With the entrance to the downstairs bar covered in fairy lights and gold balloons spelling out the name of tonight’s headliner, Stereo is as electric as it has ever felt.
After all, the four guys and one girl who make up WHITE have every reason to be pleased with themselves.
Following a barnstorming performance at Live at Glasgow festival, the Guardian dubbed their first single ‘Future Pleasures’ “one of the finest debuts from a Glaswegian outfit since Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out” and tonight’s show must be close to a sell-out.
First though, it’s up to Atom Tree to prepare the audience for the evening’s entertainment.
The attractive boy-girl duo hit like a harder Purity Ring or Beach House if they completed the transition to full-on pop missionaries, with Julie’s widescreen vocals reverberating over beats that range from clipped and electronic to effervescent and shimmering.
In particular, the enormous ‘Go’s heavy bass recalls the poppiest work of Moby or Massive Attack, leaving the audience swimming in a sea of electronic sounds.
Similarly stylish, tonight’s headliners are on blistering form.
Drawing on spiritual forebears like Franz Ferdinand and Pulp, they make stylish, slightly camp and sardonically sharp indie-rock with a silver salver of Duran Duran on the side and this evening they’re out to throw a party.
‘Future Pleasures’ is a white-funk blast that seems to be about 80% chorus, piling hook on hook, while ‘Infatuation’ draws an impressive vocal from the wonderful Leo Condie.
Condie has served his time in Glaswegian indie troop The Low Miffs as well as performing the songs of Brel and Brecht in an acclaimed stage show and his penchant for drama is perfect for a group who mix flamboyant excess with arch wit.
Entering in a stylish red mackintosh, he throws himself into every song, draping himself across the mic stand and strutting across the front of stage.
Though there’s a little of Orange Juice in the mix too, WHITE aren’t considering ripping it up and starting again.
Instead their music serves as a carefully constructed banquet of lush sounds from years past, delivered with just enough intensity to escape the realm of pastiche.
And for that WHITE are perfect.
Words: Max Sefton
Photos: Derek Robertson