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Bratacus / Bird Ellen / Rafe Fitzpatrick / Painted X-ray

Glasgow Glad Cafe (Jer Reid 50th Birthday Gig) (Saturday June 8th 2019)

By • Jun 15th, 2019 • Category: Gig review

This was a birthday party and (BM should copyright this!) “another great night at the Glad” – Joe on the sound, Kim doing the bar, sounds familiar – always great!

Semi-legendary Glasgow based musician Jer Reid arranged his own birthday party for the big five-oh. And in these times of shitty politics, shitty pay for musicians and a generally shitty outlook for the world in general, this was something to celebrate!

With his shit-eating grin and collaborative attitude, Jer has done stuff with Dawson, Improvisers’ Orchestra and most recently in the band ilk, now renamed as Painted X-ray. (And the excellent Sumshapes – postpunk Ed) So the place was pretty busy as the first act of the evening, Rafe Fitzpatrick and others took to the stage (Jer’s brother’s kid said they were “rubbish” but a bit of youthful rebellion – well he was 5 yrs old – is always welcome!) It was an experimental set with Rafe on the fiddle (which he also plays in Painted X-Ray) and others on keyboards and double bass. There were some appropriate “happy birthday” samples throughout which raised a few chuckles…

Next up was Bird Ellen, an artist BM had been overdue to see live, and she did not disappoint. Jer engineered her recent release so she deliberately did not do stuff from that – but what she do was quite amazing, a great voice and some great melding of the traditional Scottish song repertoire and the more modern… Playing solo with just a wee squeezebox and some loops, BM is looking forward to seeing a full band show maybe at Doune or at the Hug and Pint on August 2nd, we will see…

Headliners Bratacus are actually the daughters of people that Jer played with in the 90s! Straight outta the Highlands, these sisters played loud and fast (a guitar/bass duo with the drums supplied via mobile phone, to the surprise of some of the audience). There were songs about creepy men, being patronised as girls doing music, frustrations of various sort and it all sounded great. They are honing their act (and ffs BM is NOT patronising them!) since BM last saw them at RSD at Mono – and if the Glad had a roof problem already, well they could have another one quite soon. Bits of the floral set backdrop started falling off during the set, as they rocked this room.

It then left it to a weird version of Painted X-ray to follow, in various odd costumes, Ali Begbie in a fetching hat and sparkly jake, Rafe in a wig and the taiko drum banged enough to cause yet another roof problem…

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