The S&G appears to have survived north of the border while the brand name has evaporated elsewhere – BM is genuinely confused about what it is supposed to be, who it is for and why it is still here in Glasgow, but WTF.
It still offers the chance for up to 12 hours of live bands in 7 or more different venues within 10 mins walk of each other, so what is not to like, even if 90% of the bands were rubbish, which they were not, for £20 plus booking fee – Betty’s in for that, although not in for Bank Holiday overindulgences, some of us do actually have real jobs. BM’s, to remind you, is former model/hostess/dancer/actress (we don’t talk about that last phase though), so have to do a lot of “resting” especially on Mondays…
So BM spread herself around as many bands and venues as possible, without the bunions flaring up too much – oh, too much information maybe, but a lifetime of stacked heels does take its toll, let me tell you.
Arrived at ABC for the wristband around 5pm in typical Glasgow May BH conditions, meaning gusty, 30% chance of hailstorms, definitely raining in various ways, including sideways, plays havoc with the decolletage… but we do our best…
Bands reviewed below were not all viewed for entire sets, so apologies if BM missed any revelations or onstage decapitations – apparently no one died, although “Shame” probably should have, see below…
The Mirror Trap – enthusiastic, had not played Glasgow for a while, been recording an album in Thailand – a 5 piece with one beard between them, some shades of Suede with added crunchy guitars. Frontman was irrepressible and had a real need to shake his bum, a good quality in rock BM tends to find. Good-humoured and good melodies, watch out for them.
Shame – this lot have some tenuous connection to the Fat White Family, from what BM could hear they were out of tune, tuneless and absolutely terrible, but played to a packed basement at Broadcast, just shows that there is no accounting for taste. Avoid.
Trudy and the Romance – from Sheffield, a young three piece, excellent stuttering guitar and vocals work, Arctic Monkeys via The Coral, really funny, great Beatles cover (‘Don’t Let Me Down’)… would pay to see them and please come back to Glasgow, you were fab.
We Are Scientists – inexplicably popular and almost filled the ABC1, Australian schtick (are they from Oz? feck knows). Massive riffs, everything but the kitchen sink, some old U2 riffs as well, ok, some tunes but still… why?
Bella and the Bear – had them confused with some Mumford clone act but Christ they were good, spellbinding songs in close harmony about lives gone wrong, must admit it is the first time in a long time that BM was openly weeping at a gig, they can hit a very raw nerve, you have got to catch this extraordinary duo – deep.
The Lapelles – while We Are Scientists chugged to their irrelevant conclusion it was up to the young team to show a bit of bite. A five piece from West Scotland, they fairly attacked their material – complex chord structures, teenage angst and a glorious sound. The sound of young Scotland 2016 – you have gotta see them.
Be Charlotte – another absolute must-see, BC ruled the CCA, backed with a drummer and a programmer. Fearless onstage, perfect treated vocals and an amazingly mature take on electronica from one so young. BM prediction: SAY 2017 winner.
Stanley Odd – a more familiar name, at the Art School, SO had only half an hour so wisely not a greatest hits, more some work in progress, and some “hello we are still here”. Solareye and Veronica did a grand fronting job but this is truly a whole band effort, the other 4 members providing the beats and the muscle. ‘Headspace’ saw some great freestyling by MCSE and last one parodied every artist’s fear of the fuckup on the next release. BM fucking loves SO, down the front trying not to lose the voice, again…
Emma Pollock – a very good year to date for EP, BM took the risk of coming in late (SO overran) and sitting at the front, trying to avoid the “you are blocking ma bird’s view” scenario, but did have to stand up because the music deserved it. Around 7 or 8 tracks were played, the reverb was sublime, the vocals absolutely nailed, the backing band (drums, bass and keyboards) perfect. ‘Harperfield’ is a remarkable record and tonight BM was transported into childhood memories, EP’s and everyone’s – what an achievement. EP was also witty, rude to her band and seemed very grounded and relaxed onstage – definitely her year and BM just loved every minute of this.
Tried to get into see The Van T’s but Sleazy’s was very busy, the half number BM did see sounded fine but just too many tables to trip over, the 8 inch heels were maybe not the best choice.
Band of Skulls – closed the ABC1 stage and attracted a good crowd – great riffs but you are not QOTSA, you are some guys from Southampton, ok?
So with that thought it was time to get a bus as the madness of a bank holiday began to kick in on the Sauch St strip, time for BM to adjust her garters and totter off into the sunset – proper work tomorrow so, oh Christ, use your imagination…