Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been to the Glee Club and whilst it feels a bit weird to be sitting down for a gig, it’s quite nice that it’s warm and comfortable and that I can actually see what’s going on onstage (being somewhat stunted tends to have the odd drawback). Anyway it appears that tonight is going to be bloody marvellous, if support act Ross Clark and The Scarfs Go Missing are anything to go by.
Hailing from Glasgow, RC&TSGM are quite, quite ace. Their sound shifts and varies, quite hard to pin down, but is a winning combination of vocal harmonies that, at their finest, are genius. Mr Clark himself is a personable and charming frontman with a gently cracked voice that lends itself well to the more rousing numbers, as well as giving me shivers during the slower tracks. By turn crookedly witty and pointedly melancholy, this is a band whose charm and honesty are clear and shines through their songs. It’s also nice to see a band who have some real presence onstage; perhaps being so very close in the Glee emphasises everything, but it was great to see some genuine interaction between the crowd and the band. I know they’re from Glasgow but if we’re lucky perhaps they’ll come back. If they do I shall be at the front of the queue. Their Silversword single is available on iTunes but from the looks of things if you go via their MySpace you can also pick up their EP, as well as Ross Clark’s solo music. At the very least go and listen to their music player; it’s well worth a listen (or two, or three).
Tonight’s headline act, Frightened Rabbit, are playing a semi-acoustic set; no thrashing about and bouncing, but you know, Frightened Rabbit’s music gains a whole extra depth being delivered in this way, and tonight’s gig was something very special indeed. Opening with the heartfelt ode to an ex girlfriend that is My Backwards Walk – which, I might add, set the bar pretty high for the rest of the set, singer Scott proceeded to gently break hearts and raise smiles, while the rest of us all secretly wished we could dance to Old Old Fashioned which saw the band being accompanied on stage by Ross Clark, he of the missing Scarfs. Midnight Organ Fight, the most recent album and the one from which virtually all of tonight’s set is taken from, is a break-up album, and tonight, delivered softly, each word clear, the impact of the album as a whole work is heightened.
Good Arms vs Bad Arms, with its straightforward anger and honesty (I am not ready to see you this happy; somehow I believe it when I hear it), really does speak volumes about what happens after the initial shock of a relationship finishing fades. The set, tonight, performed as it is, is something really rather magical. It loses none of its impact for being semi-acoustic, and arguably gains from it; personally speaking, the most perfect moment of the night came during the encore, when singer/guitarist Scott stepped back out onto the stage with an unamplified guitar and no microphone and performed Poke (just…go and look up the words) to a room full of people who, I swear, held their breath for the whole thing. Delicately reworked, with beautiful soft backing vocals and precise, fragile guitars, tonight’s show was pretty bloody amazing. Intense, emotional, intelligent and quite, quite special.
Review – Gill Duckett
Photos – Christine Tellier