It’s been 15 months since The National hit the road to promote their break-through album High Violet. Tonight they played their last headline show on European soil for “a long time” and judging by what was at times a sluggish and fairly routine performance, the Brooklyn quintet could do with a rest.

Tonight they showed glimpses of what they’re capable of, most notably during Abel, Mr November and the frenzied climax of Squalor Victoria. However poor sound and a lack of energy from the band, and in particular their usual driving-force frontman Matt Berninger, meant ultimately it was a solid rather than spectacular display.

Watch the Video for The National’s Abel

Within seconds of opener Started With A Kiss, it was clear that The Mars Patrol were on a mission to push back the boundaries of taste and to badly go where numerous bands have gone before with some of the most soulless pop-rock songs imaginable.

Fronted by what appeared to be a shrunken slightly wizened KT Tunstall, the five-piece’s performance proved totally devoid of originality. Musically bankrupt, each song was strewn with glaring clichés, uninspired melodies and predictable lyrics while throughout, the delivery felt forced – especially when it came to their desperate attempts to involve what was an apparently underwhelmed crowd.

Watch the Video for The Mars Patrol’s Shake It Up

There’s a good reason why, despite the longevity of his music career, it’s unlikely you’ve ever heard of singer/songwriter Alex Wayt. After 30 minutes tonight it was all too apparent just why he’s slipped under the radar.

Musically-misguided, charisma-deficient and sporting a look best described as Miami Vice, Wayt spoke in cliches and sang his school-boy lyrics with the kind of cheesy veneer that made stifling laughter an ongoing challenge.

Despite the small but vocal crowd’s support, there was no getting past the dated music, cringe-worthy delivery and general dearth of inspiration on display during the course of what was a quite woeful set.

Watch the video for Alex Wayt’s ‘Take Your Time’ Live

There was a moment tonight when The Low Suns looked set to win over the small crowd. Unabashedly aiming for what their manager called “stadium pop”, Bad Kids seemed to have got those facing the stage onside thanks to its hooky euphoric chorus. But as it turned out it was to be a one-off. The audience’s attention soon waned, chatter rose and the crowd thinned.

What probably did the Londoners’ chances of making an impact the most harm, if you discount singer Jack Berkeley’s ‘X Factor’ delivery, was Never Going To Care. A truly dreadful track which, had this been 1988, would have been snapped up as filler for the Working Girl soundtrack.

Watch the video for The Low Suns’ ‘Never Gonna Care’

It’s nine years since The Datsuns burst on the scene thanks to a couple of catchy singles. They’re now back in the UK to test-run some new material and on tonight’s evidence, time – the 1970s to be precise – continues to stand still for the rock-loving New Zealanders.

The usual ingredients were in place from the off – big and largely derivative riffs (most blatantly Alice Cooper’s School’s Out on What I’ve Lost) and a slew of rock clichés including countless noodley guitar solos. But even with all their shortcomings, the honesty of their performance shone through, making tonight’s set an entertaining one if nothing else.

Watch the video for The Datsuns’ ‘Harmonic Generator’

Having languished in the indie-pop wilderness for some time, Athlete are back on the road but with nothing really to promote except a career in decline.

Billed as a ‘Hits Stripped’ show, or as singer/guitarist Joel Pott put it “we’re playing everything slow tonight”, the quartet played re-imagined versions of their most popular tracks, pouring extra schmaltz on already slick and sickly songs.

Judging by their response, for fans it was a performance to be savoured. Indeed the most memorable moment came courtesy of their impromptu “Oh Athlete we love you” sing-along, which although slightly disconcerting, proved the one genuinely touching moment of an otherwise insipid night.

Athlete’s ‘Tourist’

After a surprise appearance from the soulless Kassidy, masquerading as The Billy Kays, it was time for Falkirk six-piece The Ray Summers to close this year’s Summer Nights strand of gigs at Tut’s.

Fusing psychedelic sounds with a funk sensibility, The Ray Summers plough the same furrow as The Bees and at times tonight they did it well, most successfully on Oh No.

However a lack of depth, and a tendency to rely on simple themes all too often let them down especially as the set wore on.

The Ray Summer’s ‘Boots n’ Cats’

With minimal fuss and little in the way of fanfare, New York lo-fi punk trio Vivian Girls may have come across as unassuming as they did a quick line check before launching into opener Never See Me Again, but when it came to their music there was no holding back.

Although their output was often repetitive and vocal levels inconsistent and regularly obliterated by distortion, the trio’s energy and the immediacy of melodies on tracks like I Won’t Belong and Wild Eyes saw them through.

However it was the epic The Other Girls which stole the show with its dark twists and turns and extended psyche-tinged instrumental provoking the biggest response from a packed crowd.

Vivian Girls’ ‘I Heard You Say’

In a short space of time tonight, Edinburgh trio Found managed to both baffle and entrance with their experimental pop. Bookending their 30-minute set, Dimples and Johnny I Can’t Walk The Line proved the most difficult listens.

However in between, You’re No Vincent Gallo and recent single Anti Climb Paint did more than enough to suggest Found are a band that will only get better. Full of cinematic splashes of drum and synth samples, and in the case of the latter a beat that had the crowd nodding in unison, they made checking out debut album Factorycraft seem a risk well worth taking.

Found’s ‘Anti Climb Pain’

Returning home from a successful UK jaunt promoting second album Spitting Daggers, Glasgow-based trio Sparrow and the Workshop once again showed why they’re regarded as one of the city’s best bands with another stellar display.

Sitting comfortably alongside established favourites like Devil’s Song and I Will Break You, new songs Against the Grain and Snakes in the Grass with their aggressive vocals displayed plenty of the by-now-familiar SATW urgency. The latter proved the highlight of what was another compelling showing, thanks in no small part to its ragged melody and infectious hook.

Sparrow and the Workshop’s ‘Snakes in the Grass’