Some bands are worth traveling from the Netherlands to Glasgow for. Saor is one of them. The release party of their 5th album, called ‘’Origins,” took place in Slay, Glasgow on Friday, 22th of June.
For me it was the first time seeing Saor play, and to be honest, I was so overwhelmed by all the amazingness that I completely forgot to make notes for this review. Sorry not sorry.
So, let’s start a bit earlier on the evening. We decided to have dinner at Brewdog, a craft beer bar and restaurant in the heart of Glasgow. The burgers are amazing, big recommendation. While we were enjoying our burgers, all the Saor members walked in and sat down at a table to have dinner as well. Again, Brewdog: big recommendation. I am told that Glasgow is the hometown of Andy Marshall, the mastermind behind Saor, so it is no surprise that the release party is hosted in this town.
The security check at the venue was fine, but they were a bit surprised by our stuffed goat and bubbles. You have to bring your best game to your favourite band, right?
As a support act, A Dark Era was rocking the stage. For me it was a nice moment to check out the merch from both bands and meet Anaïs Mulgrew, the artist who made the album cover of ‘’Origins’’.
When the Saor members entered the stage and started soundchecking, ‘’Svartasmeden og Lundamyrstrollet’’ from Windir was played. A bit of research taught me that this is one of Andy Marshall’s favourite black metal songs.
The album ‘’Origins’’ was played in full, and started with ‘’Call of the Carnyx’’, which already invites the crowd to go on a journey with its atmosferic vibes. During ‘’Fallen’’ and ‘’The Ancient Ones’’ more pagan influences are presented by war drums and bag pipes. While ‘’Aurora’’ makes you feel like you are knee-deep in a battle, ‘’Beyond the Wall’’ feels as if the enemy is being fought together with allies. During ‘’Origins’’, all these matters are revisited again.
As a big bonus, three songs from other albums were played: ‘’Tears of a Nation’’ (‘’Guardians’’), ‘’Carved in Stone’’ (‘’Roots’’) and ‘’Aura’’ (‘’Aura’’), all of them are great songs to be played live.
Where do I even start with describing how the show went? The live performance is out of this world. The meaning of Saor is “free, unconstrained,” and while watching Saor play, this is absolutely how you feel. You are being taken on a journey through Scotland, drawn into battles and told the tales of the Scottish people.
Live ‘’Origins’’ is even better than on CD. I listened to the complete show without earplugs, because it felt like a waste to wear them and miss anything. The goat and bubbles were dancing around, and so was the beer. It was crazy. A man in the crowd saw that our group was having an amazing time and asked where we came from. When he heard that we came all the way from The Netherlands, he arranged that we could meet one of the guitar players after the show, who is a friend of his. Some time later we also met the father of Andy Marshall, who also attended the show. All the Scottish people that we met during our short stay, were so friendly for us, it was a real treat.
There were only two things disappointing about the show for me: the fact that Sophie Marshall (vocals) was not present, and that the show only lasted one hour.
I think it’s clear by now that this review is written by a fan-girl, but I would like to underline that Saor is an absolute recommendation if you want to find yourself being taken on a journey through Scotland.
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