Gig review gig reviews (Scottish)

Anna Meredith / Callum Easter

This was a gig originally scheduled for Glasgow Art School but due to problems there (pretty serious, as the venue is now closed) it was moved to here and was sold out sometime before tonight.

Callum Easter was an excellent choice of support although BM is not sure what some of the audience made of his thousand yard stare and east coast brogue. He gave us a good selection of tunes mainly from his great debut LP “Here or Nowhere’, including ‘Back Beat’, ‘Tell ’em Boy’ and the title track. Alternately prodding at his electronic box of tricks and deafening us with bleeps and drum samples, then getting busy with the accordion, it can sound like a warped mutation of Ivor Cutler vs Kenny Anderson. Defiantly odd, Easter is a definite must-see and his profile is growing with each gig he does.

The classically trained Anna Meredith made her pop name with ‘Varmints’ a couple of year ago and has performed in Glasgow for a couple of years. She mainly played material from last year’s ‘Fibs’ plus some ‘Varmints’ material. She brought with her a slightly altered band with tuba, guitar and drums joined by cello, plus AM herself on keys and drums. From the off it was a rambunctious affair, with first track ‘Sawbones’ from ‘Fibs’ getting us started with a battering of percussion and these big tuba runs up and down the scale which are one of this band’s trademarks. We then got a superb ‘Taken’ followed by ‘Calion’ and from then on she had the audience rapt (and increasingly rowdy for a West End crowd!). Slower numbers were listened to with attention however. The vocals were often communal by the band, although Anna’s quite delicate voice also worked well in the space when required.

A booming version of ‘Vapours’ plus a shimmering ‘Nautilus’ were among others which led us to an epic version of ‘Paramour’ which pretty much brought the house down. AM was effusive in her thanks of everyone and BM thinks she was genuinely bowled over as the audience would not stop cheering between songs.

Being AM however there was not just one cover version but a medley (BM did not recognise all of them) and every member of the band got to take a lead vocal, including an incredibly cheesy version of Abba’s ‘Lay Your Love On Me’ performed by AM and her cello player, camping it up as the two ‘A’s in matching jumpsuits and coordinated dance routine, which sent the audience away with smiles on their faces into the sheets of rain waiting for them on Byres Rd.