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The Stroppies / Rapid Tan

Glasgow Hug and Pint (Wednesday 10th July 2019)

By • Aug 8th, 2019 • Category: Gig review

This show at first appeared to be a bit cursed, as first Vital Idles, then replacements Las Mitras pulled out due to various reasons, leaving just the two bands. Then, in this sold out venue, Rapid Tan had to contend with some equipment issues (which meant their into music, from Tubular Bells, had to be played twice!) before some pure mentalist chaos ensued.

Rapid Tan blasted their way through a brace of nine or so tracks, sounding to BM’s ears like some unholy melding of X-Ray Spex and Extreme Noise Terror. The Glasgow four-piece comprising Eilidh on vocals, Cal on bass, Billy on guitar and Taylor on drums are a true force of nature, and the noise is loud and uncompromising. Songs are short and to the point, often stuttering (deliberately!) to a halt and restarting. Tracks like ‘Superhighway’ and ‘Draw Central’ are glorious bursts of energy, with shredding guitar, booming bass, crashing drums and a lead vocal which goes between early Clare Grogan (‘Dead Pop Stars’) and peak Kathleen Hannah. It is a pretty intense experience and the between song banter is brief but self-deprecatingly funny. With no apparent releases to date (although ‘Romeo’ Taylor’s solo career is currently taking off via Lost Map records), this lot are surely ones to watch.

The headliners The Stroppies come all the way from Melbourne, Australia, where their members have been through a succession of scene bands over there before settling on this four-piece lineup. The majority of the 13 song set comes from their current album ‘Whoosh!’ which is a sublime distillation of various elements of Australian pop influences (The Go-Betweens, The Triffids), UK bands like The Commotions, Orange Juice and US like Jonathan Richman and of course The Velvets, a pretty good set of forebears…

The songs come thick and fast, a couple from the new album first (‘Nothing At All’, ‘Present Tense’) and some older ones (‘All The Lines’, ‘No Joke’) – vocals are shared between female and male members and the keyboard-led tunes (especially last one ‘Celllophane Car’) are some of the best. If you missed them this time all BM can do is recommend the current album and hope that budgets allow them another UK visit very soon indeed. The H&G was absolutely rammed so they could surely do a bigger venue next time. A great and sweat-drenched time in the company of some of Down Under’s premier exponents of indiepop.

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