I’ve never been to The Bowery but, that’s where I keep thinking of, as the street towards the venue darkens and narrows. An impressive selection of Buckfast bottles, both broken and intact, lines the corridor of chain link fencing that leads us towards our goal. Shields is unsettled and vocalises this several times which, I hate to admit, is slightly infectious
It would be easy to pretend we had walked onto a John Carpenter film set
In fact I had a strong sense throughout that Snake Plissken was watching me through Nite Goggles.
No signage to give us a clue that the matt black, single size door, nestling below a partially open/closed roller shutter is the entrance to The Poetry Club. We walked in and the contrast was incredible. Loud music, flashing lights and serious conspiratorial gossiping in every corner of the place.
It’s like The Maryland was forty years ago except that the majority of tonight’s audience’s parents probably hadn’t even been born then. Smoke drifts around the tiny room in order to catch the patterns from the oil projectors. It’s a happening ma’an!
A reasonably priced bar can only provide your writer with cans of Red Stripe. I momentarily consider changing the name of this blog to ‘No Brown Beer?’ and suddenly realise, doh!, that I’m a red squirrel in a rock ‘n’ roll world populated by lager guzzling greys.
We are no sooner served when we meet up with Lensman Ian and Irish John,two gents who used to sell me vinyl in a previous existence.
At only a tenner, tonight’s ticket is an absolute steal, to see what I consider to be my favourite two Glasgow bands of the moment. The Hidden Masters and Trembling Bells (more of which later)
First up are The Hidden Masters. They don’t seem to gig very often and I imagine that may well down to guitarist Dave’s increasingly busy schedule with his ‘other band’ The Shivering Sheiks. I haven’t seen them nearly as often as I would have liked but what strikes me tonight, almost a year after I last saw them at Broadcast, is how memorable and catchy all their songs are. Earworms, every one of them! A short punchy set from a band that looks as if it has been designed by committee
Various Trembling Bells wander slowly onto the stage however they’re not The Trembling Bells because tonight, Matthew, they’re going to be ‘Kaleidoscope’. Vocalist Peter Daltrey has joined forces with them to revive the Kaleidscope catalogue for a brace of live shows.This gig is a warm up for the big London Show when three of the Scope will be onstage for the first time since 1974!
Some may rightly sniff and arch an eyebrow at lyrics such as Dive Into Yesterday
Battalions in navy blue are bursting beige balloons
The water pistols are all filled with lemonade
The jester and the goldfish have joined minds above the moon
Oh, please kiss the flowers and you too will be safe
The Dukes of Stratosfear couldn’t begin to parody this. However the melodies that accompany all these songs are wonderfully infectious and very reminiscent of Syd era Floyd. I’m singing them aloud as I type! Every song is prefaced with Daltrey explaining why/how it was written and the provenance of its inspiration. The title of today’s post is the chemistry/tradition that the songwriting pair, himself and Eddy Pumer, used at every songwriting session.
Mike Hastings guitar work never fails to impress, plus tonight we get a sitar, flute bongos and the wonderful backing vocals of Lavinia Blackwall’s thrown in as well. Had a mellotron been deployed, I fear I may well have swooned.
Photos courtesy of Iain Aitchison.