06 November 2009

Review: Glasgow PodcART/Oxjam night - Classic Grand, 1/11/09

Above: Debutant. Picture by Dougie at Up My Tree. Hope he doesn't mind me using this.

Apologies for this slightly rushed and late review of this thoroughly enjoyable night. I've been up to here *points to eyeballs* with uni work and tonight is the first chance I've had to do this.

This night was organised by the lovely Glasgow PodcART in aid of Oxfam. As many of you will probably already know, the PodcART have been doing some amazing work in Glasgow recently trying to promote loads of local bands in their gigs, podcasts and blogs. On top of this they're also a cracking bunch of folk. I'm sure many listeners will agree with me that they listen to their podcasts almost as much for the banter about beards, pumping in venice and dogs with diarrhoea as they do for the music. Keep it up! I've yet to find out how much they raised but as soon as I do I'll stick it up here.

Anyway, kicking us off was Debutant AKA Phillip Quirie of Meursault. He specialises in the gradual creation of soaring soundscapes complete with quiet, almost breathed vocals. He was pretty good but to be honest didn't quite capture my attention fully. One reason for this could have been that I arrived a short while after he started and I always struggle to get into sets when this happens. Another could have been that the PA was so quiet - when it got to the heavier parts you could actually hear him strumming his guitar strings over the music he'd just spent minutes building up. Despite this, his final song, King Of Double Speak, was very good. I'll reserve my full judgement till I see him again at a gig where it's a bit louder and I arrive on time but this time I just wasn't really feeling it.

Up next was Panda Su. She's a girl named Su who has a face like a panda. Wonder if she looks like that every day? I digress... Su plays sorta folky acousticy stuff, quite often solo it seems but in this case she was playing with her band who tonight consisted of Red on keyboards and various tinkery things and Chris from Esperi on drums and other percussion. This is my first time seeing her live and she was excellent. Her voice draws you right in, beckoning you to hang on to every word of her personal and striking lyrics such as ''The problem with myself is that I long to be someone else.'' from Moviegoer. This half hour set seemed to fly past and I loved every second of it.

Esperi AKA Chris Lee-Marr is another artist is hadn't seen live before. He plays many instruments on stage and loops them over and over much in the style of Remember Remember only with the inclusion of vocals and acoustic guitar as well. The result is like a beautiful, dreamy ride on a floating bed with a fluffy duvet and tinkling bells attached to the bedposts. At first, when he started his set in the middle of the crowd with a song using only his voice and a kalimba, I feared he was about to disappear up his self-indulgent hole. These fears were eased once he got on stage however. I'm not going to go on too much about this astounding set as it really is something you need to see for yourself. Layers and layers of sounds create a magnificent yet fragile experience, quite difficult to describe. Esperi is definitely an act you must catch live at some point as no review can do him justice.

And on last tonight is Yahweh. I'd saw them once previously in V Club with theapplesofenergy, but the gig on Sunday was far superior. Yahweh have never quite captured me in the way that they appear to have other people however. Tug Of Love is a good album but I just can't love it. Maybe it's just not my kinda thing. Despite this, the highlights of their set for me are the opener, Laps(e) and the outstanding The Wee Ending. A decent gig by a very good, tight band, who's music I just can't seem to fully get into.


To see some footage from Sunday, please go here.

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