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Randolph’s Leap / The State Broadcasters / Skinny Dipper / Meursault (solo) / Kid Canaveral (solo) / BMX Bandits / Adam Ross – East End Social – The Bowler Bar, Glasgow – 27th July 2014.

In which Manic Pop Thrills manages to stir itself from its summer slumber to partake of a fantastic afternoon’s entertainment in the East End of Glasgow …

I’ve admired the activities of the East End Social from afar. Having put on a hugely ambitious and varied range of events EES has been the perfect lead up to (and beyond) this Commonwealth Games running malarkey. However there’s just flipping too much on to have partaken of anything to date.

It was nice therefore to be able to get to at least one event which mixed a number of favourite acts with others I was less familiar with.

The Leap’s Adam Ross kicked off proceedings with a short set of excellent solo tunes, most of which were new. It wasn’t to be the last we would see of young Adam.

BMXBandits

Adam was followed by four sevenths of the BMX Bandits who over the course of their half an hour acoustic set royally entertained the gathering punters. Their set marked the first of the afternoon’s guest appearances  joined as they were by one Adam Ross on drums for a handful of tunes.

Next up was David MacGregor’s solo Kid Canaveral set. It’s the second such set I’ve seen from David and without his bandmates to reign him in, David’s just as prone to banter with the audience as actually play tunes. Which is actually wildly entertaining but then it’s not like the tunes he does manage to squeeze in between the chat (mainly drawn from ‘Dancer’) aren’t half bad. Highpoint of the set however had to be when David managed to get audience doing different harmonies on ‘You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night’.

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Neil Pennycook was making his last solo appearance under the Meursault banner and mixed his own tunes (including the apposite ‘Death To Meursault’) with a handful of covers. Neil’s always a compelling performer whether on his own or with a band but perhaps the highlight of his set was the audience request for ‘Flittin’’. Feeling a drummer would assist, he was initially knocked back by Bart Owl before, yep, you guessed it, a certain A. Ross stepped into the breach (MPT confesses to a small role in suggesting Adam as a victim, sorry, volunteer.) It was pretty awesome.

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To guard against another Ross stage incursion (only kidding, I think Adam was getting slightly embarrassed by it all by this stage) Skinny Dipper crammed the stage with members playing strings, pianos and who knows what else. It was an enjoyable set in the live setting but I confess I didn’t feel a compulsion to get the imminent E.P.

My limited exposure to the State Broadcasters hadn’t prepared me for just how good they were. Two trombones and a harp are not standard indie fare and there was unquestionably magic in the air. I sometimes think that ‘spellbinding’ is a term cast around too freely but on this basis the State Broadcasters genuinely deserve it. (Yep, and I’m sure Adam made a guest appearance on drums here too!)

Which brings us to a trombone-less Leap who were, nevertheless as exuberant as ever. In fact, probably more so as the likes of ‘Undergod’ and ‘Crips’ received rare outings in place of (presumably) the more trombone dependent ‘Light of the Moon’ and ‘Black and Blue’.

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As some form of compensation, Adam insisted that David Canaveral , Neil Meursault and Graeme Broadcaster joined the band on stage for a raucous reprise of their cover of ‘Take The Skinheads Bowling’ from last year.

‘Skinheads’ indirectly produced one of the set’s feelgood moments too when Adam inadvertently mashed up the lyrics of the two songs during the following ‘Counting Sheep’ to mass hilarity.

As out and out good time live bands the Leap are well nigh impossible to beat but as the likes of ‘Weatherman’ proved they’re capable of so much more as well.

Add in some great tunes from Vic Galloway in between bands (but I don’t remember hearing any De Rosa, Vic!) and it was a great afternoon which finished well in time for the MPT family to run the gauntlet of incompetence at Queen Street station and still get home at a decent time.

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