This, rather incredibly, was ambient English duo Ultramarine’s first ever Scottish gig, having not got much further north than Manchester during their long (although for a long period interrupted by life in general) career.
First of all we had Glasgow-based duo Failed System Test, whose half hour soundtrack of swirling ambient noise involved live sax, guitar, numerous electronic machines and percussion along with an ever changing visual backdrop. Never getting into higher bpm territory but with some toe-tapping sections, the show was original, at times challenging and quite a compelling aural/visual spectacle. They are doing more Glasgow shows soon so watch out for them.
Ultramarine are two knob-twiddlers whose “pastoral ambient techno” came to prominence in the late 90s and involved some work with English folk legend Robert Wyatt. Their show tonight involved hints of some back catalogue but was a continuous soundtrack where one theme melded and mutated into another. Beautiful to listen to and watch, although wholly electronic the sound feels almost hand-made, as you know the live performance will be difference on every occasion. Things got slightly more upbeat towards the latter sections, with some of the crowd breaking into a dance, although banger levels of exertion were not quite reached by the band or the audience.
Ultramarine both seemed pretty chuffed by the reaction to their set and BM hopes they come again soon, a very underlooked act who deserve a certain level of respect.