For those of you that don’t already know what Sam’s Night is – well in summary it was a night of exceptional music organised by Sam’s brother Liam Hannah. It is a night in memory and celebration of his music loving brother, Sam Hannah, who very sadly passed away from Leukaemia at just the age of 14 in 2020.
Liam wanting to find a way to celebrate and honour his brother Sam, during lockdown decided to host an online music streaming event. Both Liam and Sam shared a love for music and therefore this seemed a fitting tribute. The event took place in October 2020 and showcased some of Scotland’s finest up and coming artists and some of Sam’s absolute favourites to boot including The Snuts, Lewis Capaldi, and Mark Sharp and The Bicycle Thieves to name but a few. The event was a massive success and was not only widely enjoyed but also managed to raise an incredible £15k for The Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity that Liam wanted so badly to give back to after the way they supported his brother Sam and their family.
Given the success of the event, Liam decided to take things further and organise a dedicated live music event at the famous Glasgow venue, St Luke’s.
Liam said “My brother Sam and myself shared a similar taste in music and with the online music stream event being as great as it was, I wanted to try and continue the theme. I have chosen bands that I like and hopefully others like too. All proceeds will be going to charity. The Teenage cancer trust gave Sam and my family great care and support for over 2 years, so there was no question that any money raised was going to them. We have sold just over 300 tickets for this event and hope that everyone enjoys the music, and just has a great time.
Travelling to St Luke’s I was excited to see the live acts performing that night, but I was also proud to be part of such an incredible charity event. Walking into the venue there really was an air of anticipation and something special being unveiled.
The night kicked off with the ‘White Novels’, a local Glasgow band who performed with a combination of upbeat tunes and catchy melodies.
White Novels is the project of Glasgow based Singer/Songwriter Jack Bestow. The band has enjoyed regular feature’s on BBC Introducing, Radio Scotland & Various UK Radio Stations & Blogs.
The highlight of their set for me was definitely their single ‘California’.
Next up was Ryan Phillips, a Glasgow singer/song writer who brings Scottish vocals to the fore. He has been likened to artists such as The Snuts, Lewis Capaldi and Gerry Cinnamon. Notably, Ryan recently opened the show for Liverpool legend ‘Jamie Webster’ at the SWG3 Galvanisers. His debut single ‘Happy Place’ has surpassed 21k plays on Spotify, and his latest single, ‘Weekday Blues’ is out now.
Since their formation during the 2020 pandemic, West Lothian band, The Katuns, have accumulated over 85k streams on Spotify.
The Katuns,Lead singer said, the turnout for Sam’s Night was “unreal”, and that it was an “absolute pleasure to be part of it all”
The band have recently released their new single ‘Disguise’ which takes influence from bands such as Arctic Monkeys and Nirvana.
Joshua Grant then took to the stage. Joshua’s breakthrough single ‘Edinburgh’ propelled him into the limelight in the summer of 2020 after reaching #1 in the Official Scottish Charts, and eventually landing him BBC Scotland’s Track of the Week. This all caught the eye of Brit Award Winner Tom Walker who handpicked Joshua to support him in Edinburgh on his tour.
The single release of ‘What’s On My Mind?’ has amassed over 170k streams and has landed on Spotify’s ‘Rock List’, ‘Ultimate Rock’, ‘OMW To The Pit’ and ‘Life Sucks… I Need Some Rock!’.
Joshua carried on from where the Katuns left off keeping the excitement in the room and delighted fans by performing his latest tune, ‘Hate Goodbyes (Face In The Crowd)’.
Joshua commented after his set “Tonight was special and hats of to Liam for bringing all this together”
The penultimate band of the night was Dictator from West Lothian, and they brought the night to another level with their song ‘Conquistador’ and even sprung a surprise new song into the set called ‘Enough is Enough’.
Described as “Daring, dynamic and devastating” – Dictator take inspiration from fellow genre-defying bands such as Gorillaz, Glass Animals and Alt-J among others. Dictator’s musical boundaries know no limits. Musically they are thoroughly infectious!
The band said of the night -“Everything just seems to fall into place to make it a great night”
To conclude a what had already been a fantastic evening of increidble live music, up stepped Mark Sharp (from Mark Sharp & the bicycle thieves) to the stage.
Across the last 18 months, MS&TBT have enjoyed excellent chart success. Their single ‘Sink or Swim’ topped the iTunes Rock Chart, peaking at #20 in the main UK Chart; above the likes of Justin Bieber, The Killers & Snow Patrol, whilst the follow up single ‘Today. Tomorrow. Forever.’ also broke the top 20. A huge 2023 for the band kicked off with the release of their latest hit ‘Last Dance’, followed by a King Tuts headline show (which sold out in less than 48 hours).
Mark brought his acoustic set to the night, showcasing a beautiful more relaxed vibe and giving a somewhat more thought provoking element to the occasion. Giving the audience time to reflect on why we were all there – For Sam xx – Mark said- “To be involved with the original online streaming was fantastic and to be asked back to play tonight is beyond words. The night was exceptional, and my thanks go to Liam for organising such an incredible gig”
Our sentiments exactly! Tonight was a night filled to the brim with love and happiness not to mention some phenomenal music. It was a place of union with where everyone came together in support of such an amazing charity, The Teenager Cancer Trust. Tonight was beyond exceptional and I think it’s fair to say that Sam’s Night is something that is going to continue to and go from strength to strength as it does so. Well done Liam, you did yourself and your brother proud – long may it continue xx
If you weren’t able to attend on the night but still wish to make a donation to this fantastic cause, you can do so HERE
Words by Lisa Bridgewater
Photo credits – Tom Walker – No.94 Photography