It’s a bit of an extravaganza, this, around 10 or 11 different bands across two venues at Oran Mor – something for everyone then.
We arrived around 6.30pm and just missed the end of Miaoux Miaoux, a shame, but babysitting issues and demanding clients – I’m getting on a bit, you know how it is…
Instead we headed downstairs to catch around half of John Know Sex Club, who were a throbbing revelation – Betty has reviewed their recorded output in the past but this was quite something, very dark, uncompromising and showing a lot of promise. The lead singer managed to hug around half the crowd during the penultimate number so by law of averages has probably got herpes by now, but good effort anyway.
Betty has not caught up with their release schedule recently but looks like it’s mainly on Bandcamp – the sarcastic side of me would caption them as The Twilight Sad fronted by Bono but that’s a bit unfair, there’s a bit more to it than that…one to watch.
Upstairs then to the really impressive auditorium, the Alastair Gray murals are quite something and the whole place was bathed in the light of a summer evening, i.e. the sunny one between the storms and driving rain that comprised most of the past week in Glasgae. Next up, Three Blind Wolves, a relatively new proposition around these parts and surely playing their biggest venue to date. They sure did rock out. Channeling something like The Hold Steady versus Frightened Rabbit, with some seriously heavy riffage in-between, they challenged the sound system til it hurt, and then some. Songs from their forthcoming album, lead track ‘Parade’, included, saw some primal wailing from lead singer/guitarist and some monster bass and drums. Not initially to Betty’s taste, they won me around with their sheer devotion to rock, angst-written lyrics and interesting facial hair combos – gentlemen, you moistened my gusset.
There then followed a break where the choice was Withered Hand or Remember Remember, and the choice for me was WH – playing in the basement solo, it was quite a tough ask but he rose to it. Looking a bit different (the hair dye job and the glasses I think), he opened with modern classic ‘Religious Songs’ and held the crowd pretty much from there. Several new songs were played, with mistakes, all forgiven by a fairly “on his side” crowd. A few comments about the football (Engerland were playing) went down fine, the understated but very decent guitar playing and plangent, occasionally self-indulgent lyrics worked fine, hopefully the next step is a more successful album – a few festival dates beckon though, TV coverage a possibility, and he deserves a bit of a break, so fair play…
So to the headliners – Betty has reviewed them before and seen them several times so what more needs to be said, will just cap it in ten observations by Betty:
– first off, Aidan had strained his wrist, doing something or other (and yes he got in the wanking jokes early, dealt with them deftly) so no drumming from him tonight, shame and did change the tempo of several songs… we just had to hope they shone though anyway – and they did.
– a similar set to December at the Arches, minus a couple of tracks off the album, but keeping in the Bananarama ‘Cruel Summer’ cover.
– ‘Keep Me In Your Heart’ is still one of the best pieces of music from last year, was it about me, Aidan?
– glad the album won new “Scotch Album of the Year” award, they did not mention this tonight, very modest etc.
– Aidan was very polite tonight, he must have been on something surely?
– it’s just that every time you listen to the chord sequences combined with the spoken, or sung, prose, it feels so good, so unexpected yet familiar.
– (Betty did in the interests of balance go up for a bit, to the main auditorium where We Were Promised Jetpacks were rocking out with a fab sound system, but you can’t be at two gigs at once…)
And, well, that wasn’t ten (it was in fact seven), but I could go on – suffice to say that the audience in the basement went away happy, with one encore, ‘And So Must We Rest’, an apt end to a bit of a marathon night.