Remake/Remodel: Creeping Bent presents Say Jansfield, Serf, Gareth Sager, Fake Eyelashes, Colditz @ Bastille Tavern, Glasgow.
Obstensibly a launch for the Future Pilot AKA single ‘Eyes of Love’ the multi-band bill spans just-about everything Creeping and Bent that’s not covered in the pairing between Future Pilot and Belle and Sebastian - though Sushil Dade joins the Pastels to entertain us, and Stuart Murdoch, between songs. The night also acts as a launch for the Popism compilation CD which will now appear next year, and that’s a better representation of the evening, with all the acts performing available on this neat encapsulation of a wide range of what’s good about Scottish music at present.
Colditz open and make for a moodily melodic set of instrumental tunes - much more ‘tune’-based than last time I saw them live. They meld Mogwai and Nyman into a mix of tuneful atmospherica, cellos, trumpet and electronic samples making for a understated start to the proceedings.
Label head honcho Douglas Macintyre sneaks an unobtrusive set of cover versions into the lineup next - but this isn’t just a deserved party piece, as accompanying him - as Fake Eyelashes - is former Secret Goldfish frontwoman Katy McCullars whose sweet vocals perhaps disguise Macintyre’s virtuoso guitar work on pieces by the Velvet Underground and a version of labelmates the Nectarine No. 9’s ‘22 Blue’.
Serf are a band I’ve heard but not seen, so it’s a surprise when it becomes apparent that they’re the new project of Scientific Support Dept. man Docherty, who’s abetted up by at least one member of electro act BabyGod, as well as TWO female cellists (Gordon ballboy and indeed, Elgin indie punks Nero would both be imprssed, as I wonder if this is a peculiarly Scottish trait). Anyway, their sound is, perhaps inevitably, somewhere between both the acts mentioned - dubby but poppy; a little brooding at times, but with a dancey groove ever-present. Top stuff, in fact.
Happily, headliners Say Jansfield are in no danger of being blown offstage - making an immediate visual impact they have the tunes to match. Resplendent (apart from Maria’s electric blue wig) in white including a large fedora it’s a way-too-short set of 5 songs with 'Repetitive Strain Industry' the standout. Taking over where previous act tRANSELEMENt left off, they’re a a curious mix of proggy signatures punctuated by tighter-than-tight playing (particular Rob 'Neon's understated drumming), poppy choruses and soaring harmonies, which, we hope, is a combination so crazy it might just work. Certainly judging by the massive reaction at the end, Say Jansfield are, like their mentors Creeping Bent, a band with immense potential.
Here’s to the next 10 years!