This triple bill at The Glad was the second night of Canadians The Burning Hell’s two night residency. They last visited around a year ago and seemed happy to return to the same venue and even play it two nights in a row (with previous night’s supports Adam Ross and Raveloe).
First off we got a solo set from Man of the Minch, who played mainly new material on his acoustic guitar plus a couple from his last album. Pedro has a fine voice and his self-deprecation caused a good few laughs. He started with ‘Ordinary’ from his album, plaintive and gorgeous, while a new song about his wee dog (Angus) was rather poignant and ‘Swim’ referenced Loch an Eilan near Aviemore, a fave haunt of BM. After some well-received new material, finished with ‘Rosanna’ from the album – altogether a fine outing.
Goodshank and Kom are basically two guys from tonight’s headliners on guitar/vocals plus a lady on guest vocals (who name BM did not quite catch). Their set of covers of the country music legend Roger Miller was played reasonably straight, just letting the bizarreness of some of the songs speak for themselves. Songs such as ‘My Uncle Used To Love Me But She Died’ are just weird, and while everyone knows the standard ‘King of the Road’ some RM tracks pop up in strange places like the Disney version of Robin Hood.
When The Burning Hell take the stage the Glad is actually almost full. Playing as a four piece with Matthias on guitar/vocals, Ariel on bass/sax/drums/vocals, Toby on guitar/keys and Jake on drums/flute/sax/keys (there is a bit of swapping around) they launch into a wide selection of tracks from their current album ‘Garbage Island’. A “concept album about the end of the world”, there are a lot of songs about birds, (‘Nigel The Gannet)’, ‘Bird Queen’) and waves (the album is mainly set on the aforementioned Garbage Island). TBH’s music is a unique blend of styles, channelling something between The Velvet Underground, Lambchop and Half Man Half Biscuit. The songs are psychedelic, rocky and the lyrical references are frequently bizarre and hilarious. There is a lounge jazz interlude at one point (“Niiiiice!”) and the sax gets deployed to great effect, notably on ‘Birdwatching’ which at times sounds like an outtake from a Psychedelic Furs album. On ‘Bird Queen’ an element of audience participation was introduced with everyone encouraged to tap some plastic rubbish as percussion.
Towards the end the band delve further back into the catalogue with the crowd favourite ‘Fuck The Government, I Love You’ (a definite nod to fellow Canuk, Laughing Len Cohen) they end on the encore of ‘Amateur Rappers’, which sounds like Camper Van Beethoven vs Cornershop, if that is actually possible.
The band clearly love playing this venue and were full of praise for the Glad bar staff, Jer Reid on sound and Lloyd Meredith from Olive Grove Records – hope to see them again next year!