Bringing Miami Heat To Scotland’s Sweatiest Gig


Fat Goth + Torche

Bridging the gap between Queens of the Stone Age and Tool, Miami’s TORCHE showed Glasgow how to rock out without falling into the trap of derivative post-hardcore polished for easy digestion. Torche brought the riffs. All The Riffs! Oh, and Fat Goth supported.  

The heat. When you walked to the top of the stairs from the basement where the gigs are, the air had fogged up the glass panels surrounding the entrance door. I’d never seen that before at the Broadcast venue. Then again I’d never had to walk out of a gig with three songs remaining for fear of passing out. Standing near the back of the room near the staircase door should have afforded me enough air. Not quite.

TORCHE may have come over from the land of eternal sunshine and gators, Miami, but even they were commenting on the heat. On a late Glasgow evening in August there was no sky to be seen and the humidity buildup during the day was now baking those in the basement.

If you’re unfamiliar with Torche then the simple thing to say is that they rock out in the heaviest, most artistically imaginative way possible.

It’s no surprise they’ve toured with kindred spirits Mogwai and Isis, shared a split release with Part Chimp, and can count on a loyal Scottish following as a result. They put me in mind of Fu Manchu who I first heard back in 1997 with their The Action Is Go record. Damn, that’s a blast from the past!

The headliner’s setlist rocking the stage at Broadcast started off quieter than support act Fat Goth had been. Significantly quieter! Four songs of the set had been played by the time the sound had been sorted out and the riffage was taking over everything else. Queens of the Stone Age at their peak sounded like this – relentlessly riffing with an audience happily headbanging away. If the METZ gig at Broadcast was akin to watching the 100 hundred meters dash repeatedly, then Torche are cross country runners covering heavy terrain. Their intelligence and willingness to corrupt the guitar riff keeps everything sounding fresh and interesting.

Which leaves them in a strange position of not being accessible enough for many QOTSA fans yet not critical darlings the way Tool are treated. The album Harmonicraft by Torche is far better than the measly 6.5 score Pitchfork saw fit to bestow upon it in April of last year. It’ll fit snugly between Jetplane Landing’s Don’t Try record and anything Kvelertak have released. Do check them out.

Oh, and Fat Goth (officially The Best Rock Band in Scotland™) supported.

Fat Goth playing The Garage London

Fat Goth playing The Garage London

OKAY…I’ll elaborate a little.

With the help of sound engineer and unsung hero Alan Singfield, Fat Goth were devastatingly brilliant. Yet another step forward from how they sounded six months ago. Alan is the invisible fourth member of the band who makes such a difference that you’d be forgiven for thinking they were a full-time professional outfit.

Fritz’s vocals never sounded so clear despite being the loudest thing I have heard in Broadcast ever. That counts for a lot when the lyrics are as smart as the song structures. The Summer festival gigs haven’t done them any harm at all. Their Human is not Alone shows next month could be the last time we see them live until they surface from recording their next album.




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