ON the same night that AC/DC packed out Hampden Stadium, London trio Great Cynics played to a sweaty basement full of punks and indie kids who were having no less fun.

Like so many times before, the 13th Note proved the perfect setting for a performance of passion that permeated the whole venue.

Vocalist and lead songwriter Giles Bidder articulated the mood of the room with one sentence during their performance last Sunday when he said: “Whenever we come to Glasgow, there’s literally nowhere else we want to play.”

The intimacy of the locale worked in the band’s favour as they stormed their way through two albums of hard-hitting material.

Though only a three-piece, the Londoners showed that it’s possible to do a lot with very little.

Their sound is straight-forward and hard-hitting, sticking to three or four chord sequences with occasional back-and-forth vocal melodies between Bidder and bassist Iona Cairns.

That’s not to say that there’s much venom to the Cynics’ brand of punk. Inspired just as much by 1990s indie and mid-west emo, there’s a palatability to their lyrics that makes them easier for casual observers to stomach than some of their hardcore peers.

In fact, it seemed apt that the biggest sing-along was a track called Twenty Five, because their words certainly seemed to resonate with the youngish Glasgow crowd.

“I’m not looking for attention/I’m just trying to make something from this connection”, crowed Bidder, and the crowd made their feelings clear in response.

Several tracks played were of a similar ilk, embracing a specific type of restrained recklessness that only young adults can relate to.

Final act of the night The Sidekicks proved more brooding, although no less energetic.

The American five-piece may lack the punchy songwriting of their English counterparts, but they made up for that in depth.

As well as being more heart-on-sleeve, they boasted a more dynamic sound with slower passages often leading to frenetic punk breakdowns.

Bass and drums kept the grooves tight but the guitarists often ran amok as Smiths-styled jangling guitar and a piercing wail would appear in the same son, making the stirring Daisy a particular highlight.

The Sidekicks’ wild side came out in other ways too: their penultimate track was a cover of Prince’s Kiss.

The sight of an emo-inspired power pop quintet strutting along to a synth-funk classic was a singularly unexpected moment on a night where familiarity was more part of the charm.

There is little doubt that these bands will perform in dozens of intimate venues like 13th Note over the course of this tour, but only a great cynic would be oblivious to the emotion and energy that distinguishes this type of show.