Sunday 8 December 2013

The Pastels at Mono

Last night I ventured out to see The Pastels, 20-years on since I first saw them; Stephen and Katrina hardly seem to have aged at all in that time. As Lynn and I walked into Mono I spotted my old school friend Grant who I went to that very show with and we shared a few beers and memories as we watched the bands.

Support was from the German band Lali Puna, a 4-piece armed with an assortment of synths and keyboards who produced some lovely dreamy electronica that would fit right into a movie like 'Lost In Translation'. I made a mental note to get one of their albums next time I was in Monorail (the record shop that is in Mono, where Stephen Pastel works).

The Pastels took to the stage with Stephen thanking the crowd for coming and pausing to reflect on the terrible tragedy at the Clutha that took place just a week ago and a couple of hundred yards away.

'Slow Summits' was a great opener, largely instrumental with psych surf guitar. The Pastels were a 6-piece for the night and they sounded superb with the addition of trumpet, flute, keys and a second guitar. Gerry Love from Teenage Fanclub was on bass duties.

'Summer Rain' and 'Check My Heart' were further highlights from this years 'Slow Summits' LP, but the band were certainly not afraid to delve into their back catalogue. The cover of 'Different Drum' was a delight and 'Classic Line-Up' was possibly my song of the night.

The band gelled superbly with Stephen's rhythm guitar, Gerry's bass and Katrina's drumming allowing lead guitar, trumpet and flute to combine and flow. Three, two and even one chord riffs sounded brilliant, creating a real groove.

'Nothing To Be Done' was lovely with Stephen and Katrina creating a great vibe. 'Baby Honey' was outstanding, the lead guitar seared and soared and the bass held everything together.

It was a great night; a legendary Glasgow band in one of my favourite venues. And next Sunday I'll be back for Edwyn Collins!

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