• The Gaudie

Lo Rays + New Kings / Black Tiles / Karma for Vandals

Live at The Cellar, 15/01/19


by Abbie Morrice


pexels via pixabay.com

This gig at The Cellar proved a success. The venue was bustling the entire evening – not easily done with a four-band line-up. It was a great night with three Aberdeen-based support bands, showing that the local music scene is alive and well.


Karma for Vandals open with atmospheric post-rock. With a shy stage presence yet a sound that is both large and intricate, they are fit for a much bigger venue. They successfully keep the crowd’s attention for the entirety of their set – often a difficult task for a band whose music is purely instrumental. The guitarists grab drum sticks and help the drummer out in battering out a beat during the last song and add to the performance without feeling gimmicky. As a well-practiced four-piece with a clear vision of their sound, Karma for Vandals deserved a much later spot in the support line-up. Karma for Vandals recently released a live session on Spotify called Knights Were Basically Golfers.


Black Tiles come in as much more confident performers but with a far more straightforward sound. The stand-out is the catchy bass in new-wave inspired songs with standard rock running through the core. With vocals mirroring a calm Kathleen Hanna and a fun performance, Black Tiles keep the crowd engaged. You can catch Black Tiles at The Cellar again on Friday, February 8th.


New Kings are well loved by the audience as they play a set that shows clear influences from elements of every mainstream alternative rock band of the last ten years, including classic rock fills, some Royal Blood-inspired moments and a Biffy Clyro sound later in the set. They lack a distinct New Kings sound, but they put on an energetic show and prove that they have the chops to keep improving as they fully realise their vision. New Kings are releasing music and playing Aberdeen again this year – you can find them on Facebook!


Glasgow-based Lo Rays swoop to the stage – angry but fun. The vocals are the show-stealer in this tight and strongly-fronted performance. The crowd explodes when they play a Two Door Cinema Club cover. The atmosphere goes to 11/10 and a mosh-pit breaks out during the last song. The crowd demands an encore. Lo Rays know what their sound is, and they deliver it exactly how they intend to. Think sassy, flirty riffs meets accessible Riot Grrrl.


After Karma for Vandals’ impressive performance, I was sure they would be my favourite of the night, but Lo Rays grabbed that spot during their set. If you miss Lo Rays, you’re missing out. Lo Rays EP Unstable Air was released on January 15th and is available on most streaming platforms.