LIVE REVIEW – The Strives, 23/3/2108

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The Strives , with support from The Dazed Digital Age, at Ironworks, Inverness.

The Strives brought their Kingpin EP launch to the Ironworks set up with its smaller stage with the stage behind masked off. It’s a great set up and it worked well on the night.

However, opening act Diswaed, faced a reticent crowd who were huddled up by the bar. It was a rattling set of guitar led indie rock. A more down beat vocal than I’d normally be drawn to but by the end of the set and ‘White Russian’ I was quite taken.

The Dazed Digital Age were making their debut at the Ironworks, and that’s debut full stop, not just at the Ironworks. So talk about hitting the ground running. Fronted by Gogo McKerrow, usually found on keys at with Lional, and occasional backing vocals at least had some form on this stage. Opening vocals were not initially convincing but it didn’t take long to overcome those, I assume, initial nerves and it all fell into place. And did it fall into place. Synths and electronica may becoming all the rage these days but it still has to be done well.

With 80s influences rippling through the set this was done well, very well. Infusing some Human League feels it was more than just a homage to the electronica of that era. They filled the floor and had a sound that would not have been out of place in the big tent at Rockness a few years back. First show and already they more than hold their own. This came a little from leftfield but was impressive and just the beginning.

The crowd was now suitably warmed up as The Strives strode onto the Ironworks stage. The venue had come into its own at this point as the crowd packed into the more intimate setting. The Strives went on the attack and launched with some blistering power, which their shows are noted for, and just enough to show who was headlining.

Coupled with Phillip Barton’s striking, if ever so slightly Jake Bugg-ish at times, vocal the set was as captivating as ever. Title track, Kingpin, if anything dropped the pace but still growled along keeping the mood.

The Strives have really grabbed the local scene by the scruff of the neck and know how to rip out a sweaty set of good honest, down and dirty rock ‘n’ roll. This was maintained throughout their slot as this raw power sustained the crowd’s energy. Ending the night with ‘Fever’ this was as good a night of local acts that I’d seen for some time.

You can buy Kingpin here.

Check out coverage of the last local band wowing the local audiences at Ironworks;

LIVE REVIEW – Cobalt EP Launch


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Frank Finlayson
Frank Finlayson
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