29 July 2009

Review: Ross Clark & The Scarves Go Missing, Diamond Sea and Ben TD - King Tut’s 17/7/09

Above: Steven, Diamond Sea (by Ghurdy)

Ben TD is an Australian solo acoustic artist who I first encountered just the other week at the excellent weekly acoustic jam in Sleazy’s. Here, however, he is accompanied by his band, The Ben TD Mess. They‘re a bit like a Teenage Fanclub cookie with just a wee bit of Fleet Foxes and Crowded House baked in to sweeten and enhance the flavour. The highlight of the set is the outstanding ‘The Science Of Breath’ which Ben plays without the backing of the rest of his band members. His voice is astounding throughout the set and he is possibly the best singer I’ve heard in Glasgow for a long time. It’s pretty good stuff and I really enjoyed it. They’re not a band I would go out of my way to listen to again very often but I wouldn’t be displeased to see them on the bill of a gig I had tickets for.

Next up are Diamond Sea. I’ve seen these guys many times now throughout their many line-up changes and this is the best I’ve heard them. Their aim is not to just go on stage and play some songs, but to move slickly from one song to the next. Each number segues into the next seamlessly in tonight’s primarily instrumental set. ‘Idleness Breeds Thought And Thoughts’ is particularly excellent, the gradual crescendo rising and rising until the colossal climax. ‘Pharmacology’ is another highpoint of the night. A superb set.

Ross Clark and his Scarves begn with probably my favourite track of his, ‘Captain Of A Ship’ from his latest album You Brought Evil. Soon after, a stomping ‘Black Bowl Park’ provokes a minor hoedown down the front involving a lad ( who evidently has not noticed that bowl cuts went out of fashion at some point in the mid 90s), his mates and anyone else drunk enough to join in. It provided a laugh anyway, if primarily from Hoedown Dancer No. 1’s hair. Further high points of the set are ‘Sex Is For Losers’, ‘Blue Suede Blues’ and set closer ‘Echo On The Night Train’. The band then returned to the stage to cover The Band’s ‘The Weight’ before the crowd emptied onto Glasgow’s humid, clammy streets. One minor gripe though, was that the band returned for the encore despite the crowd not really shouting for one meaning that most of the crowd were already on their way out of the room. Nothing major I know, but seeing bands do encores without being asked to is just one of my pet hates. Otherwise, an excellent set tonight from Ross and the band as usual.

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