The '200 Tour', in which Hopeless Heroic are playing a 200-date tour does seem rather a lot for anyone to deal with, but frontman Gavin Bain is all very matter-of-fact about the whole thing. As he so eloquently puts it: "In what other job would you get 165 days off a year?" It's hard to argue when you put it like that, isn't it? Date '80-something' of the tour brings them to Glasgow city centre, so how are the band faring nearly halfway through their tour?
Actually not bad at all is the easy answer. After an introduction from irreverent comedian Oskar Bravo, the band kick things off with 'Unified Zombie Republic', and a powerful display from the band which energises the crowd from the outset. Sure, Bain's vocals are slightly lost in the mix at the beginning of the song, but this doesn't last long enough to spoil an otherwise great set opener. Scott Masson, shows his dexterity early on with some Eddie Van Halen-style guitar tapping in between a steady, solid guitar riff.
'The Only Enemy That Ever Mattered' ("for Mark Ronson", as Bain notes) has Masson giving another great display – he's simply a headbanging mass whist still producing a note perfect display - spectacular stuff from such a young guitarist.
'Michelle' (which is dedicated to Bain's sister) may be a hard number to sing as he explains, but this certainly keeps the crowd going with the number of fans gathered at the front of the stage growing minute by minute. Bain's vocals here do turn out to make this number amongst the best performed on the night.
Just as things seem to be on the upward trajectory, the fire alarm goes off forcing everyone to abandon the venue for the cold street outside. After the unscheduled break, the band and (most) of the audience reconvene inside and ever the consummate frontman, Bain continues to urge the crowd onwards during the final number, 'Wake Up And Smell The Coffin'.
All in all a very good performance from a band that are just finding their feet and building their fan base, but certainly one band that you should be hearing more from in the future. The 200 date tour continues on but for now, as Bain says: "Thank you, good night, and let's get drunk!" Cheers to you too for a great night.
It's worth mentioning about the two local bands that supported Hopeless Heroic tonight too. The first band onstage were Milk, and although this is only their second gig ever, they did manage to get a good reaction from the assembled audience. Vocalist Peter Fleming tries extremely hard as does bass player Jack Wildman, who alternates between slapping and plucking the strings without missing a note, while a distorted guitar sound from Dave Grant often seems slightly out of place in the mix.
The third band was Shelf Life who, despite technical problems at the beginning, refused to let this dampen their enthusiasm. Bass player Stuart Edgar is just a bundle of enthusiasm from start to finish, and together with drummer Iain McFarlane, they make a very solid rhythm section.
You can catch Hopeless Heroic on tour here:
04/08/2012 - Madhatters, Inverness
10/08/2012 - Lazerhub, Crawley
10/08/2012 - The Mill, Rayleigh
11/08/2012 - The Relentless Garage, London (Guest DJ set)
25/08/2012 - TBC – Fort William
02/09/2012 – Insane Championship Wrestling Event – The Garage, Glasgow
Hopeless Heroic Set List:
Unified Zombie Republic
The Only Enemy That Ever Mattered
Almost Dead Famous
Gineau Pig Syndrome
Wake Up And Smell The Coffin
Gavin Bain – Vocals
Scott Masson – Guitars
Rob Bayley – Bass
Tony Sabberton – Violin
Dai Knight – Drums