Music review: Tide Lines, Spiegeltent, Paisley

Glasgow-based four-piece Tide Lines opened this year’s Paisley Spree festival with a set that ranged from sweet folk tunes and lusty singalongs, writes Fiona Shepherd

Tide Lines
Tide Lines

Tide Lines, Spiegeltent, Paisley ***

Paisley’s annual Spree arts festival kicked off in rousing form with a sold out show by Glasgow-based four-piece Tide Lines, a band who have stepped neatly into the canyon left by Runrig’s retirement with their big, hearty, commercial Celtrock sound and tear-in-my-Buckfast sentimentalised Scotia lyrics about hopes and dreams, lonely towns and big countries.

Such Braveheart romanticism clearly hasn't lost its lustre – Paisley was more than ready to lap up and sing along to lyrics about city skylines, island shorelines and who might feature in those places, in memory or reality. On this evidence, frontman Robert Robertson is a perpetual dreamer, aspiring to Caledonian Springsteen status (with a cover of I’m On Fire to seal the deal).

The band approached the bijou Spiegeltent like an arena show, with atmospheric light show and some pomp in their pockets. But they were also mindful of the neighbours, with Alasdair Turner delivering some Edge-like guitar licks in restrained fashion and far from thundering drums from Fergus Munro.

Walking on the Waves was a typical example of their schtick, with the audience readily taking up the lyrics. The band also threw out some failsafe wordless chants, in much the same style as those which shook Hampden at last week's Coldplay concerts.

The acoustic Bring the Summer was better suited to the intimate environment, with its sweeter folk tune, delicate guitar picking and Robertson's strong and true vocals before Turner took the crowd up to the party zone with energising bagpipe drone on a beefy reel, while his guitar skirled on Fortunes of the Fearless.

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New single Rivers in the Light took its place in a set which culminated in established favourites The Young and the Restless and The Far Side of the World, the latter begun acoustically before developing into a lusty singalong which resonated at least to the far side of Paisley.