A great triple bill at this gig – it could have been better attended but that also meant BM wasn’t crushed against a wall like last week at King Tut’s, and the bands seemed in a good mood…
Glasgow-based R.AGGS gave a similar performance tonight to the one at CCA a few weeks ago, a good half hour of blissfully joyful music played on fiddle and guitar (not both at once mind, that would have been impressive!) backed by a collection of electronic devices for percussion and other effects, several of which may have been home-built! Audience permission to take off shoes was requested, and granted! And the vocals are great, infectious enthusiasm in the main plus a plea for urgent action on intolerance to finish off the set. BM hasn’t seen any news of new releases – some of the tracks are certainly from ‘Tape 1’ which Lost Map released somewhere during lockdown – a great start to the evening.
Next up were Glasgow-based all-female trio Brenda, who as usual gave us a typically eccentric run through most of their debut album, commencing with the “farm animals segment of the evening” as Flore put it, ‘High Horse’. With all three band members alternating and harmonising on vocals, Litty asking if they could play one track again (‘Cease And Desist’ maybe) because she felt her guitar solo was below par, it was business as usual.
After a brace of guitar/synth tracks the guitar was put down and it was synth/synth/drums, including the withering ‘Microscopic Baby’. Mutant and wonky electronica meets almost country-esque twang while channelling the spirit of The Slits, Brenda are always entertaining and BM highly recommends a purchase of their debut album, imaginatively entitled ‘Brenda’.
It had been a couple of years since BM saw Bas Jan, and they have in the meantime been working on a new album ‘Back To The Swamp’, due out this week. The all-female four-piece lineup is a riot of yellow tonight – violin, bass, drums and synth/lead vocals. They started with the deeply weird older track ‘Sex Cult’ which really sounds straight of ‘The Wicker Man’ or maybe the soundtrack to orgiastic re-enactments ’70s classic manual ‘The Joy of Sex’…
There are a brace of new tracks as well, including the arch ‘At The Counter’ and ‘No Swamp’. Lead vocalist Serefina comes across like a Sarah Nixey/Joanna Lumley-esque figure with her cut-glass intonation but hints of something quite mental and not necessarily very healthy underneath… Lyrics like “No more swamp, it’s not what she wants” – hint at mental health issues but the delivery still comes across as hilarious at the same time. ‘Singing Bar’ is similarly eccentric, sketching out a bizarre karaoke scenario – “I sang ‘Young Hearts Run Free'”, “Push it real good” etc. And what melodies, the others helping on backing vocals and playing their socks off. Hard to make comparisons but it is no surprise that they have had previous association with Lost Map!
Set closer ‘You Have Bewitched Me’ really is a classic of the genre and finished things off triumphantly – great to have them back in action!