Friday, 16 February 2018

Pocket Knife at BLOC

Last night I exchanged a few text messages with a friend to determine whether or not I was venturing out on a wet Thursday night to see Pocket Knife at Bar BLOC in Glasgow. I decided I would try and find out what time they were on.

If they were on too late then I was just going to sit in and enjoy Peaky Blinders with my wife. Hey, I'm 42 and had an early start today!

At 8.34pm precisely I received a text that said 'They're on at 9.15pm, I'm going to head in'. I swiftly replied that I would make it in. Peaky Blinders could wait.

I'd only heard one song by Pocket Knife previously, the stunning Half the Presents on the Olive Grove Records Christmas album which saw the band discuss Jesus being such a Capricorn over a funk cool Belle and Sebastian-esque style groove. The groove, humour, cheek and melodies captivated me and I played it over and over.

So when I found out that they were playing BLOC I kept it in mind. I'm glad I ditched Peaky Blinders.

Nursing a non-alcoholic beer (the 18-year old me would not be impressed - what is the point?!) after driving in to make the start, I caught up with my friend as the band soundchecked.



They eventually came on at 9.45pm. A two-piece; Louise on vocals, synth and drum machine and Michael on bass and very occasional backing vocals.

The opening rumble of activity sent people scurrying from the bar and all of a sudden, from having a perfect view at the sounddesk we had to push through to see what was going on.

Smoke billowed from the BLOC smoke machine and the lights changed. I suddenly remembered what a cool little venue BLOC is. It had been a while.

Basic synth chords underpinned a beat while Michael grooved on the top and Louise sang sweet melodies, riffing off herself. We were immediately transported into the world of Pocket Knife. Bedroom/living room recordings suddenly springing to life in the BLOC.

We had a song that had been written just 2 days previously, a song in French, a beautiful laid back cover of Rip It Up by Orange Juice (bonus), a super cool song called Custard Cream and a cracking tune which had Louise talking to herself and saying

Just be cool, be cool
You're trying to hard

The duo looked like they were having fun. There were smiles and giggles as they introduced and played songs. Louise asked if the drum machine could be turned up and found the space to dance.

In a short 25/30-minute set Pocket Knife won me over with their fun, sparse, laid back grooves and I look forward to catching them again throughout the year. The band are planning a release via the excellent Olive Grove Records and through OGR they have contributed to an Indie Sampler released on Gold Mold Records bringing a number of bands on different DIY labels together.


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