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Errant Boy / Peter Cat / Stephen McLaren

Glasgow 13th Note (Friday 23rd November 2018)

By • Nov 27th, 2018 • Category: Gig review

BM finally caught up with several acts whose music she has reviewed but never seen live.

This was a great wee soiree at the Note, organised by the excellent Errant Media organisation. There was not a massive crowd, which was a shame, but those of us who did turn up got a great triple-header for a fiver – bargain!

First up was Stephen McLaren, performing solo with a piano and laptop, mainly tracks from last year’s excellent album ‘We Used To Go Raving’. Heartfelt and plangent, some of these tunes are mini-anthems and more than one person BM has played them to say the songs have a bit of Glasvegas in them, although BM thinks there are better comparisons… Tracks like ‘Immigrants’ combine blind frustration with heavenly melodies (what a voice he has) and probably Radiohead is a better comparison for BM. And the title track of the album ‘We Used To Go Raving’ is a marvellously evocative exploration of nostalgia and lost brotherhood set to a cheeky Italo-house piano riff which could have graced the top ten back in those ravey davey hedonistic years. Truly a great set of tunes and BM hopes Stephen does more recording and live stuff soon.

Next up was Peter Cat, another artist who has come to BM’s attention this year and whose other gigs BM has missed. PC is poppy but in a slightly skewed way, like maybe Franz Ferdinand spliced with early Momus. Playing with a bassist and drummer, PC’s arch vocals and louche lyrics are a joy to behold – songs like ‘Hand Through Hair’ and ‘Keeping Up With Jacob’ also recall The Monochrome Set at their finest. Toe-tapping, clever, brief songs, Mr Cat deserves to have a bit more recognition and BM salutes him.

Headliners were Errant Boy, the project of one Sean Ormsby, who BM thanks may originally hail from across the water, tbc. Tonight he is joined by a female drummer (sorry no name given but she certainly bashed it up good!) and a bassist, and they made a glorious racket. Melding Marr-esque riffs with ‘Reconstruction’-era REM basslines and a lilting vocal, this was truly sublime. BM was also reminded of the late lamented Whipping Boy, praise indeed. Given that this was celebrate the release of album number two ‘Memory Fractures’, the material was mainly from this. So ‘Theme From No. 29 Bus’ got an airing, as did Smiths-referencing ‘Means’, a real stormer but with sensitivity…. there is buried treasure under some of these melodies, seemingly simple on the surface but with layers. The rush BM experienced was like an injection of Cathal Coughlan and Michael Stipe with a heavy dose of Gerard Langley, and if that is not a good feeling please shoot me now!

So a great evening’s entertainment for the discerning of the Glasgow indie underground but deserving a far wider voice, in these days of Ed Sheeran copyists (naming no names!), but hey ho, t’was ever thus!

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