Squid Live review and Gallery by Harry Atkinson
Characterised by genre-blending songs, cryptic lyrics, and Ollie Judge’s distinctly frenetic vocals, Squid are re-writing the post-punk band formula to their own unique standards.
Early career singles such as “Houseplants” and “Sludge” quickly earned the Brighton band regular BBC Radio 6 Music plays, and a resulting loyal fanbase from the indie music scene. Notable for their innovative sound and song structure, Squid’s music contains elements of post-punk, jazz, experimental rock, and even some avant-garde influences.
Tonight Squid are touring in support of their second album “O Monolith”, and the Glasgow crowd matched the band’s energy during opener “Swing (In a Dream)”. Then “If You Had Seen the Bull’s Swimming Attempts You Would Have Stayed Away” demonstrated the band’s ability to be rhythmically complex, driven by precise and dynamic drumming, while the intertwining of instruments create a sense of controlled chaos.
With time signatures often changing at break-neck speed, and musicians regularly swapping instruments mid-song, Squid’s live show is a blast of emotions and sounds showcasing the band’s remarkable ability to shift from one dynamic extreme to another.
Those seeing the band live for the first time might be surprised to see the energetically charged lead vocals and complex percussion come from the same man. But drummer and lead singer Ollie Judge rises to the live environment, and never misses a beat through their tight 90 minute set.
“Narrator.” from their 2021 debut album “Bright Green Field” lifts the crowd and starts the night’s first mosh pit. The following set veered through their varied back catalogue of fan-favourites such as “Pamphlets”, which elevated the crowd to something truly extraordinary. The performance also contained pockets of spontaneity during the jams and regular improvised intermissions. Notably a cello improvisation early on. You get the feeling that tonight’s show is utterly unique from last night.
Closing the set with “The Blades”, Squid left the crowd wanting more, the appetite for an encore is palpable and several early singles are left off the setlist. But this perhaps points to the band forever looking forward, always focussing on their next unique sound without glancing back.
Photo Copyright © Harry Atkinson
Swing (In a Dream)
If You Had Seen The Bull’s Swimming Attempts You Would Have Stayed Away
After The Flash