The fact it was Eurovision night and the end of the hottest day in Glasgow of the year so far may have meant some late call-offs for this gig, nominally sold out but The Glad didn’t actually seem full.
S. Antigone were first up, a “project” more than a band maybe, playing together for the first time, Simone on guitar/vocals and Georgia on clarinet. After an abortive start (the guitar loop unexpectedly worked first time) they played five or six tracks, the two instruments interacting with each other in different ways, somethings complementing each other and sometimes jarring against, while Simone’s vocals ranged from muttered musings to full lost in the music yelling (what Simone referred to as “the evil song” was especially good). Both are exceptionally good musicians and the experimental nature of the tracks was refreshing – given both of their commitments to other bands and projects we’ll see whether this pairing develops further…
Isa Gordon was not a name known to BM before tonight but her 45 minute continuous set of electronica certainly caught the attention. Using a laptop, samplers and other bits of kit she manipulated the sound frequencies and added vocals as the music grinded up the gears. It probably wasn’t loud enough and there was no dancing, which given the bpm and the endless hooks and samples, there really should have been, but BM wasn’t really going to lead the charge if everyone else wanted to stand stroking their beards – whatever… There were a couple of very catchy melodies and potential club banger possibilities here and it is no surprise that IG’s album of 2022 was released through Glasgow clubbing overlords Optimo’s label.
Sumshapes were playing the first of two “farewell” gigs, the second one being at the same venue the following afternoon, where presumably they gave some toddlers tinnitus (can confirm – Ed). The core three-piece of Jer Reid (guitar/vocals), Ali Begbie (bass/vocals) and Richey Dempsey (drums) are calling it a day after around 10 years of playing together and the release of several records. Tonight they were joined, on the majority of tracks played, by saxophonist Raymond MacDonald, whose efforts further embellished the overall sound.
Stevie on sound did a great job (given the sound engineering skills of various band members BM guesses that expectations were high!) and the vibration at the bar was enough to get the beer glasses shaking.
Quite a lot of the music came from their 2017 album ‘Cabin Biscuits’, starting off with ‘Itchy Eye’, Jer fairly spitting the lyrics out in a broad West Coast of Scotland accent while the bass pulsed and the drums clattered. The sound takes a bit from previous generations of Glasgow noise bands (such as their own Dawson) but also from US hardcore, postpunk and stop/start enthusiasts such as Wire (and even Elastica…!). There was some newer material, presumably taken from more recent jams and rehearsals, so the set stretched to a good dozen or more tracks, ending abruptly with the resounding ‘Northern’. They came, they rocked, they (eventually) went home to do it all again tomorrow – legends!