Tuesday night at King Tut’s for a sold out show for The Pale White, a three piece indie rock band from Newcastle, UK. The trio have fast been gaining attention for their signature melodic guitar work, thunderous rhythm section and magnetic live shows.
The Pale White, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, 7th December 2021
Forecasters warned us to stay at home and avoid Storm Barra. Thankfully, I missed that memo and enjoyed the full force of storm Jack. Drummer Jack Hope of Newcastle rockers The Pale White drowned out the weather in Glasgow tonight, bringing his own rhythmic storm to King Tut’s. Mind you, they say Geordies have a word for bad weather. They just call it “weather”.
Warming up the crowd ahead of The Pale White were five piece Jango Flash, putting in a solid set of what has been mysteriously described as “kamikaze pop”. Biker jackets and turned up jeans, big guitars and simple rocking drum patterns feels like rock and roll to me. What’s not to like?
Opening the show was Tom A Smith, a young man packing a ton of talent and ambition. This was his first gig with his own band, and bassist Katie’s first ever live gig. An auspicious venue to start in! His set showcased the versatility of his band. They gave us a taste of what is to come: from the melodic poppy rock of his newly released “Wolves”, through the fabulously bluesy “Convince Yourself” (with the two guitarists swopping solos) to the anthemic “Dragonfly” finisher, while slowing things down in the middle for an angry love song called “Crucify Me”. It tastes great - watch this space!
The Pale White are touring their new album, “Infinite Pleasure” and kicked off their set with the title track. At first haunting and teasing guitar and vocals from Adam Hope with a hint of underlying menace from Tom Booth’s bass, the song builds up and we soon get a statement of intent from drummer Jack Hope. He fits in some staccato machine gun fills and lifts the energy in the room, setting us up for a cracking show.
These guys have a growing reputation as a must-see live act, and it was evident from the start that this is no idle hype. They bring a keyboard / rhythm guitarist out on the road, adding a bit of depth to the live sound and adding some frills like a gorgeous keyboard intro for “Confession Box”.
There’s nowhere to hide in a three piece band. Everyone needs to shine and Tom’s bass comes to the fore in “Nothing Lasts Forever”. You also expect some flair from the drums, and Jack doesn’t disappoint. He’s like a force of nature on speed. His explosive intro to “Sonder” took our breath away, and in the following song he managed to break a cymbal stand. Jango Flash came to the rescue with a replacement hauled back out of the van. Despite this delay costing a song from the set, we still got nearly twenty tunes from them.
A mighty rendition of “Medicine” rounded out the regular set and left the crowd roaring for more.
Adam came back on stage and obliged with “Anechoic Chamber Blues”, a slow number which had the crowd singing along. The rest of the band came back and belted out “That Dress” - already a classic, reminiscent of BRMC’s “Spread Your Love” - a real crowd pleaser. With bare seconds left before curfew time, they managed to squeeze in “Frank Sinatra” just to show off their melodic side, a cracking guitar solo and a rocking finish.
The Pale White’s name apparently references the light which people see at the point of death. Fear not people - I saw The Pale White in King Tut’s and we all lived to tell the tale. Walk towards the light!
Gig review by Trevor Watson