Canadian singer-songwriter, Braden Barrie aka SAYWECANFLY brings his first full band tour to the UK, a new and interesting twist on his usual acoustic sound.
First to take the stage was local pop-punk 4-piece, Nothing Personal. Although this was only their fourth gig, they have a maturity to their live sound which is promising – their big vocals, choppy guitars, heavy bass and drums along with bags of energy made for easy watching and listening. The quartet included a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” in the set which went down well with punters, even some of the harder faced ones who I spotted singing along in the back. I’ll be interested to see how these guys evolve and what they will be offering up that would set them apart from the other pop-punk bands around at the moment.
Next up was The Kenneths, a punk trio hailing from London. Formed in 2015, these guys have already had a belter of a first year together having played Warped Tour last summer and releasing 2 EPs so far with label Hard Rock Records. Vocalist/guitarist, Josh Weller has an attitude and vocals which are reminiscent of a young Billie-Joe Armstrong at times – he played one song from within the crowd and had someone in the front row on mic stand duty for another song. Josh also confessed during the set that he had been told Glasgow boos a lot and was therefore disappointed not to have been booed, before asking the crowd to boo them for 5 seconds just for fun! Also showcased were the distinct, mega bass lines of Lewis Maynard and huge fills and a bit of cow bell from Aicha Djidjelli on drums (which I thought was an unusual and awesome addition). The Kenneths are punk at it’s finest.
And then on came SAYWECANFLY to the famous “Here we, here we” chant which was not so surprisingly short-lived, probably because there were lots of parents in attendance. This is something which Braden acknowledged early on, thanking the parents for letting their kids come to the show on a school night and apologising if they’d been dragged along. What a guy.
SAYWECANFLY is about “writing music to show you that you will never be alone, & to help you find the light in your heart that will always guide you home.” – Barrie sings about love, life and the little things that make us happy. His vocal talent is impressive and shines through in moments where he is accompanied solely by his guitar or keys. He writes beautifully intricate lyrics to go with his gorgeous melodies and it feels like each song tells a real story that’s relatable to everyone in the room in some way. Before playing “Scars”, we are reminded of the fact that “we all get sad sometimes” and that this gives us something in common. During the song, there were plenty of smart phone lights shining, hugging, singing along and a few tears as well…it was a genuinely sweet moment.
The addition of the full band on this run added a bigger, fuller sound to what would normally be padded out with layers of acoustic guitar. This made for an interesting dynamic throughout the hour long set, and definitely seemed to be well received by the masses of dedicated fans who were hanging off every word. After a quick interlude to sing Happy Birthday to fans, Hazel and Abby we were treated to a couple more songs including one from the 2015 EP Darling to round off the set nicely before leaving the stage.
It would seem the Glasgow crowd didn’t have quite enough though, as they began chanting “Crash Land” – the name of our very own Twin Atlantic’s song which Barrie has covered previously. He makes his way back on stage to perform his version of the track and asks for some help singing along, which we do (yes, I include myself in this sing-along!). It seemed a perfectly fitting way to finish up. Bravo, SAYWECANFLY.