I wasn’t intending to go to a gig on Saturday night, I had never heard of 100 Fables. But I did, and now I have and I’m very glad.
I was in town on Saturday afternoon for my drum lesson, didn’t have any particular plans after that, and the friend I had been due to meet in the evening had called to say she had to work. On my way to the drum studio, I saw a message from another friend asking if anyone was free to see 100 Fables, a band she had a personal connection to through her brother, but assured me they were worth watching. “A bit like Chvrches, electro-pop” was how she sold them to me. Well why not?
We met up and made our way to the venue, catching up on the way, not really bothered about the support bands. We arrived in the smaller of the 2 ABC halls just as the last of 3 support bands were setting up and I was introduced to Lyndsey, lead singer of the headliners. She was a bit nervous and keen for everyone to have a good time. A quick hello and she had to head back to staff the merch stand.
We weren’t expecting much from the support, I think they were called Sway. They had a small but extremely enthusiastic group of supporters up front, I suspect consisting chiefly of friends and family. The verdict from our group was “not bad, but nothing special”. I have seen worse support for bigger bands in larger venues.
They were packing them in that night, so after a short break it was time for 100 Fables to start. The room was suddenly busier, with people vying for position near the small stage. We had been hanging back near the bar, but moved forward for the main event. The anticipation and excitement in the crowd was tangible and infectious. I began to sense that this was going to be something special.
100 Fables took to the stage to a huge, encouraging cheer. They are a 4-piece with Lyndsey on vocals, a girl on guitar and 2 boys on bass and drums. They launched straight into an enthusiastic set, less electro-pop and more punk / rock with 80s inflections. Lyndsey was the obvious focal point and inhabited each song with wide-eyed facial expressions and wild gesticulations. She held her mic in her hand throughout, refusing to be tied to a stand, making full use of the limited space to rock out, dance, approach the audience and sing directly into their eyes. Any shyness or nervousness she had displayed earlier had vanished. This was a woman who came alive on the stage, giving an energy and vitality to the performance that I haven’t seen for a long time. Jen informed me that Lyndsey used to sign back-up for Susan Boyle. I couldn’t picture it, somehow, but agreed with the point she was making, that the girls has a talent.
The crowd were willing the band on, with raucous applause and whoops after each song. Most were singing along, clearly dedicated fans thrilled to see their wee band perform so well at, for them, a huge gig.
It was only a short set, perhaps 30 minutes, with a couple of cover songs added on the end after the audience gave the traditional Glaswegian “one more tune” chant, even though the band hadn’t actually left the stage.
This is what I love about living in/near Glasgow. A thriving live music scene and the fact that you can rock up at short notice and have your socks knocked off by a band that you hadn’t heard of earlier that day.