Last Night From Glasgow Records’ mothership store is now a fixture of the music retail landscap, occupying an interesting corner just off the hubbub of the so-call Finnieston Strip (not to be confused with one of BM’s previous jobs, but that’s another story).
The LNFG people had put together a pretty ambitious offer of live music for RSD, some of it contingent on the weather being okay – and thankfully it was. This does not claim to be a full review of every act, let’s say it is some edited highlights of what was a very successful day for Big Blue and all who sail in her… Pretty much all the acts feature have/have had or will have a LNFG association in terms of music releases, and the overall amount of talent on show was impressive – BM again applauds Ian Smith and the rest of them for daring to dream in the first place, and then actually doing it…
When BM hotfooted in from “the town” and arrived in the middle of Brontes’ set there was a considerable crowd (probably up to 200 people at any given time, with various comings and goings throughout) which if anything grew bigger as the afternoon progressed. Playing under the cover of the gazebo (in the courtyard under Big Blue) which had been set up for the day, the band sounded pretty good in an acoustic configuration of instruments (probably due to potential noise complaints and also the size of said gazebo nobody got to use a drumkit, although various drummers did try their luck banging various things, even the frame of the gazebo itself came under attack from Sister John later, the hooligans…).
Next up was Brenda, an all-female three-piece comprising drum/percussion, guitar/keys and a twin-synth attack. Slightly wonky at times, but songs like ‘Microscopic Baby’ and ‘Seasonal Assistance’ sounded really good, although maybe they are better suited to indoor gigs, of which they were going on to do later at Platform’s annual multi-arts festival in Easterhouse, somewhat unfortunately an annual event booked on RSD… oh well…
Michael M is the lead singer in Glasgow noise enthusiasts Slime City but he also does a nifty line in one-man acoustic performances. Today he regaled the crowd with some Slime City material and a couple of solo numbers. ‘Landlines – What The F— are They’ got things started, then astronaut Tim Peak got a verbal kicking, before MM had to do some hasty lyrical on-the spot-improvisations to avoid the excessive swearing on his song about a nuclear bomb landing on Glasgow due to the number of children present. His geeky persona (oh sorry, maybe not persona, personality then!) and high-pitched singing cause spontaneous outbreaks of mirth in the assembled ranks – and when the subject matter got blacker (his father’s death) it just seemed to get funnier… A total legend on the day!
An updated version of The Supernaturals played a selection of tracks (guitar/keyboards/hand-held percussion trio) starting with the evocative ‘Trees’ and ending with one or possibly two of those catchy “hits” (what’s that then grandad?).
Sister John shone (as the weather began to threaten) with great versions of some of their best tracks – BM is hoping to get to their next gig so pleads forgiveness that they only get a mention here – it may also be worth noting that drink had been in plentiful supply throughout the afternoon (the off-sales nearby on Sauchiehall St must have had a pleasant surprise at the steady stream of customers through its doors that day) so BM’s normally assiduous note-taking and powers of recall had maybe began to wane.
There was also a period of absence, a change of plan and a return for what was the last act, those ageing scamps The Bluebells, experiencing a further revival this past 12 months (and of course they headlined LNFG’s big Covid-19 lockdown gig at SWG3 which seems so long ago now). Doing somewhat of a Phil Collins at Live Aid today, this was the last of three separate appearances but the trio seemed very chipper and happy to oblige us with songs new and old. Set opener ‘Daddy Was An Engineer’ seems set to join the evergreen roster of classics, while ‘Cath’ was just sublime and yes, everybody sang along – of course they did. A great end to a great event, and BM understands the first couple of acts went down a storm as well.