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Last Night from Glasgow at Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow (Saturday 21 July 2018)

By • Aug 4th, 2018 • Category: gig reviews

So Last Night from Glasgow invited anyone who was interested (ticketed but free) to an afternoon/early evening gig at the West End sweet spot of Kelvingrove Bandstand.

Given the price of some of the acts playing there in the subsequent “Kelvingrove Sessions” (£85 to see champion grumper Van Morrison, wtf) this was an absolute must-see, and the very professional organisation that LNFG puts into all its events was clear to behold.  Blessed with a warm but not quite taps-aff day, this was probably the best weather they could have hoped for.

BM is a long term fan of the LNFG set-up, essentially they aim to run the label styled along Factory Records lines, no long term contracts, but releasing records and doing gigs via a core of subscribers so they can cover their costs.  Today the bands played for free and the audience were encouraged to give donations to SAMH, a good cause any year, but maybe this year more than most…

So we had a probably half-full bandstand audience of mainly families with kids, a few hipsters and randoms, plus bands and bystanders…  Have to say that the steps are an absolute bugger in high heels, apologies to the guy who caught a blow from BM’s discarded stiletto full in the face…

So there had been a couple of bands but first one that BM saw were Cloth (LNFG’s latest signings) who played a somewhat tentative set (there were some technical issues) ending with previous single, ‘Demo Love’.  For BM this was the strongest song from the Glasgow-based three-piece, showing their melodic prowess and some great guitar jangles…  They thanked LNFG for the chance to play to such a large crowd and led the audience in wishing one of the organisers, (Julia Smith) a happy birthday…

Next up were Codist, not a band that BM was familiar with, a four-piece from Glasgow who kicked up quite a melodic guitar fuss and certainly looked like they were enjoying themselves, always a sign of good vibes for the audience… ones to watch, hopefully…

Then we had Carla J Easton, one of Scotland’s most promising and engaging singers  (and LMFG alumini).  In the sunshine, down at the front of the stage the kids gamboled and made new friends, at one point causing a Pre-five stage invasion as the tech guys watched nervously – a toddler electrocution would not be the best event of the day.  Carla and band arrived onstage just after Lloyd from Olive Grove showed his own junior entourage the view from up on the stage…

It is good to see Carla back to match fitness after a recent health scare, and she led her four-piece band through songs old and new.  BM thinks there have a been a couple of lineup changes but this band are very effective in backing her amazing vocals (Grace Slick vs Bonnie Tyler, with some Sarah Cracknell thrown in as well).  As the pre-school fanclub (the girls) started waving glittery cheerleader plumes in formation and (the boys) mainly running about, it was like watching some documentary about early childhood development, a live feed from those going through it.  Carla alluded to the kids between songs and even got several of them up on stage during the last number. She played the still quite incredible ‘Lights in the Dark’ and ‘Wanting What I Can’t Have’, perfect pop songs both, as well as some others.  As BM has said before, CJE is a class act, mixing raw emotion with pop sensibility and deft use of the backing band’s talents – BM salutes you, Carla, again!

BM had not seen the full band version of Mt. Doubt before, despite reviewing some of their recorded output, and what we got was impressive.  First to note was that frontman Leo Bargery’s voice is as remarkable over a full band as it is solo or on record.  They were quite low-key at this gig, observing the toddlers and the not-quite fully engaged audience (not pished enough maybe to appreciate the slightly maudlin tone of some of these songs).  Again a five-piece, and there were highlights like ‘Mouthwash’, ‘Natural Swimmer’ and a couple of new songs – ‘Unravelling’ and ‘Yawn When I Do’ (say BM’s notes, maybe not the final titles).  Theirs is a very busy sound and these Edinburgh types deserve a bigger break – maybe it will come.

As afternoon turned to early evening and some of the younger members of the audience were needing rusks and bathtime, BM hung around for Medicine Men, another one of the LNFG alumini…  they played a decent set mainly drawn from debut album ‘Into The Light’ released last year.  They have a couple of cracking songs, including opening ‘Show What You’re Made Of’ which blends some classic rock riffs with a bit of Beatles whimsy.  The set was heavy on guitar solos and other guitar effects but the keyboards come to the fore at other times, and as BM has noted several times before, they have a very good-looking drummer (job done, Gillian!…)  The songs came thick and fast, perhaps the most surprising moment was their cover of AFOS ‘Iran’ (ok, that is A Flock of Seagulls, ask yer gran, the original band ironically playing Rewind at Scone the same weekend, was that the reason…?).  OMG, are MM an 80s tribute band in disguise?  If so, then BM looks forward to many more dodgy covers…  They ended with ‘Out Of The Light’ which has a fab synth intro and motors on from there – this is classic rock/pop, and BM looks forward to MM’s second album in due time…

Did not stay for the last act, other commitments, nuff said… – but this was a fantastic day and the whole LNFG organisation deserves so much respect, as indeed do the toddlers and pre-schoolers who ran and danced their hearts out – hopefully they would be exhausted after today and go down to a night of unspoiled sleep, such a rare thing for long-suffering parents…

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