Live Reviews

  Jana Peri, Frances and her Trampoline, The Morra, Mondegreen, Keen Affection live at Pivo Pivo in Glasgow

She's in a playful mood. Her eyes sparkle. There's her infectious laugh to contend with too. If I had been moving I'd have walked into the first available lamppost. She does that to you. Concentration is key here. Act nonchalant. That'll fool her. Anyway, there is work to be done. There is music to be written about.

To the first paragraph then. One man and a borrowed guitar took to the stage. He identifies himself as Keen Affection but the detective work already undertaken has determined that he also goes by the name David Williams. Said detective work also uncovered the fact that this was only his second solo gig so his early nervousness was no surprise. What was more surprising was the humour evident in his good natured performance. You don't see much of that in your average angst ridden singer songwriter.

A change of pace next as four good men and strong going by the name of The Morra launch into their set. Cascading guitars and yelping vocals suggested they had done a bit of research into Scotland's musical past when honing their sound. Perhaps a bit untidy in the execution of their songs, they nonetheless demonstrated an impressive amount of enthusiasm.

Next to the stage was Jana Peri. A New Yorker here on her UK tour, she showed a poise so often lacking in local acts. Think of her sound as garage rock gone acoustic and mix that in with an amusing sarcastic approach to song writing and the result was certainly not from around here. She tore strips off salesman (nice one!) and something called an L.A. Girl (kind of liked the sound of one of those…). For a woman that had lost a battle with a black pudding earlier in the day, she still had plenty of fight left in her.

Frances and Her Trampoline. Interesting name. It might even be a reference to something literary but I digress. What we had here was three young guys doing a spirited bit or rock meets shoegaze. Hiding behind that stare-at-the-floor attitude lurked a winning sense of humour - they did a song called "If I was Jesus, I'd Be Cross" - and a pretty decent update on the whole youthful rebellion theme. Young they were and far they might well go.

Ending the night with something a bit quirkier were Mondegreen. They didn't go too far away from the mainstream but, in times when few bands even attempt to deviate, they made the all important effort to do something a bit different. (even if that something different included the unannounced use of a kazoo). They were definitely a bit smarter than average with near arthouse moves intertwined with XTC style pop sensibilities. Mondegreen are one of those bands that you have to see twice just so you can figure out what it is you like about them.

Alas, it is time to go. Tomorrow is a suit wearing day and I need my beauty sleep. Or perhaps another beer and no sleep. The rugged look is in, after all.

Review Date: March 10 2010