A loud clatter of PAWS at Bar National

On Wednesday night it was the turn of Scottish alt rockers PAWS to take to the stage at one of Luxembourg’s newest venues, Bar National, which opened its doors inside the Theatre National du Luxembourg in March.

With the imminent release of their third album in four years with “No Grace”, PAWS are looking to build on their already impressive output on the wonderful FatCat Records with this new album produced by Mark Hoppus of blink-182 fame. PAWS are currently on the home straight of their five-week European tour and last night saw them return to Luxembourg for the first time since they played Out of the Crowd Festival in 2013, shortly after the release of their debut album.

Support came from local band “Ice In My Eyes” who released their second album “Diamond” just last week at Rotondes. Their blend of melodic indie pop with moments of ascending rock came across well, although there weren’t too many people to warm up at this point.

My optimistic belief that a bus load of folk were about to stop outside the venue and descend were dashed as it became apparent that it was just one of those nights were people decided to stay at home. So it was up to the band to do their best with the modest crowd at their disposal and that they did. They may have been blighted with some technical issues at the beginning (none of which was their fault) but they didn’t let anything get them down as they launched into the set.

From the melodic lo-fi 90s sound of “Sore Tummy” from their debut, to the pop punk of title track “No Grace” from the new album, they showed their progression as songwriters, continuing to develop their sound, bringing with it a more mature polished element.

With such a sparse crowd there were nice moments of interaction as they got the names of each member of the audience, giving themselves some respite from an energetic set. They even played “Get Bent” which they hadn’t played live in years, I suppose when you have that laidback intimate atmosphere you can throw in a few surprise tracks when you want.

Having acknowledged the crowd and given their thanks for those who came out to support them they continued to play like they were in front of thousands, especially bass player Ryan Denver as he thrashed about the stage eventually breaking a string. It’s this energy and passion on stage that makes bands like PAWS and live shows in general so exciting.

With the new album on the horizon and another European tour not far away, let’s hope the next time they come to Luxembourg there will be a few more people to enjoy this raucous live act.

18.05.16 – Bar National

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