Hug and Pint, Glasgow,
December 4th 2018
As they down tools and kick back for the looming festive period, Pygmy Twylyte can surely be excused and allowed a couple of minutes for a bout of collective backslapping.
Personally I’d prefer more tunes from the early Mothers of Invention, however, that minor complaint aside, I’m amazed at the amount of progress this band has made in the short time they have existed. I’ve managed to catch them four times since February ’18 and this particular show was by far the best.
Tonight, I think they hit a particular high point, for several reasons
(a) they avoided the clunky handover of instruments with the then support, Steel Plays Zappa, that they deployed at Bloc (which I thought was actually quite neat but since understand involved many logistical problems)
(b) they weren’t playing, as a nine piece, while on the postage stamp sized stage of Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh and
(c) they weren’t hampered by the unnaturally woolly and muddy sound, throughout their set, like they were at Hard Rock Glasgow.
Their depth of repertoire and onstage confidence (not that that was ever in short supply) has grown enormously.
Tonight, of course, being the 25th anniversary of Frank’s demise, was a total celebration of Zappa and they delved deeper into the FZ catalogue than normal.
Poodle heads dangled from the PA, as a giant Imperial moustache poster adorned one wall – it was a particularly nice touch to have voter registration forms to hand, as well as a memorabilia raffle raising funds for Prostate Cancer Research.
The first 2-3 tunes of this evening, like most gigs in small clubs, saw the sound man struggling hard to find his levels and as a result the brass and some of the vocals were ever so slightly impaired. Thereafter they were all clear as a bell and the very same man, on the desk, then spent the rest of his remaining evening texting on his phone.
Highlights were far too numerous to catalogue however special mentions must be made for ‘Montana’, complete with Zircon encrusted tweezers to the fore, and a superb version of Black Napkins that seemed to last longer than some South American governments
Elsewhere bag loads of props are deployed with all the abandon of someone who had just ram-raided Tam Shepherds. Had I been wearing a hat I would have doffed it immediately to singer Jim MacDonald for effortlessly reciting the lengthy lyric of Dumb All Over while guitarist Chris Shaw will inevitably, one day, do himself a serious mischief as he attempts to perform guitar with his legs at 90 degrees apart ‘a la Johnny Ramone’ 😉
What other band invites you to throw snowballs at their drummer as he solos or to bang the gong at the front of stage whenever it takes your fancy?
As ever, a great wee night!
Poodle Bites, Poodle Chews it !