This gig was part of several events, including workshops and talks, organised by the Scottish Alternative Music Awards organisation headed up by Richy Muirhead.
Paisley is often overlooked as a cultural centre despite having several decent venues. The Bungalow is 10 minutes walk from the station, which is itself only 10 minutes train ride from Glasgow, so there really is no excuse not to go there. This gig was not rammed but the newish stage setup, good sightlines and excellent sound system made it a really enjoyable event, as well of course as the acts themselves.
First band on were no familiar to BM at all – a Scottish duo consisting of Joseph on guitar/vocals and Martha on bass. Martha didn’t say anything (“she has bronchitis” explained Joseph) so BM is not sure if she normally sings as well, anyway not tonight.
They played through a sequence of fairly low-key and quite subtle indie/Americana numbers, starting with older track ‘Finn’. The instruments locked in a gave off quite a Constant Follower vibe while the vocals were at first quite neutral in tone and subject, then getting more animated and barbed for some later numbers.
There was a cover version which BM did not recognise (Sparklehorse maybe?) – a couple of brand new songs and the set ended with ‘Citrus’ and another track whose chorus “Just want to kiss your eyes…” was just beautiful – BM did get the impression the tracks were deliberately place-neutral, although the references to “windshields” and other American parlance did shift one’s view Stateside, or possibly to potentially soundtracking yet another Scandi mystery drama – Joseph did manage some quite sarcastic banter, including speculating how infectious Martha’s lurgy actually was… overall promising…
BM has seen Linzi Clark perform extracts from her great first album, but not with musical foil Richard in tow. Another guitar definitely gave some of the live renditions a bit more depth, and did not drown out her quite astonishing at times voice. Turns out she is quite local to hear (her parents were in attendance…).
So we got ‘My Motto’ firstly, then “the first song I ever wrote” and a third of the guitar-based songs. There were shades of Joni Mitchell and also (BM thought anyway) Paulo Nutini in the vocals – is this a Paisley thing? There was a change of style mid-way through the set when the guitars were ditched for some keyboards and electronic percussion.
‘Seabed’ sounded great and Linzi’s voice equally as good with a completely different backing, and the set ended with further electropop adventures – were they a “synth duo” masquerading as a guitar combo all along? Whatever way around, it was very good indeed.
Poster Paints are newly returned from a trip to South by South West – playing as a four-piece (Carla on vocals/keys, Simon on guitar, Suse on bass and Callum on drums) they ripped through a selection of tracks from the debut album, starting with “Still Got You”. Melodic, dark in places, defiant and always catchy, the initial nervousness chief songwriter Carla had when debuting this set last year has largely dissipated and she looks far more at ease now.
After a valedictory ‘Blood Orange’ and ‘Not Sorry’, the final run of tracks (including ‘Never Saw It Coming’) pushed the message home that this band can do anything – further releases surely beckon and who knows what attention they garnered at SxSW – watch this space!