Bipolar Sunshine at Tut’s, 4/4/14

Formally from the ska band with Manchester’s almost-rans Kid British, Adio Marchant takes to the illuminated, multicoloured, beam-adourned-lit stage, with the Glasgow audience mesmerised by his manifestation, highlighted in a hibiscus-decorated shirt, and accompanied by an equally fervent and nicely attired band.

Marchant haunts and seduces the crowd in a toying fashion, with provoking question-answer reciprocity; regaling them with unvanquished, impassioned optimism.

Bipolar Sunshine’s live sound a far more diverse affair than any of the material on the recordings, but this is in a purely positive way.

The sound feels rooted into the ground; there is neither sparseness nor airiness, with a jittering guitar and an earth-shattering rhythm section that inundated the room with balmy vibes.

There is an arbitrary mix of idiosyncratic rapping and singing, infused with indie-rocking gospel, rounded off with soul and pop, but as pastiched as that sounds, it actually works.

With such an eclectic taste from his love of the Arctic Monkeys to Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar, and growing up with The Carpenters and The Smiths, it’s something that Marchant seems to get away with.

Does this mish-mashed over-refined mix of spices create a miscellany of tunes that haphazardly sit side-by-side in an uncomfortably gastronomic waiting room of anticipation?

The quick answer is no; surprisingly all of these influences make for a mash-up of songs that all sound like (and so they should to a certain extent) they all belong to the same artist, simply all part of the same repertoire.

The mixed arrays of smells that are simmering underneath do not over power one another.

‘Love More, Worry Less’ reminiscences elements of Blur; ‘Rivers’ integrates compartmentalised components of hip-hop, indie and (trying not to sound too generic) African music; ‘Drowning Butterflies’ is glazed with an instant reggae feel; ‘Trouble’ is doused in classic sounding synthesized atmospherics.

The dark and challenging lyrical content reflects Marchant’s anguish about “pain and lust” and his desire to escape the mundane aspect of relationships despite their magnetism.

‘Fire and Rivers’ is an unabashed crowd pleaser and ‘Love More Worry Less’ is a great end to a great performance, with catchy chants that create a prototypically inductive sing-a-long.

Suggesting that a band is going to become a pop sensation is idiotic and crass.

So, it’s best just to say that you should check them out in the smaller venues incase all these prognosticators words come to life.

A lesson that too many cooks don’t necessarily spoil the broth if there is a cohesive system of orginisation set in place.

Words: Derek Robertson

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