French Wives

French Wives / Cancel The Astronauts / The Bad Books – The Flying Duck, Glasgow – Saturday 27th October 2012

I have a handful of recurring, not exactly nightmares, more anxiety dreams, one of which is paying to see something and not being able to because of a pillar or something. What I discovered last night was that it has been a premonition of seeing a gig at the Flying Duck.

Now the photos clearly demonstrate that it is possible to see a show at the Duck, but only if you’re standing right next to the PA or directly in front of the stage in what’s supposed to be a walkway to the bar. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a venue less suited to a rock show before.

Fortunately it didn’t stop anyone at the show enjoying the performances of three excellent bands but I can’t imagine that, whilst loads more people could have got in, I doubt  many more would have been able to actually enjoy the show.

First on were the Bad Books. For seasoned TBB stalkers like myself the set consisted of what seems to be the core 6 songs.

Last night was their first Glasgow show but there still seemed to be a decent number of folk in to see them. Musically, it was a fairly loud TBB set and undoubtedly regular set=opener ‘Summer of Lunches’ has been extended to wring out some extra guitar. Maybe it was just the setting but ‘A Rough Wooing’ seemed a little more epic than normal whilst

With a name change to accommodate a more popular (but surely not as good) American beat combo of the same name and their first proper recordings imminent, things are changing in what used to be Badbooksland.

The Bad Books played

1. Summer of Lunches  2. Seedlings  3.  Rough Wooing  4. Year of the Cat  5. BOP  6. Victory Lap

Next up were Cancel the Astronauts – again with a short six song set. The most notable thing about the show was probably the fact that Matt’s guitar playing was restricted to roughly half the tunes, allowing him the freedom to perform that strange weaving dance during the other songs.

They probably didn’t hit their stride fully until the second half of the set but ‘Making Dynamite’ was particularly strong and ‘Intervention’ a joyous closing tune.

Cancel The Astronauts played:

1. Animal Love Match  2. While I Was Sleeping  3. Seven Vices  4. Love Backwards  5. Making Dynamite  6. Intervention

The chance to see French Wives alongside these two old favourites had tipped the balance in favour of this show (out of at least 5 around the country). I’d really only heard the one tune from the band before, ‘Numbers’ which I played a couple of times, enjoyed a lot then forgot about. So I was a bit surprised to find out that they have released their debut LP earlier this year, a fact that had somehow managed to elude me.

The second surprise of the night was that they seem to be fronted by Thurston Moore or at least a (much) younger Moore look-a-like whose head seems to be scraping the ceiling regardless of where he was in the venue.

Back to the music and ‘Numbers’ is a decent indicator of their set, muscular folk tinged indie driven onwards by some big drums. There was the occasional quieter interlude but in general it was fairly uptempo and accessible. I really enjoyed them and, suffice to say, the LP was purchased  at the end of the show.

Finally congratulations to Peenko, Aye Tunes and Scottish Fiction for putting on such a great bill. A different venue might be advisable next time though.

Photos from the show here.

Cancel The Astronauts and the band about to become the band formerly known as the Bad Books are both appearing at A Brighter Beat in Cupar on Sunday 11th November alongside Kid Canaveral, TV21, Martin John Henry and Sam Barber and the Outcasts. Tickets are available here.

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