Live review: Scotch, Woven Tents, Tuff Love at The Art School 25/07/13

1000109_561559017244817_16374380_nLocation: The Art School, Glasgow.

Cramped with the many minds of creative and fearless folk.

A fascinating place – ideal for people watching – yet slightly intimidating at times for the non-regular as it’s evident pretty much anything and anyone can happen here.

It’s a nice start to the night then, catching a band like Tuff Love.

The Glasgow trio do a crash course in shimmering lo-fi pop without the fuss and the pretention; it’s a short injection but it stays in your system for quite some time.

At first I want to think they sound like Tegan and Sara crossed with Pavement, but I soon scratch that thought and move on to thinking that the two thirds female troupe is more like Pixies’ Kim Deal doing pure pop, and it sounds absolutely brilliant.

It’s simultaneously raw and soft, and so down to earth they make the headlining act look like a trip of outer space proportions resulting from digesting acrylic pastel crayons.

Woven Tents are making the most of their evening and in an operation to make their barren stage with its low ceiling seem more inviting have taped a series of thin, hippie textiles to it.

The venue is absolutely buzzing, or well, not buzzing so much as babbling, which seems to be OK with everyone since the concert has started to progress into a friendly party.

A tiny bell is rung to no ones attention and a sweet rhythm is carried off through the room, the dress wearing drummer is looking clinically mental and likely to go off into a sort of free jazz session to accompany the kooky, psychedelic prog pop.

The line between genius and insanity is a very, very thin one.

It’s enormously weird but a massive amount of fun.

Last to grace the tiny stage is Dutch six-piece Scotch, a group of young endearing men all clad in tight, black and white striped jeans and suspenders (what’s not to like).

They’ve been advertised as defined by their Balkan sound and it wouldn’t be wrong to say so, but if you want to be precise the spectrum is broader than that.

Scotch is basically a jumble of European folk music from all over and one thing’s for sure: us Europeans know how to get a room sweating.

There’s an attempt at a sing-along, some jumping on one leg and for the one somewhat slow song the audience resorts to waltzing.

The friendly mood and homely hand-made interior soundtracked by thumping beats and first class trumpet playing topped by the loud, hearty singing all fuels the idea of having just stumbled into a random Central European living room where people smell of yeast and have a fucking good time.

Glasses are either dropped or frantically thrown on the floor and not a single soul is standing still in this bizarre dancefest.

In retrospect, I can honestly say this is one of the weirdest things I have ever experienced.

Words: Jo Bagge

Photos: Jayjay Roberson

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