Joe Howe’s alter-ego Germlinhas been on the periphery of my awareness for quite some time now. But, without really pulling into focus. So I’m eager to check out what he’s all about. Seems the answer to that is bouncing about like an emo off his ritalin while making a racket like a blender full of frogs being hurled down some stairs. It’s rather impressive. Of course, being such a sharp hipster, Germlin eschews the constraints of the stage preferring to perform on ground level with the audience. As a result, I can’t make out what he’s doing to cause the noise. And, I’m fascinated to know how.
He is then joined by Momus. Seems they’ve been collaborating across the interwebs on work that will soon be seeing the light of day under the moniker Joemus. Apparently, this is their first time together so the tracks they play are brilliantly under-rehearsed. We can look forward to the poorly executed glitchiness of the last couple of albums being replaced with very well executed glitchiness! Yay!
Nick Currie’s alter-ego Momus splits opinions like a musical Marmite. To some he’s the kind of artist that writes for Wired, lives in places like Berlin and Tokyo, wears an eyepatch and dresses like a Japanese fishwife and, writes post-modernist pop songs that explore the darker side of the human psyche. And, others love him, for pretty much the same reasons. Tonight he has elected to give us nineteen songs, one from each of his albums (including the Joemus one) played in chronological order.
When he last played Glasgow, accompaniment came from an (at the time state of art) clamshell iBook. So, inevitably, tonight’s Momus orchestra is an iPod Touch.
He seems to, without exception, have selected exactly what would’ve been my second choice from each record. So, any minor quibbles with the setlist would seem ungracious. It ranges from the much maligned PSDB stylings of The Hairstyle of the Devil through the heartbreaking ddomestic melodrama of Red Pyjamas and out the other end with the pantomime villainy of His Majesty the Baby.
He fluffs lines, loses the plot and is generally all over the place. Despite seeming deeply uncomfortable in the live arena, he eventually seems to relax at the warmth from the audience. Slipping into anecdotes and a general lack of po-facedness. In fact, once he gets going there’s a definite charisma and wonderful logic to the whole cabaret feel of the night. After What Will Death Be Like? he tells us that he nearly went into Nothing Ever Happens (cousin Justin is in the audience) “because that’s what death will be like”. We know what he meant, but we certainly heard what he said.