Live review: West End Festival Showcase at Oran Mor, 24/6/12

Today is perfect for the closing of Glasgow’s West End Festival, it is a quintessential summer’s day, the sun isn’t blasting, that’s not it, but light seems to hue from every surface.

Oran Mor is gorgeous on the outside and interesting on the inside (oh you eligible venue, you).

Many diverse acts play in a line-up boasting nominees, and the winners, of the Scottish Album of the Year Awards.

Gig goers are spoilt for choice, a sign of strength in the Scottish scene.

There is an important tussle in thought right now; is Scotland self-serving (think profiteers of patriotism McManus and Jackson) or is it really producing vast amounts of good music?

If I were to take part in this debate – this gig would be my case and point for the latter.

I dart about from room to room trying to snatch a minute with bands that are understandably but horridly clashing.

I can’t help but feel like I am in an Escher painting, except in this piece there are darkened basements (the Venue) and neon naked ladies (the Auditorium) on top of the usual confusion and spiral staircases.

Miaoux Miaoux surrounded by instruments, and making the most of each, is like an electronic Mr. Boom (if you don’t know, don’t google it).

His music bridges pop and dance genres without compromising on either. Do not think Owl City! I highly recommend his acclaimed new album ‘Light of the North’ (which we reviewed just the other day), look it up and find out why people are getting excited.

Three Blind Wolves, live favourites of mine, play their blues tinged rock well but sound problems have a big impact on their performance.

High notes come through clearly but lower tones seemed to blend together and get lost.

On the plus side they debut a lot of new material and it sounds like it may be getting heavier – don’t quote me on that though – it could’ve just been the sound again!

The We Were Promised Jetpacks situation is an intriguing one, I mentioned the criticism that has been made, that Scotland’s music scene is self-serving, yet We Were Promised Jetpacks has an underwhelming popularity here in comparison to their success in America.

Their set is undoubtedly the busiest the Auditorium has been all day and the liveliest too,;work from their first album appears to be more popular with the crowd than their second.

Singer Adam Thompson’s voice is fantastic live and is clearer than previous sets in the Auditorium, he keeps his eyelids down throughout each song, so he doesn’t see the reaction to favourites ‘Quiet Little Voices’ and ‘It’s Thunder and it’s Lightening’.

On the other hand, drummer Darren Lackie looks ecstatic, let’s hope he passes on the message… ‘open your eyes, watch them dance’.

Words: Leonie Colmar
Photos: Ingrid Mur

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