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Pajo / Alexander Tucker / Twilight Sad

Classic Grand Triptych (25/04/2007)

By • Apr 25th, 2006 • Category: Gig review

Another year, and another fantastic line up for the wonderful left field Triptych festival which this year begins for me at Glasgow’s Classic Grand. Ushered into the smaller of the two rooms in the venue, I await with some anticipation the arrival on stage of one of the most exciting bands I have heard in a long while. The Twilight Sad, from Glasgow,have just returned from a 6 week jaunt around America with their compatriots, Aerogramme and announce that they are still a little jetlagged however the next half hour of blissful noise dispells any notion that it will affect their performance.
Playing songs from their soon to be released debut LP on FatCat, they play the sort of shimmering,soaring atmospheric joy that you just don’t expect to hear from these shores. Interpol may have seemed to have come from another planet when they arrived on to the scene in 2002, but The Twilight Sad certainly can’t have been too far away from wherever that was. That the voice which accompanies this beauty is unashamedly Scottish makes them all the more special. The likes of ‘And she would darken the memory’ which they begin with tonight and ‘That summer at home I had become the invisible boy’ are simply stunning and will surely see their album feature in countless End of year top 10’s, it is firmly in mine already. I was lucky enough to have heard it before tonight and judging by the swarm around their merchandise table after their set, it won’t be long until the secret is out.
After our ears and hearts have recovered,the next performance of the evening begins as Alexander Tucker takes to the stage armed with an array of effects pedals. The music begins with a simple guitar riff or melody which he then samples and loops and plays over, adding vocals or tribal wailing as it sounds more like. The music itself is impressive but even more so is that he manages to control about 8 different pedals and samplers and still manage to play his guitar! The way he applies harmony does sound reminiscent of the much loved and missed Beta Band,however the instrumental sounds like a kind of psych folk take on the instrumental moments of Berlin-era Bowie. Althoughslightly repetitive in nature, he uses pretty much the same formula for every song,it is none the less mesmerising and the applause of the crowd at the end of his set seems to indicate that I am not the only one who is impressed.
And so to the headliner, David Pajo aka Papa M and member of the now legendary Slint. Now I have to confess that I know very little of any of his work,indeed I did not even know what the man looked like, it turned out he was the shy, unassuming character whom I had walked past as he stood alone in the doorway of the venue earlier on. As he ambled, almost apologetically, on stage, armed with one of the most beautiful guitars I have ever set eyes upon he thanked the other bands humbly and thanked the crowd present for choosing this show over the others on offer at Triptych reminding them that they could see Cat Power tomorrow night as well. He then proceeded to play the sort of heartfelt music that “artists” like James Morrison and Paulo Nutini could only ever dream of delivering. Perhaps they should have cut their teeth in a post rock outfit before embarking on their respective careers but either way,this is music of real quality and comes straight from the soul. ‘High Lonesome Moan’ which was recently used in the US teen drama The OC, is aired tonight and not being a regular viewer of said show, is ashamedly the first time I have heard it but it most certainly won’t be the last. Indeed the more the set continues, the more I draw parallels to seeing Richard Hawley for the first time at T on the Fringe last year. I had criminally never listened to him either but have since bought almost his entire back catalogue and I fear for my bank balance that the same thing may be on the cards with Pajo. Sadly not everyone was as taken by him as I was, and some inconsiderate troglodytes at the back refused to quieten down throughout almost the entirety of his set but although frustrating it did not detract from what was a spellbinding performance.

John Paul Mason

One Response »

  1. @PMJawn Hey! Look what I found while I was searching through the days of internet gone by: