The roof of John Smiths Record and Bookstore 4th July
Rumour was that the best view could be had from the back of the neighbouring garden centre. The majority of spectators stood in a carpark overlooking a large flat roof of an Indian restaurant feeling faintly embarrassed by the absurdity of it all. Hardly attaining the legendary status to which the two bands were perhaps aspiring, a rainy afternoon show on the roof of Glasgow's finest record shop instead consisted of two hours of wind-carried sounds and not much atmosphere. Bands and audience could not communicate, although both were united in fear for the players' lives due to the very real possibility of electrocution.
V-Twin have come a long way. Last year they were a happy bunch of glam-rockers playing the songs that parents like to be reminded of, sporting hairstyles that make you understand why some dads are proud to be bald. These days V-twin have a more well-developed and personal sound. They still play the odd cover-version but seem most comfortable with their own percussion-heavy tumble through an urbanised country rock landscape, with wisely added horns for mellowness. Enter Mr. Bill Wells, and the mood becomes more distinctive during the sexy, spirited "In the Land of the Pharoahs (Dark Tourism)" - a collaboration with this local jazz guru (slated for imminent release on Domino). Nice!
V-Twin still have the hair, though.
Despite having borrowed members of V-Twin to make up the numbers, National park sound nothing like them. They belong alongside guitar bands with more acclaim than fame. There is a definite Americanness to National Park: not the kind where self-loathing and suicide notes are set to music and not inane kookiness. Rather the downhearted thoughtfulness of a less muscular Buffalo Tom (What? - the foggy lurch of the Dead C, maybe - Website Ed) or a bolder Galaxie 500. As songwriters, National Park have a lot to offer as well as a consistency that is seldom seen in bands as new as this one, and their forthcoming single on Earworm should be worth investigating.
From a distance it looked like quite a good gig. If only I could have really been there.