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West End Festival All-dayer: Malcolm Middleton, Man of Moon, Be Charlotte

Glasgow Oran Mor (Sunday 24 June 2018)

By • Jul 12th, 2018 • Category: gig reviews

Always a bit of a mixed bag, with surprises thrown in, the 2018 all-dayer gave the audience the opportunity to escape the ridiculously hot weather for a cooler basement (the venue) or the warm, but looking great, with the rays pouring through the stained glass, auditorium.

BM just checked if anybody else had bothered to review this event online, nup. Tenement TV did a good preview but after that, nothing, so here goes…

After last year’s quite male rock-orientated selection (Paws headlined, plus appearances from Bloodlines and Campfires in Winter), the organisers had booked several female-fronted acts and some from further afield than Scotland. A call-off by Carla J. Easton (get well soon!) meant a few last-minute reshuffles, but as per last year the first act in the downstairs venue, Skjor, played (as a two piece today, lead vocals/guitar and drums), just to an almost empty space. Bit of a shame as they sounded pretty good.

There were quite a few acts so BM is just going to give the rest of her top five.

Ava Love gave a good account of themselves with some groovy Afrobeat guitar riffs and a strong vocal. Ones to watch….

Fiskur from Glasgow also sounded pretty good, another two piece, BM could feel some depth in the songwriting and again would check them out in future.

Upstairs, Be Charlotte fairly rocked the religious house (BM can’t help noticing the various holy men’s effigies adorning the walls, glaring at us all…) – the band has evolved from the previous electronic setup to a more rock/funk proposition and it suits her, and the new songs are very good indeed – BM has always been a fan and she only needs that one lucky push to pass upwards to Chvrches type mass-appeal…

Boy Azooga have some very catchy tunes and are on their way to something, they just have a way with it…”Jerry”, for example, is just effortless, and there are more besides…

Man of Moon (from Edinburgh, a two piece guitar and drums combo) attracted probably the biggest crowd downstairs, and they did not disappoint… BM saw them supporting TTS a couple of years ago, and their krautrock/indie motorik sound has since been ratched up a few gears. They were loud, confident and even had a few keyboard riffs, referencing possibly Suicide as well… So ‘Sign’ and ‘The Road’ were really great, and the rest were pretty good too…

Up the stairs, Malcolm Middleton played tonight with a pianist, standing bass player, drummer and longstanding collaborator Jenny Reeve, on backing vocals. In the piercing heat he gave a selection of his wide back catalogue, including one or two from last album (‘Like John Lennon Said’), a new song (untitled, or BM didn’t catch the title) and older ones like ‘Blue Plastic Bags’. The one that stood out tonight for BM were ‘A Brighter Beat’ with its slightly Big Country-esque riff and its call to arms – “out the door, down the street…” – amazing and fantastic…

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