Single by Sunday, with support from All So Simple, at Ironworks, Inverness.

Opening the evening were pop punk purveyors All So Simple, who I saw at the tail end of last year so were still fresh in my memory. I did miss the start of their set but what I saw was consistent with their previous performance. Ally’s voice struggled a little towards the end but their brief cover of Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star’ ensured that they finished on a high. In the past they probably thought that they were better than they actually were but now it is probably the reverse; they are better than they think they are. They should take confidence from these recent performances. It might not be the reinvention of the wheel but they are turning in the right direction.

Second act were Silver Coast who I had not seen for some time. They opened with that big trademark guitars which are their hallmark. With that they look for an epic stadium feel which can be difficult to conjure in a sparse venue. Silver Coast brought new material, and a lot of it, which could have been a chore due to a lack of familiarity from previous sets. In contrast to All So Simple they come across as much more serious bunch but that is a reflection of their music. The band like it big and play each song as if it were in that stadium where they feel it belongs. They don’t quite knock it out of the park but give it a mighty good thump.

Headlining the evening were Glasgow based pop punk outfit Single by Sunday. I came across them at the end of 2015 when they took part in Holyrood Rocks. That day they proved to have infectious tunes but just a little rough around the edges. It was over a year on and it was clear early on that they could now bounce in unison. Jumping is quite key to a Single by Sunday performance. Single by Sunday could just be another generic pop punk act but they have obviously realised that and have positioned themselves to fill that mid teen market.

Although the crowd wasn’t big, it was dominated by mid-teen girls who lined up along the barrier. With their songs being personalised towards them they knew their audience. You could say the same about their merchandise table with brightly coloured beanies on offer. They take image seriously too with with the common theme of differently coloured hair which features on their logo. However, each band member beneath their brightly coloured mops reveal their own identity fashion wise. Although I’m not sure about sleeveless denim jackets, thought that was more a thing in Trump’s ‘Merica.

And then there’s the music. I hadn’t forgotten about that but you could lose that in the styling. So style over substance? On balance, no. They have a lot of catchy songs, ‘Get Up Get Out’, ‘Romeo’ and ‘Girl Next Door’ to name a few. It is delivered with a lot of the old cliches but then who doesn’t these days. There was a cover, Busted’s Year 3000, which is where their target audience is and although it might not have been the biggest audience they’ll play to they didn’t let that detract from their performance. They did towards the end give the feeling that they can create a bigger wall of sound if they wanted to but within their current set of songs this is a little limited.

They’ve polished up a lot since I last saw them and unashamedly are looking to target a teenage audience. This may be helped by a strong 2017 festival season and I could see them going down a storm at Belladrum for example. They’ve got a look, got some songs and put in a lot of work. They just need that break.

Check out photographs of the night.

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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