“It’s like 1997 in here”, says one of the regulars in Sleazy’s upstairs bar. Indeed it is just like Franz Ferdinand never happened – most of the crowd waiting for the doors to open may well have been here ten years ago.
And quite possibly onstage – members of Bis, Mogwai and the Pastels mill around and even Arab Strap have reunited (well, for a pint anyway). As someone remarks later, if the venue exploded it would take most of the Scottish indie firmament with it (postulating that nightmare scenario further, should there not be some royal family-style arrangement where half the audience are placed in Sleazys and the rest in the 13th Note so that the lineage can be continued ?)
Even onstage downstairs there are familiar faces – take Ajay, who has worked as a soundman for some of those aforementioned acts. Tonight, however, he’s making the music, and the local roots show through, his band’s set sporting some influences from tonight’s headliners as well as The Fall and crucially Dog Faced Hermans, another Dutch/Scots act who has in the past shared members with The Bent Moustache. While album Forst is a mixed bag including the mighty dub tune ‘Killa Dub’, the choice of tunes for tonight’s set is spiky razor sharp stuff. ‘Counterinsurgencylifestylejunkies’ may herald their current direction which harks back to older material including the bass grind of ‘Somme’ and ‘League Of Mature Jazz Friends’ with its “Top of the league!” chorus – despite not applying to either Ajax or Celtic, TBM are on the up.
Peter Parker are a band who are already headlining venues like this one, but whether as a favour to Jane McKeown’s older brother or simply to add to the sense of nostalgia, the band seem quite happy to be playing second fiddle. Sounding raw and a little off-kilter, they rattle through tunes like single ‘Swallow The Rockets’ and by way of a tribute to the nineties, close with a slightly chaotic cover of Lungleg’s ‘Maid To Minx’. On this showing it’ll not be long before they’re selling this place out in their own right.
But tonight is all about the Yummy Fur. Having last played in Glasgow ten years and a month ago (so Jackie/John tells us) they’re back with a lineup which is synth-free and mixes personnel from across the ages – the ever-present frontman joined by Brian McDougall on guitar, celebrity drummer Paul Thompson, and stoically and out of the limelight, former label manager Paul Kearney on bass. And despite the lack of Mr Kapranos onstage, album Sexy World gets is a fair airing albeit in synth-free form.
Conversely, although they open with early b-side ‘Career Saver’ the mid-period album Kinky Disco is least well represented. Instead, it’s Night Club and Male Shadow that provide the material tonight, perhaps understandably as the angular, simple hooks that have influenced many bands since will be of most interest to any Franz-watchers present. Indeed, ‘Department’ is dedicated to former bassist Alex – “whatever happened to him?” jokes Jackie.
The new lineup gel together well, and the occasional shambling false start only adds to the sense of fun. Although around an hour in length, the set is over in a flash, and following the encore of ‘Deathclub’ they vanish off on tour in the USA. Considering the ‘noughties’ passed them by there’s plenty of lost time to make up for.
Here’s a video of ‘Canadian Flag’ which appears on Youtube along with other songs from the set, uploaded by user Supermiffy.