The Big Sleep / Palms – Nice’n’Sleazy’s, Glasgow – 15th May 2012
Truth is, if this had happened 3 or 4 weeks ago – before I’d heard the album and when I was completely worn out – I’d have skipped a midweek trip to Glasgow even to see the Scottish debut of the magnificent Big Sleep. Fortunately, somewhat refreshed in the last week or so and despite a somewhat complicated route to the show, I made it through and it was worth every minute of the 2 and a half hour round trip.
There’s something euphoric about the noise this threesome create and I spent a fair chunk of their set just wallowing in that blissful sound. At one point I did make the mistake of stepping out of the kill zone between the speakers to try and take some photos and there was an immediate physical sensation of withdrawal from being in that quieter zone. Whilst there are obvious stylistic differences between the 2 NY bands, the experience was quite similar to watching Band of Susans live.
Although new LP ‘Nature Experiments’ was featured heavily, the set was drawn from across the band’s three studio LPs with the bonus of a startling version of B-side ‘Gas Up The Jets’.
Despite the fact that they’re a 3 piece, the Big Sleep managed to create an impressive range of sounds on stage from the all electronic opener ‘You Can’t Touch The Untouchable’ through to the more anthemic tunes like ‘Ace’ and ‘Pinkies’.
Whilst there’s an often only implied funkiness to the sound on record, it felt just a little looser live lending some of the tunes a slightly unexpected groove.
Whilst the new record features none of the band’s trademark instrumentals, they’re very much a part of live show with the set book ended by YCTTT and an epic ‘Black Beauty’ whilst ‘The Big Guns’ also featured late in the set.
The small but appreciative audience was therefore treated to a hugely impressive and exciting show. Hopefully the Big Sleep’s Scottish debut won’t be their last show.
I only caught half of openers Palms who sounded like they could easily have traversed the Atlantic with the Big Sleep. They hadn’t, as they’re Scottish based, but they tapped into a wiry Riot Girl-like American alt rock. Definitely a band to look out for.
A song that the Big Sleep performed last night:
The Big Sleep setlist:
1. You Can’t Touch The Untouchable 2. Ace 3. Red Carpet 4. Valentine 5. Gas Up The Jets 6. Pinkies 7. Ghosts In Bodies 8. Ladders 9. The Big Guns 10. Four Wishes 11. Brown Beauty
Photos from the show.
UPDATE – Interview with Danny from the Big Sleep.