Album Launch Party – Out of Darkness
Review and photographs by Linda McDermott
Have you ever come across a band that you think, “Oh! They’ve got something special.” Well, read on and I’ll tell you exactly why you’ll want this album by She Burns Red and how exceptional it is and how it has the power to propel them on to bigger things.
It’s no secret to those who know me that I am a big She Burns Red fan, They tick all the boxes for me, fantastic music, emotional and meaningful lyrics, brilliant stage presence and all-around great guys. So, arriving at the Audio, in Glasgow where the gig was being held, I was very excited for the night ahead as I’d been waiting for this launch to come around for what seemed like ages.
Having a sellout show, and people outside hoping for spare tickets, is a great indication of how far these guys have come since I first saw them in October 2021 at the MacArts, Galashiels.
With a very successful Kickstarter which raised over £11,000 for the guys to launch their debut album ‘Out of Darkness’ they are all a bit overwhelmed with how much support they have from their fans. To the point that they have included those Kickstarter supporter’s names on the album sleeve as a thank-you. The exceptional album will be on general release on Friday 15th Sept.
With the night kicking off with two support bands in the shape of Royal Bloom and BIG IRON, it was going to be a night to remember. Both bands gave the crowd a great start to the proceedings with some grungy and heavy rock music hitting you in the face, they delivered and added to the excitement in the room.
Royal Bloom has been around for a few years with a string of singles, an EP, and an album to their name. If you weren’t watching the band on stage and just listening to them on Spotify and the like, you’d swear you were listening to Nirvana, but I imagine that’s not the first time they’ve had that said about them. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I love Nirvana. The band released an album last year called ‘Visceral’ and to me it plays like a Nirvana and Puddle of Mud hybrid album which I enjoyed, and they are now on my playlist. If you like grunge music, you’re in for a real treat with these guys, and you can find their gig dates at https://royalbloomuk.com/shows
BIG IRON is a five-piece heavy rock band from Edinburgh and has released 2 singles this year. Their debut single being ‘Denizens’ in May and ‘River Runs Dry’ was released this week with an EP to follow on the 13th of October which I’m looking forward to. The crowd were with them all the way and I think they’ve earned themselves some new fans. Check out their videos on YouTube. Tickets and t-shirt bundles are still available for their EP launch, and you can find them at Bigironisbig.bigcartel.com
But this night belongs to She Burns Red and the launch of their much-awaited debut album ‘Out of Darkness’ and their very own brand of rock music.
The guys started the show with long-time friend Neil Henderson coming on stage with them and playing an original piece on the bagpipes to a rousing reception. Andy, Naz, Scott and James then joined in towards the end and took over, launching into ‘Touch’ the first song on the album and one of my favourites. They had the crowd eating out of their hands for the start, and rightly so.
Mixing the tracks on the album with some of their older songs worked a treat, a firm favourite of mine, and the first song I ever heard them sing was ‘Gone’ and the crowd lapped it up. Following this were the other three tracks from their 2020 EP ‘Take Back Tomorrow’ but with the updated and revamped ‘Crosshairs’ which many others and I sang along to. Then it was on with the album tracks ‘Heavy is the Head’ and ‘Killing Time’ both favourites of mine, Then again, She Burns Red haven’t written a song I don’t like, all songs have meaning behind them that is very much relatable for so many people, and that’s what is so powerful about their music.
Unfortunately, at one point Naz was having trouble with his guitar strap which was trying its hardest to steal the show. It kept bursting into a life of its own by breaking free from his guitar, I think it was put in its place three times before the strap gave up and Naz was back in control of it. Having said that, he still managed to carry on playing.
With about 200 fans packed into the room on what was probably the warmest day of the year in Scotland, the room was very hot and sweaty, but no one cared as there was plenty of hydration at the bar, Regardless of the heat, the focus was firmly on the band. At this point, James did declare his red war paint was ever so slightly melting but there was no time to sort that as they continued down the setlist.
‘My Curse’ was next, a song they don’t play often enough for me, but with so many new songs to choose from I understand why, so it was great to hear it in the set.
Next came ‘Stronger’ and then ‘Run’ both contenders, in my humble opinion, for single release, as both make me feel very emotional. They are extremely emotive songs, with a message that is both inspiring and gloriously charged. There was no time for much chat tonight, they were packing everything into this album launch and next was Scott’s favourite song ‘Crack the Sky’, drum wise he just batters out the intricate rhythm and its gritty and energetic with plenty of head nodding from the crowd.
We are now coming to the end of a night no one wants to finish, but it’s time for the title track of the album ‘Out of Darkness’ which is now an anthem with its sing a long chorus. Reluctantly it finishes and the final note is played, Andy, Scott, James and Naz soak up the intoxicating applause that they so deserve for all their hard work honing their art, before exiting stage right.
Undeterred, the crowd’s cheer for more fills the room, and the sound is raised another couple of octaves as the guys appear and do an impromptu rendition of ‘Interstellar’. What a fantastic night, with no complaints from the audience.
The band then came out front to meet everyone, shaking hands, chatting, and getting photos taken with fans, before heading over to the merch stand to sign things.
That to me is a mark of a band who appreciates their fans, they engage, they thank, they are overwhelmed, and they give everything in their performances.
You will enjoy this album, It is going to make its mark in the music industry this year with songs that are just outstanding and inspiring, with impressive arrangements, blistering guitars, incredible drums, and poignant lyrics impressively sung. I would suggest you put Friday the 15th of September in your diary as the day you discover something very special.
2. Rise and Fall
4. Copernicus Falls
5. Tell Me How It Ends
7. Heavy is the Head
8. Killing Time
9. My Curse
12. Crack the Sky
13. Out of Darkness
15th Sept – Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton
30th Sept – Rockin for Tots, Festival, Edinburgh
21st Oct – Station 18 Festival, Swansea
10th Nov – Rockmantic, Grimsby
9th Feb 2024 – Rockmantic, Carlisle (headliners)
24th–26th May 2024 – Call of The Wild Festival, Lincolnshire Showground
More gigs are to be announced.
They are also supporting South of Salem on their tour; details can be found at https://www.southofsalem.com/
The four singles from the album have videos on YouTube, links below.
Rise and Fall
Out of Darkness
You can find the band on the following
Official Website: http://sheburnsred.com/