Gig review gig reviews (Scottish)

Record Store Day 2018 Highlights

Record Store Day – is it in danger of eating itself?

There are some bizarre aspects to it, however the completely free day’s entertainment provided by the generous, gregarious and all-round good guy Sandy NcLean of Lovemusic Glasgow was excellent and gave us new, and not so new, local talent.

Dow’s function suite may not be the most hip of venues but the production and sound crew made sure every act sounded very good indeed, and there were quite a few.

BM is only going to focus on several, but there are honourable mentions to Fallen Arches (who also played last year), Feather West, David Ross (spoken word extracts) and The Hollows, Dean Owens and Barbe Rousse, also Adam Ross (of Randoph’s Leap) who played a solo set at a point in the afternoon where no one was really listening (‘I Can’t Dance to This Music Anymore’ and others were still great though!). The logistics of moving large amounts of equipment in and out of this upstairs venue were handled well by all…

Solareye, aka Dave Hook from Stanley Odd, was on first, at 1pm when the place was pretty much empty and the first pints of the day were being poured. Previewing tracks from his forthcoming solo album (there were a few white labels to be had) he tore it up in his own inimitable way, a mixture of humour, off the wall imagery, political rhetoric and damn fine tunes (provided by his foil Harvey Cartel). As well as ‘Scottish People Can’t Rap’ and several others he also gave us (after a “parental advisory” warning, but no “c”s) ‘Raindrops Brainbox’, probably for BM his best tune of the moment, which is a broadside against the music industry, mixed with some hilarious puns, putdowns and comedy sound effects. For an early Saturday afternoon this was a bravura performance and much respect due – he is touring this year and if this is anything to go by, the shows will be unmissable.

A few bands later it was time for The Beat Poets – a legendary combo “formed in Strathbungo” and heavily influenced by Dick Dale, they are getting on a bit now but they fairly shook the rafters here, in front of a very appreciate crowd. There was dancing and mayhem… A three-piece sax section assault, surf guitar, throbbing bass courtesy of The Primevals’ John Honeyman and pounding drums, they rocked – tight as anything, note perfect but garage raw. Tracks like ‘Randall and Hopkirk’ and very old single ‘Chinese Algebra’ (released on the McLean-backed label 53rd/3rd). they went down a real treat. There is plenty of life left in these ol’ dogs yet – outstanding!

Later on we had a full set from original Edinburgh punkers The Valves. BM was really impressed by their set at McChuills last year (see previous review) and they played a blinder again, some new songs and some (really) oldies. Pretty much the original lineup, (BM thinks), augmented by keyboards – highlights were probably “It Don’t Mean Nothing at All”and “Ain’t no Surf in Portobello”. They played for all they were worth and sounded fantastic, well worth seeing.

So after an acoustic set from Hollows, how could this day get any better – well of course it was up to Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five to finish things off, the whole day running late (who was complaining?) at around 630pm or so. A slightly diminished Dijons, minus Dijancer David Blair (he was there through the day but had urgent business in Paisley), they numbered around 8 today (John McMustard on vocals, plus drums, bass, guitar, trombone, backing vocals, keyboards, and some guest junior vocals at times as well). This phenomenon (or cult) continues to claim converts in their mission to turn the world yellow and spread peace, love and mustard. The place was pretty full by this time and this is a band that has filled the Barras, O2 Academy and massed festival crowds so we were truly blessed by another (they played the same gig last year) up-close performance by this chaotic and multi-talented combo.

Listen up, people – the ‘Peace, Love and Mustard’ EP is out, and they were shifting serious numbers of copies, both at Lovemusic Glasgow and at this gig. Starting with staple ‘International Sex Hero’ and going through ‘Dance Off’ and ‘How Many Many…?’, for BM it is probably ‘These Are Not The Drugs You Are Looking For’ that strikes the most profound note, but the Dijons just want all us to party, which is what this audience did, dancing and pogo-ing, early in the evening.

This lot could turn a wake into a party. A crowd-surfing moment (not by him, someone lighter…) and comments about “gamey” lager (well-handled by the bar staff) showed McMustard’s natural banter in building a rapport with complete strangers, and longterm fans, and why they one of the best live acts in Scotland today…

With multiple headline and festival gigs booked in 2018, the Dijons’ plan to turn the world yellow and avert World War 3 (another trip to Korea) is a real thing – best moment of the day was spotting Sandy Wishart, pint in hand, cheering the Dijons on – well you deserved it Sandy, and BM salutes you, and everyone else who made this event possible.