This double-header by two of Scotland’s most individual and interesting bands was a great night. BBC Scotland regular Nicola Meighan started things off early doors with a varied and very enjoyable DJ set as the room began to fill. Attendance wasn’t a packout but fairly good for a Wednesday night given there is so much else on now, with rescheduled gigs all over the place.
Constant Follower played tonight as a four-piece, with new start Gareth on keys. The band is off to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, soon, quite some validation and they are sure to win more fans over Stateside with 2 gigs planned. Band leader McAll set them off tonight on a set of 7 tracks, around half of which were from the great album ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’ – however, there appeared to be a couple of new (or maybe very old) songs too – ‘Birthdays’ and ‘Gentle Teaching’ at least. CF’s take on low-fi Americana, via Stirling, is at first very still and with some twiddly acoustic guitar, however the listener soon gets used to this and the wistful, yearning lyrics and delivery of McAll can be downright spellbinding at times.
Following this we got a blistering and at times blasting set from Mt Doubt. BM has previously only seen stripped down versions of the band so this was quite a shock, with the added saxophone player Liam turning them into something more like Edinburgh’s answer to the E-Street Band. Lead singer/songwriter Leo Bargery mixed subtlety and soul with brute force in this vocals, a hugely impressive performance which showed the sheer range and expressiveness of his voice.
Starting with ‘Go Easy Now’ and including great previous singles ‘Afterglow’ and ‘Caravans’, they stormed through the 12 song set, finishing with an encore of ‘Stairwell Songs’. This was a band on fire, and BM can’t praise them enough – this is music of the highest quality and it was so great to hear them in full effect for the first time – incredible, and highly recommended.