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Behold The Old Bear / Martin John Henry / Tio Malo – The 13th Note, Glasgow – 19th December 2012

Midweek trips to Glasgow on school nights tend to be rare occurrences these days. But the combination of a tasty bill and the frustration at missing 3 potential shows propelled me through to the legendary 13th Note last night for the Gargleblast Christmas party.

Curiously I’d never actually made it to a 13th Note show before but it’s easy to see why it’s endured as one of Glasgow’s favourite small venues.

First up were a band whose name I’ve been struggling to remember correctly all day – Tio Malo. Not just a new band for me but a completely new name too.

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Tio Malo

I really liked them. Large passages of the set were instrumental although there were no songs that didn’t feature vocals at some point. But the bedrock of the songs was undoubtedly the bass giving the guitars and keyboards a chance to weave all sorts of patterns through the songs. Good stuff.

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Martin John Henry

I seem to be getting back into stalking mode with Martin John Henry as last night was the sixth time I’ve seen him perform in his own right this year.

Again just Martin and his acoustic, it was probably the most fun set this year, especially a jaunty ‘Ribbon on a Bough’ and new/old song ‘Arc’. Even ‘Breathing Space’ ended up with an unintended blast of feedback in the loop.

Otherwise it was a set packed with some of my favourites including the too good for a B-side ‘The Other Half of Everything’.

2013 should see Martin completing the new De Rosa LP and hopefully some live shows to coincide. Certainly his bass player is up for it and would have happily joined in last night!

Martin played:

1. Spectres  2. The Other Half of Everything  3. Evelyn  4. Arc  5. Breathing Space  6. Pest  7. Ribbon on a Bough  8. Cathkin Braes  9. Under The Stairs

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Behold, The Old Bear

Behold, The Old Bear were great fun too enhancing the basic set with no fewer than three Christmas songs. Including their own tune ‘Christmas Stalking’ which you can get here.

They’re a little less frantic than Mitchell Museum but I’d forgotten just how lively and how loud the songs can get.

The core set already feels familiar from just a couple of live shows and a couple of tunes on ‘Soundcloud’. The notion that the Digital Bear stuff isn’t a patch on the true Old Bear stuff seemed more than plausible last night. The debut LP on Gargleblast (out in the Spring?) is certainly something to look forward to in 2013.

So well worth the trip athrough and nice to catch up with a few folk.

One more gig this year …

PS Last night also saw the debut of the new MPT camera. It was literally taken right out of the box and used but even these early results, while not great, are promising given that the old one would have struggled to get anything useable at all in the 13th Note. I’ll sort some of the photos out over the weekend.

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