The Darts (The Hug and Pint, Glasgow) – 11/07/2023

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Wow! What a place to see a band, especially one as exciting as The Darts. This dark, dank cellar of a Glasgow pub is that small that the band is not so much in your face but in your lap! The place is not full, but it is a respectable turn out for the band’s first Scottish date.

The Darts hit the stage looking like the members of a female vampire goth gang and pretty striking they are, clad all in black, and they are straight into their first number My Heart Is A Graveyard. The band’s brand of psyched up, fuzzed out garage rock is absolutely mesmerizing, as are the band themselves. Nicole (Farfisa organ and vocals) is all over the stage, interacting with her bandmates, clambering all over her organ and rolling about on the floor in general. She is constantly on the move all night, and her bandmates gallantly try to keep up with her.

Guitarist Louise is a blur of long legs and flying hair as she contorts herself around the stage, ripping ferocious sounding chords out of her guitar. Bassist Christina is the least animated but still puts in her fair share of performing, she is on general chat and song announcing duties tonight as Nicole is losing her voice and wants to save it for singing. The second track of the set is the title song of their latest album, Snake Oil, and is well received by the audience. A good portion of the show unsurprisingly features songs from this album such as Spy Girl, Underground, Under The Gun, Intersex, Shit Show, Donne – Moi Tout and Love Tsunami.

The band is incredibly tight, not surprising given that they have been on a massive European tour and this is show 70 something, but they look like they are really enjoying themselves on stage. Christina’s bass throbs and seduces you with great big slabs of sound, drummer Mary Rose is absolutely rock solid and Louise provides the most sublime riffs and solos. As well as singing, Nicole teases spooky, ethereal type sounds from her Farfisa (as well as giving the thing a damn good thrashing!) which adds a new dimension to the sonic chaos unfolding around her. The Farfisa she uses is an original 1968 model, how it survives the nightly torment she subjects it to is beyond me! The organ regularly ends up on the floor along with Nicole.

As well as Love You To Death (as featured in hit TV show Peaky Blinders) which is probably the slowest song in the set, we are treated to a couple of new tunes that will feature on their (already recorded) next album: Your Show, and their ode to the bartender (the most important person in the place!), Pour Me Another. What seemed a short set but was in reality about 50 minutes is brought to an end with the encore of Breakup Makeup, an absolutely barnstorming cover of The Trashwomen‘s Batteries and final song My Way.


My Heart Is A Graveyard
Snake Oil
Spy Girl
The Cat’s meow
Love You To Death
Love Tsunami
Hang Around
Your Show
Under The Gun
Donne- Moi Toute
Pour Another
Shit Show

Breakup Makeup
Batteries (The Trashwomen cover)
My Way

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