Saturday, 21 July 2018

Turnbury Road Flat Gig

Last night I headed towards the West End of Glasgow for a flat gig in a beautiful flat on Turnbury Road.  As I walked down the quiet and leafy road just off Hyndland Road I could hear the sound of laughter coming out of the large bay windows of a 1st floor flat. I had found the location.

The flat gig had been organised spontaneously with only a couple of days notice by my sister to help a couple of Canadian friends who were over in the UK for a very DIY tour, playing in friends/fans homes or local pubs before finishing with sets at the Indietracks Festival.

Carla had managed to get them on to the Come Rain Or Shine event at Kelvingrove Bandstand, so this was an extra little show for them which they greatly appreciated.

The line-up for the flat show was; Carla J Easton w/ Paul Kelly, Tim the Mute, Eugene Kelly (The Vaselines) and Marlena Moore.

Carla opened the show, welcoming the 40 odd neighbours, fans and friends into the huge living room of her new flat (her boyfriends). She explained that the show was free, but there was a donation bucket for the artists and merch available, highlighting that Tim and Marlena were over from Canada and any small donation would help. With a BYOB policy, people were very generous and rightly so given the entertainment provided.

Just over  month ago my sister was diagnosed with viral meningitis; given a spinal tap, all manner of other tests and spending 4-days hooked up to a drip. It was a worrying time! Earlier in the day the doctor had given Carla the all clear and it was great to see her looking like her normal positive and energetic self again.

A short set of songs from her forthcoming debut album (well at least her debut under her own name) that she recorded in Canada last September was well received. Title track Impossible Stuff features playful piano melodies and a soaring chorus that can be sung after one listen, Dreamers On The Run was beautiful and the Girl From Before was all dreamy. Carla's friend and bandmate in TeenCanteen Sita was sitting on the floor and as Carla introduced Honey (TeenCanteen's debut single) she asked Sita if she could remember the harmonies. Sita being Sita was totally up for it but rather than get up she sang them from where she was, the keys and guitar were plugged in but vocals were unplugged, it made for a quite special surround sound performance.

All pictures courtesy of Scots Whay Have

Next up was Tim The Mute who captivated the room from the off with his humour, often self depreciating, always remarkably honest. Tim's melancholy songs with two or three chords touched on his depression, his fantasies and his life in general. I loved the line from one of his songs about lying in bed reading a book about lying in a bed reading books. There were some brilliant lines and Tim seems to be full of energy - organising this trip to the UK, all the shows and also running Kingfisher Blues Records. Think Daniel Johnstone writing with Evan Dando.

Tim ended his set by saying that he had attended a Vaselines show in Vancouver a number of years ago and Eugene had signed his LP, but has misheard his name as Jim. He had gone straight to the toilet and amended the J to a T. It was a lovely story, he couldn't believe he was now over in Glasgow playing a flat show with Eugene! The power of like-minded people meeting and bonding over social media in full effect.

Next up was special guest Eugene Kelly. To watch Eugene playing at such close quarters was an incredible privilege. High Tide Low Tide opened proceedings and we were treated to some songs from a future solo album that is in the works. One song, written from the perspective of a dog was equally clever and funny, also full of hooks with my favourite being you throw the ball, I'll fetch the ball and the brilliant line you're a dogs best friend.

The closing song was all about being last to be picked for sports at school and was also fall of Eugene's clever observational lyrics and hooks. Brilliant guitar pop.

Closing the show was Marlena Moore, cutting a striking presence as she sang in front of the huge bay windows with the sun setting. With her eyes closed Moore's voice soared as her bedroom diaries were told to an audience with grunge-y electric guitar. Moore captivated the crowd who urged her to play another couple of songs after her short set finished.

The sets completed, there as time for people to buy merch, make donations and stay and talk. It was a brilliant evening and based on the evidence of Sofar Sounds (see video below) and how popular house gigs are via Pledge Music, this is a gig format set to grow.

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