Music review: The Snuts, Oran Mor, Glasgow

The Snuts’ mini-residency at Oran Mor this week was an encouraging warm-up for the festivals to come, writes Fiona Shepherd

The Snuts

The Snuts, Oran Mor, Glasgow ***

Having built their reputation and following on their boisterous live shows, The Snuts are precisely the kind of band who could have been expected to suffer during the shutdown of live music – indeed for a time during lockdown, frontman Jack Cochrane wrote a daily letter to Nicola Sturgeon asking for a road map back to gigs.

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However, this West Lothian four-piece were able to build on their pre-pandemic groundwork and their debut album W.L. topped the charts on release in April. Still, it was not surprising to find them early out of the traps, playing four shows over two days in nominally stripped down form in a venue they could have filled multiple times over.

The sun was streaming through the stained glass of the beautiful Oran Mor auditorium on the Thursday matinee edition of their Unplugged with Strings mini-residency and with The Snuts’ prospects looking equally bright, Cochrane had his indoor shades on and his nasal indie delivery at the ready for solo, acoustic opening number Top Deck.

His vocals were stronger and more declamatory when the rest of the band plugged in for some conventional indie rocking. Their brief set alternated between these more robust and rowdy numbers and softer, slightly keening interludes where the chatter from the crowd was sometimes louder than the band (and certainly the battling strings).

But a vocal crowd also meant lusty singalongs, especially to Glasgow, their paean to treasured, supportive relationships, No Place I’d Rather Go, a lighter-waving indie chant in the Oasis mould and the driving Arctic Monkeys-influenced All Your Friends.

This was an unusual Snuts show for unusual times but an encouraging warm-up for the more natural environment of the festivals to come, not least TRNSMT next weekend.

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