The big gig in Glasgow tonight was arguably The Viagra Boys at Barrowlands. It sold out almost immediately. However there was another sold out gig in the city on this particular Saturday night. Manchester jazz punks Maruja were playing their first gig in Scotland. With just five tracks released in the last couple of years there may have been concerns over attendees but Broadcast was packed out. Granted the venue Broadcast has a capacity of around 160, and granted it was free but gig goers had chosen to see Maruja and were obviously buzzing as gig time drew nearer. The sense of anticipation before the start of a gig of a band you are excited to see never wans.
Vocalist and guitarist Harry Wilkinson, drummer Jacob Hayes, bassist Matt Buonaccorsi and saxophonist Joe Carroll are Maruja. Their previous single ‘Thunder’ is indicative of their sound. Chaos and mayhem interspersed with calm and quiet. Their music is developed through improvisation and their live performance sees them play as one. The crowd was edging forward even before the band took to the stage, and as soon as they started the energy took off. Maruja opened with a track they hadn’t played onstage before but no matter, the crowd lapped it up and responded accordingly.
The shared experience of gigs in such intimate venues is extraordinary. On separate occasions Harry and Joe jumped into the crowd, a moshpit was going and they weren’t going to miss out. What music Maruja make. Talking to fellow gig-goers it seems that once anyone had heard this band they were immediately hooked, and it’s obvious why. If music can be wild and uninhibited then this is it. The soundscape had the room bouncing from the beginning right to the very end.
Another advantage of gigs in smaller venues is that you have the chance to chat to the bands. To learn there is an EP on the way is great news. It was also fascinating to learn that the black and white images used by the band are by Joes Great Grandfather who lived in Ireland.
Next live for the band is a couple of dates supporting Opus Kink. Please click here for tickets.
8 Feb – Southampton Joiners
9 Feb – Bedford Esquires