Gig Review: Glasgow Podcart Birthday Bash

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Glasgow PodcART 1st Birthday
Campfires In Winter, Little Yellow Ukeleles, St Deluxe
The 13th Note, Glasgow. 18th February 2010

When you grow up in Paisley, you learn to expect certain things from a birthday party.

Some people you thought would be there don’t turn up. Someone gets far too drunk, and vomits quite spectacularly. There’s a fight. The cake is disappointing. And the music will be mostly rubbish.

How then did Glasgow Podcart’s first birthday bash measure up to expectations then?

Well, there was someone that didn’t turn up, as Campfires In Winter lost their drummer mere days before the gig. This didn’t seem like the greatest of omens, especially as this would be the first time I’d see Campfires In Winter. Rather than letting the loss of a drummer derail them the three remaining members put together a short, stripped back, mostly acoustic set. They then proceeded to not just impress with their shortened set, but stun. When a perfect cover of The Twilight Sad’s “The Room” isn’t the best song in the set – that honour going to closing song Mortigi Tempo – you know you are in the hands of a band who are doing something very very right. I’m not so sure about their birthday gifts of decapitated cuddly toys though.

I don’t think Litle Yellow Ukuleles will mind to much if I call them a noisy wee bunch, but there’s also a lot more too them than just making a racket. Songs like Discopants burrow into your brain and stay there for hours later, while the likes of Elders Digsite shows that they can do quiet too. Seeming more confident, comfortable and tighter sounding than I last saw them what was already a good band have clearly been working hard and improving as they do so.

When you are knee deep in bands that are determined to sound like Biffy Clyro like so many in Glasgow do it’s nice to have someone doing something completely different, which brings us to the night’s headliners, St Deluxe. Gloriously and unashamedly St Deluxe draw influence from the likes of Mudhoney, Dinosaur Jr and Pavement, then throw them in a blender with Teenage Fanclub, Urusei Yatsura and Spacemen 3 until they come out something that has hallmarks of those bands, but is entirely it’s own beast. St Deluxe might own a bunch of guitar pedals and have no fear of using them, but they also have a collection of fantastic songs to use them on. Amongst the fuzzy guitars and distorted vocals there are beautiful melodies that make standing still impossible.
By the time St Deluxe are done with their last track – an almost unrecognisable version of Johnny Cash’s “Big River” my ears are ringing and there’s a huge grin on my face. Both the grin and the deafness would take days to fade.

How did the night measure up to the birthday party expectations then? Well, there was no fighting. No puking all over the place. All the drinkers behaved themselves (at least I think I behaved myself). As for the threat of rubbish music? Not a chance, instead we got three great performances from three fantastic bands. Sometimes it is nice when you don’t get what you expect. Oh, and the cake was awesome.

Happy Birthday Glasgow PodcART, here’s to many more.

Glasgow PodcART were kind enough to publish this review on their website. You can find that here, and as a bonus listen to a few exclusive tracks recorded at the birthday bash featuring Campfires in Winter and Little Yellow Ukeleles.

Links: Campfires in WinterLittle Yellow UkelelesSt DeluxeGlasgow PodcART