It was only 3 years ago that I last saw Pitchshifter play in Glasgow. At the time they were on their farewell tour after announcing that they were to split on amicable terms to pursue different musical directions. That night they put in a sterling performance and genuinely looked like 5 guys really enjoying themselves on stage and it was with great sadness that we witnessed the end of, in my opinion, the most innovative UK band there was.
A reunion and tour so soon would normally stink of a cash-in for most bands but that's never been Pitchshifter's style so tonights show, the first date in their comeback tour, is a strange affair. Those who may be feeling rather ripped off are being sweetened up by a free EP of new material for everyone who enters the venue tonight and that does enough to put us in the mood for a good night.
That mood however is well and truly dumped on by main support band Murder One. The most distinctive thing about this band is their twin vocalist approach which doesn't really work. On one hand we have vocalist A who looks utterly terrifying and has a formidable death metal growl that makes the walls and floors of the QMU shudder, this guy barks like a rotweiler who has spotted someone trying to nick his stash of bones. Vocalist B however is the complete opposite; his vocals are weak and sound like just about every Joe Metalcore frontman flooding the scene at the moment and his stage posturing is quite frankly embarrassing. The clash of styles just doesn't work and is at odds with the music, which, as Stevie Punk susses out within about 30 seconds, is all over the place "are they all playing the same song?" he asks. I'm all for different layers in music but those layers have to connect somehow and for Murder One, that just doesn't happen.
The band we are here to see take to the stage at 9:15 and launch into Wafer Thin which unfortunately is a complete damp squib of an opener, it lacks all the punch and energy of previous performances and there is a real danger that this reunion is going to tarnish a once great name. Scene This quickly follows and does a much better job at trying to kick things off, with frontman JS Clayden trying to encourage things with an acrobatic mid-air split kick thing! In truth the first half of the show is rather subdued and classics like Eight Days and My Kind don't get the full treatment.
Things finally get going mid way through the set with a fantastic trio of Virus from the Infotainment album (which gets a huge cheer), a blasting rendition of my personal favourite Hidden Agenda and an utterly storming version of Genius which sees the place totally erupt, it is without doubt the highlight of the night. From this point on there's no looking back and the Pitchshifter we all know and love is back in its stride.
Sadly, that stride doesn't last much longer, the set finishes at 10:15, a mere 1 hour after the band have taken the stage. Please Sir and WYSIWYG are excellent set closers but you can't help feel we've missed out slightly here. I've no doubt that as the tour goes on Pitchshifter will continue to improve and get back into the old way of things, it just comes as part of the territory of being the first night on the tour that there will be teething problems.
Reviewer: Marky Boy