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Gig review gig reviews (Scottish)

The Pastels / Ela Orleans

This was The Glad’s 7th birthday (how time flies…) and they put on a killer lineup for us punters…

The Glad is BM’s fave venue bar none, the 7th Glad Rag announces the passing on of venue management from Rachel (retiring) to son Joe, so no pressure there!

Ela Orleans gave us an amazing set (despite her wrestling with a slippy microphone – “I will design one with cement” she said later…)

We got a kinda greatest hits set, drawn from her recent release ‘Movies For Ears’ but also further cuts from the large back catalogue, and the visuals were amazing as well…

BM thinks she started off with ‘Neverend’, playing guitar along with the samples and computerised beats… What you have got to know about Ela is that no matter how technological the performance gets, it is always deeply human…

Would it be too OTT to compare her vocals to Nico and Liz Fraser? – well, BM does not think so!

There are some supreme moments of personal reverie, which both BM and the rest of the audience really got – there were grown men lost in the moment – a highly individual take on music in general and deeply appreciated by this audience…

So after a wee comfort break, indie Glasgow godfather Mr Stephen Pastel stood on the stage and said something along the lines of “So just me then, this is the Brexit Pastels, and unless the rest of you get onstage now I will take the entire fee…” – that got the rest of them on fairly quickly!

The Pastels have been a band for 38 years and counting… just saying…

The six-piece band (er, Katrina on drums, Suze Bear on bass, Stephen on guitar/vocals and BM is afraid she can’t name the others, on flute/keys, trumpet/keys and lead guitar) so quite a crowded stage…

The set was heavy on the last full Pastels album ‘Slow Summits’ but also featured a Silver Jews cover ‘Advice To The Graduate’, a tribute to leader David Berman, who recently passed away, plus a couple of oldies. There was a nice moment early on when Stephen gave a callout for the director of the film ‘The Last Great Wilderness’ – first song ‘Charlie’s Theme’ was on the soundtrack, and he was in the audience.

‘Summer Rain’ was introduced with some sarcasm about the ridiculously hot conditions in The Glad Sauna, and when some wit called out between songs, when an electronic beep came to the fore “are you going techno?”, Stephen assured the audience that the band had done with that phase years ago but that Eilidh from Sacred Paws hadn’t and would be proving it with a DJ set afterwards… which she did!

The 10th of an 11 song set tonight ‘Baby Honey’ reminded us how heavy, muscular and groovy this band can get if they want to (BM shook off her heels and got down to it, as did a few other audience members) and last song ‘Leaving’ (introduced by Stephen as “just something a bit quieter”) was a great ending and saved the band from the usual wig-out instrument-smashing encore (only kidding!).

In thanking the venue and paying his respects Stephen noted that the world needs community venues where people of like minds can come together even more in these difficult times, and BM would say amen to that, The Glad is certainly one of them and this beautiful gig by two top local artists was a great birthday tribute.