Sauchiehall Street on Saturday night is a special place. A swirling maelstrom of students takes a shot at persuading the door steward that they are actually as old as their sister's driving licence says they are. It makes me feel quite sentimental and there was further reason for sentimentality in the basement of Nice 'n' Sleazy where The Viragoes, Shimmer and the Ten To Five Project were playing.
The reason for that sentimentality? It turned out that tonight would be the last performance for the Ten to Five Project. The Ten to Five Project have been purveyors of elegantly fluffy and quirky pop songs in this no mean city for some years now so it is sad to see them go. Unsurprisingly, there was a touch of sadness, even regret, in their performance tonight with Kathryn Orr's vocals seeming most affected. Normally light and sweet, she dug a lot deeper into songs like "Tears" than usual and even the exquisitely shiny "Sun In Your Eyes" seemed darker. Hopefully, the whole last performance thing will be no more than a trigger for the process of reinvention. After all, nobody stops doing what they love doing.
Showing enough buoyancy to float a sinking ship were Shimmer. Performing with an easy confidence, they played with a precision that bodes well for their future and, with anthemic songs like "Shadows" and "Fighting For Nothin'" in their armoury, they showed that they were ready and able to fight for success. Gary Lynass proved himself to be the consummate front man cajoling the audience into life and that audience gave the love right back to him. If you want mediocrity then look somewhere else because Shimmer are, quite simply, a bit special.
Headlining tonight were The Viragoes. It had been a night where quality song writing had been much in evidence and further proof of that was provided by The Viragoes as they blasted through a set of songs both new and from their first album "Cheap Shoes and Lies". Louise and Leeann bounced passionate vocal volleys off the walls of this sleazy basement and it didn't take long for - I love a cliché - the groove to take over the room. Finishing their set with a spirited rendition of their single "Escape from Glasgatraz", they made their mark tonight and it was all over way too soon.
Despite the sadness of the departure of the Ten To Five Project from the Glasgow music scene, both Shimmer and The Viragoes provided more than ample proof that live music is the way to spend a Saturday night.
Photos courtesy of Conrad Gross.