Gig review gig reviews (Scottish)

We Were Promised Jetpacks / Kathryn Joseph / Martha Ffion / Coping Mechanism

This glorious event was given over to Detour to organise, and they did a great job. Five acts appeared on the bill as anagrams, with the audience trying to work out who the hell was playing. We were in for some great surprises.

First up (playing as “Coping Mechanism”, not his anagram title!) was Phil from PAWS, only his second gig (BM reviewed the first a few weeks ago, and the sound has developed a bit since then even. There are electronic backing tracks, some live keyboards and some guitar – he sings on several tracks, hard to know what about, but the overall effect come across really well, like a sweeter and tenderer Blanck Mass or something. Watch out for more live gigs and hopefully some kind of release soon!

Next up was the inimitable Kathryn Joseph, who played solo with her piano and gave us tracks mainly from the current album ‘From When I Wake The Want Is’ – in between the songs the patter was an absolute blast. If the songs turn to shit (they won’t!) a career as a standup comedian surely beckons… Startled by the dry ice behind her, she declared “that just went right up me”, and one song was dedicated to “the man I begged to fuck me, who is in this room, and he did!” Kate Bush comparisons may be a bit cliched but is the only one BM will make tonight. She was loquacious about the love in the room, declared herself “a wee bit drunk” but the songs were spellbinding, as usual. Her City Halls date in November is going to be massive…

Martha Ffion and full band was on next (billed here as “Fart Ham Info!”), and gave a great set, ending with the peerless “Kennedy Hair”, which BM had only ever heard solo before. Tonight this was fleshed out into a folk banger which resonated across the walls of this rather wee room and was quite amazing.

It was perhaps no surprise that We Were Promised Jetpacks appeared next, given their branded drums had been onstage since the start… There were a shitload of pedals and dry ice and they started, with no particular fanfare. It was an intense set, and BM had not seen them for quite a while. BM nicked the setlist but now can’t find it, but is sure they played, among other things ‘Quiet Little Voices’ and ‘Repeating Patterns’, so there were tracks spanning their career. The sound was spot on (courtesy of Katy on the desk, who did a superb job all night – it was truly awesome to witness this kind of furious noise at such close quarters, and the band appeared to enjoy playing a wee sweatbox rather than the bigger stages they are used to these days…

Detour did a great job, and the raffle was raising a lot of cash for a very worthy cause, so all in all a great night.