Review: The Van T’s, Sneaky Pete’s

It’s a young audience tonight (Thursday) taking full advantage of Sneaky Pete’s 14+ entry during Independent Venue Week. Three bands are on offer, with the Glasgow based four-piece Van T’s the headliners.

Fronted by songwriting twin sisters Hannah and Chloe Van Thomson, the Van T’s arrive with a strong pedigree for such a young band.

Two well received EPs, spots at T In The Park and Electric Fields, Scottish Alternative Music Award nominees and on Spotify’s ‘Hot New Bands’ playlist… this was an eagerly awaited visit to Sneaky Pete’s.

The first of the support acts, Brainglue, take to the stage. Four young lads from Perth who, according to their own Facebook page, are the ‘most disgusting band in the UK’.

Fortunately, the band do not live up to their own byline. What they are is loud, fast and furious.

From the opening explosion of Serotonin Syndrome, the pace is frantic and they race into the garage-punk of Summer In Solitude.

For Wild One, the lead singer does an Iggy Pop to reveal ‘VILE’ emblazoned across his chest. They even do a Stooges cover – a cranked-up version of I Wanna Be Your Dog.

The audience whoop and cheer, lapping up every energetic moment.

This band are a blast… go get a taste of all the filth and the fury when they play Leith Depot on 9 February.

Wylde, a four-piece from West Lothian, building up a solid reputation on the local circuit with their brand of high octane shoegaze, take the second support slot.

It may have been singer Monica Anderson’s birthday, but it was the audience who got the treat.

The dreamy haze of Human whips up the crowd and for Siren a mosh pit erupts. It’s mayhem on the floor. The set closes with the swirling guitar riffs of new single How, cutting through the audience and keeping everyone on a high.

The single comes out Wednesday, 1 February and you can catch them at La Belle Angele on 19 February.

High standards have been set, and when headliners The Van T’s come on they do not disappoint a pumped-up audience.

This is tsunami surf rock with wave after wave of gloriously catchy songs laced with killer hooks.

From the opener, the band keep the tempo up, and the moody guitar of Growler sets off the crowd into another jumping frenzy. The upbeat reverb of Laguna Babe, Bittersweet and Blood Orange all follow to rousing cheers from the audience.

Joanne Forbes on bass and Shaun Head on the drums provide a pulsing rhythm that runs through each of the songs.  The twins’ relaxed and easy on-stage presence hits the right tone and gets a warm reception from the crowd.

The finale, new single Fun Garçon, shows this band have plenty more to offer and 2017 seems destined to be their big year.

Tonight has been a fine testament to the vibrant music scene that feeds the small venues, and the result is a happy and satisfied crowd that spill out into the cold Cowgate air.

Words: Alan Hotchkiss

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