Pivo Pivo, Glasgow.
April 9th 2011.
I’d already been to a gig on Saturday night, but an early finish there offered me the chance to make the short walk from The Admiral to Pivo Pivo just in time to wrap my eyes and ears round How Garbo Died. This late arrival meant I missed Audiodeluxe and It Girl, so don’t read anything into the lack of comment on them, I just didn’t see them.
How Garbo Died are a pretty uncompromising pair of men at the best of times. When confronted with the two main things that blight almost every gig I attend in Pivo Pivo – ropey sound and endless chatter – they react with the kind of level headedness you’d expect. That is, none at all.
If there’s any kind of rules about treating an audience with the respect they deserve then the poor crowd in Pivo Pivo can’t complain about the contempt How Garbo Died dished out. They opt for a tactic something along the lines of if people won’t listen, deafen them.
When not lost in muddy sound, or when trying to leave lasting mental scars, How Garbo Died do get to show they have songs to back up the attitude though. Jagged guitars, occasionally beaten out of a seemingly failing instrument allied with loops and soaring vocals give things a certain post apocalyptic feel at times, and you get the idea they wouldn’t be all that bothered if a large slice of humanity was wiped off the face of the Earth either.
An attempt at silencing the talking hordes – a venomous holler unrepeatable on a family blog – backfires slightly, as it sends me into waves of laughter, adding to the crowd noise, but means this is a gig I’m not likely to forget in a while.
More chaos follows, with excursions off the stage taking place, perhaps an attempt to personally deafen the ignorant before How Garbo Died close things with My Life In Statistics. Imagine Arab Strap in a really bad mood and you are in the right ballpark.
This was one of those gigs that sounds nightmarish when written down, but was something quite thrilling and brilliant to witness. Uncompromising and brutal, but brilliant.
How Garbo Died certainly aren’t easy listening and may well scare off more people than they convert, but this is no bad thing. They certainly stand out a mile from the legions of jangly guitared matching shirts and haircuts crowd. I just hope when the apocalypse does come they let me stick around with them afterwards.