing and weaving like a boxer entering the ring for a championship fight these guys, all seven of them, gave one hell of a set. Often instrumental, sometimes with the vocal of Alan Turner, this was a set that finished all too soon. More electro rock please and more Crash Club.

The band to follow were The Northern. Crash Club had brought a following but they all didn’t leave when The Northern took their place on the stage. A Glasgow band, well aware that they were on foreign territory, they were appreciative of the welcome that they were given.

This three piece they punched well above their weight with a big guitar sound and a grab you by the throat rock ‘n’ roll vibe. A touch of distortion on the vocals added to the dirtiness of their sound. We were a little spoilt tonight.

Rounding the night off was the James Mackenzie (who we had reviewed earlier the same week) fronted Verona. Coming on just after midnight Verona had to battle with the post pub crowds who were there as much for the beer as the music. With an EP to launch and new addition Archie on bass guitar (ex of The Oxides) it was always going to be a night to impress.

Many of the songs were familiar but the overlaying of Andy Davidson’s guitar, especially on Cap To Wear, added a real edge to the songs. The added energy of the band suits frontman James where he can combine the power of his voice with the power of his band.

If Breaking Bands is to be a fixture in the Mad Hatters calendar it will be more than welcomed if the calibre of acts is as high as it was tonight.

You can catch up with some of our interviews with the ‘Breaking Bands‘ here.

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Chartered surveyor by day, music reviewer by night, and occasionally I get to use my camera. A strange mix, but one that I enjoy. A chance meeting in the queue for Bella in 2010 led to the opportunity to write for InvernessGigs; a far cry from the days of writing for a football fanzine back in the late 80s, early 90s. My interests lie between the mainstream, the emerging and the local. Increasingly I find that we have more than enough locally to entertain us to necessitate a trip south. I’m always happy to give a listen, whatever the genre. Inverness has a plethora of talent, all of which I am more than keen to write about. If it encourages just one person to make the effort to listen to some new music I’ll be happy. You can contact Frank direct via frankieboyfin@gmail.com