Live review: West End Festival All Dayer at Oran Mor, 23/6/13

1Meursault @ Oran Mor June13 03

Every year the West End festival brings its cultivating rainbow of colour and culture to the shores of Byres Road and Ashton Lane.

After consecutive Sundays of parades and vintage stalls reaping the trendiest streets of Glasgow, today it is finally time to bring the noise.

Unfortunately for myself, by the time I managed to make it into the ethereal cathedralesque Oran Mor it was already half six and I had missed half of the festivities.

I did speak to a couple of fine young gentlemen who mentioned that Casual Sex and Pronto Mama played absolute blinders.

I expected nothing less from a couple of bands who have released incredibly strong new material this year, crucially, though, it seems the best days are yet to come for both sets of fellas.

After having an ever so cheeky gallivant around the Auditorium and familiarising myself with the debris of separating with four quid to have a pint of cider, it was time to get a good spot for the fantastic Conquering Animal Sound.

1Conquering Animal Sound @ Oran Mor June13 01

A few months ago I hailed On Floating Bodies as one of the finest records to have come out this year, tonight reaffirmed that this sentiment is still very much a valid statement.

The arrangement of compositions drip with a colloquial essence of harmonious excitement, every bend and break of the music entrenched with a sparkling vitality and organic contagion.

In a live setting, it soon becomes clear, just how much organisation and effort goes into creating this absolute monster of a sound between two band members.

Vocalist Anneke Kampmann croons the stage like a prowling cat, pouting and prancing, spilling a panic of disjointed syllables as she moves.

Tracks such as ‘The Future Does Not Require’ and ‘Ultimate Heat Death of the Universe’ mesmerise, before frighteningly evolving into fully-fledged stab wounds of intrinsically driven melodramatic pop songs.

After catching my breath, up next in the Auditorium are Meursault playing a set largely centred on last year’s magnificent Something for the Weakened, the Edinburgh mob waste no time in laying down the stones to a significant night within their six-year career.

1Meursault @ Oran Mor June13 02

There is an elegance and sequence of raw beauty that enshrines itself within every note belted out.

‘Mamie’ is covered in a glossy coating of delicate fragility; there is an extra irony tonight as Neil Pennycook quips “what do you mean I am not invited? It is my fucking party”, a packed out room suggests he may just be right.

As far as hosts go, we can almost forgive them for leaving out tracks such as ‘Crank Resolutions’ and ‘Weather’, tonight they are immaculately tight and cement their own name as a contemporary buzzword within the Scottish music scene.

Toughest thing about these all day events is when the inevitable clash occurs, as would prove the case with both our headliners tonight.

The Twilight Sad and Fatherson have both proven themselves as cornerstones of the renaissance currently taking place within Scottish music the past few years, however, it would be possible to witness only one band.

1Fatherson @ Oran Mor June13 02

With that in mind I headed on down to the Venue to catch Fatherson, I’m glad I did, with a set that was neither top heavy on classics or new tracks, the band really got the mix just right.

Bassist Marc Strain comments on how they feared nobody would witness them tonight due to the clash with the Twilight Sad, in reality, though, that was never going to be the case – the quintet have been one of the most consistent live bands the past year, with consistency comes a growing fan base.

The newer numbers showcased tonight place light on a more deliberate and concise sound while placing a revitalising and fresh contrast in comparison to the old favourites such as ‘James’ and ‘Kiteers’.

Fatherson have always packed a punch live, but none more so the case than tonight when they have the crowd eating out their every word and note.

As closer ‘First Born’ rings out and a celebratory sing-along ensues, it is pretty clear that tonight those in attendance witnessed something pretty special.

1Fatherson @ Oran Mor June13 01

More photos

Words: Chris Kelman
Photos: Stuart Westwood


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