Randolph’s Leap / David MacGregor (solo) / St Kilda Mailboat – The Glad Cafe, Glasgow – 6th September 2013
Frankly, if you didn’t enjoy last night’s launch for the Randolph’s Leap ‘Real Anymore’ mini-LP (MPT review) then you’re almost certainly dead. When the reckoning comes, this show will be right up there with the best gigs of the year. But I can guarantee that none will top it for sheer joie de vivre.
First up were St Kilda’s Mailboat whose name and initial boy/girl/ukulele line-up suggested something restrained and folky. Perhaps the headgear should have been a clue that this was not to be the case. However even the headgear did nothing to prepare us for the sheer insanity that was to follow.
St Kilda Mailboat
In a few words it’s impossible to capture the breadth of the magnificent nonsense on display – but dance routines, audience mind reading, ray guns and penny chews offer something of the flavour at least. Like the cartoon side of Zoey van Goey, but on LSD, St Kilda’s Mailboat were utterly brilliant and amazingly entertaining.
“Follow that” I challenged Kid Canaveral’s David MacGregor shortly before he took to stage for his acoustic set. His reply is unrepeatable in a family blog like this but he managed to do precisely that.
Largely shying away from what would have been the obvious Kid C numbers to play solo, David’s set comprised classic pop songs and X-rated comedy in almost equal measure and he even briefly performed a song that he said he wasn’t going to do on Twitter.
Yet, in amongst all the raucous humour, was a spellbinding cover of James Yorkston’s ‘St Patrick’, which completely silenced the audience. Well at least until he forgot the words and invited the Pictish Trail on stage to finish the song.
The numbers on stage swelled even further for a run through of ‘You Only Went Out to Get Drunk Last Night’ when David and Pictish were joined by most of Randolph’s Leap. Although this time it was the assembled Wild-leap Choir who forgot the words, getting stuck on the La-La-La-La-Las rather than switching to the ‘You only went out …’ section.
David Canaveral, er, solo
All of which set the scene perfectly for the headliners themselves, who rose to the occasion to deliver the best set I’ve seen from them.
The full band Randolph’s Leap is truly something to behold as they blasted out a joyous melange of guitars, keyboards, brass and strings with verve and elan. Again the lack of an overwhelming desire to dance and sing along to the Leap can surely only indicate that you’ve shuffled off this mortal coil.
In a live setting, the 8 piece line-up certainly adds fizz to even the recorded versions featuring the full band. But it’s those songs which have so far only appeared on the lo-fi recordings which gain the most. ‘Weatherman’ for example is transformed from the almost melancholic version on ‘As Fast As A Man’ to something quite special, even taking a cue from Zoey van Goey’s ‘We All Hid In Basements’ for its noisy finale.
The overall mood is one of celebration and this show gained its own unique moment when the band were joined on stage by assorted Canaverals and State Broadcasters for a public rehearsal of their cover of ‘Take The Skinheads Bowling’ which they’ll be playing on Vic Galloway’s show in Monday.
Thankfully at the end of the show there was a prolonged demand for an encore even though some of the house lights went up. In fact the applause was so prolonged it was still going on when they retook the stage to deliver ‘Crisps’ (and they did take a little persuasion).
Every other week I seem to come away from very different gigs thinking I’ve just witnessed the best band in the country. Randolph’s Leap are unquestionably deserving of that particular honour – for this week at least but maybe for even longer.
Randolph’s Leap played:
1. Conversation 2. Goodbye 3. Nature 4. News 5. Real Anymore 6. 7. Weatherman Psychic 8. Winceworthy 9. Take The Skinheads Bowling 10. Counting Sheep 11. I Can’t Dance To This Music Any More 12. Hermit 13. Light of the Moon