Live Reviews

  Shane Sweet, The Paperback Throne, Steve Adams live at The Liquid Ship in Glasgow

Hey, it’s not even raining! Feeling good – da na! – walking down Great Western Road towards the Liquid Ship. Feeling the need for beer. Or music. Or both. Or beer. Did I mention beer?

There was a plan, of course. A plan to experience the laconic and downbeat songs of Steve Adams. Looking like a pub singer after a kicking, he is living proof that you can’t keep a good man down and you couldn’t fail to notice that his self effacing humour was being used to disguise his wry musical take on his journey down the highway of life.

The scene had been set and there was clearly not going to be much shaking of the rafters tonight at the Liquid Ship. The Paperback Throne accordingly followed a winding path decorated by gentle melodies and fragile harmonies. Truth be told, they sounded much like an archetypal band from the west end of Glasgow but was that actually all there was to it? Stylistically similar perhaps and certainly sensitive, the musical undercurrent was more of twee pop acts from the ‘Shire like The Just Joans. Look just below the rippling surface and a riptide was indeed to be found.

Visiting from California - and no doubt taking up the opportunity to soak up the Glasgow culture - was Shane Sweet (usually operating under the trading name of Sandbox Rebel).  Even after throwing in a 63 second song, it was abundantly clear from his attitude and musical ability that he was a serious performer.  Very American and, as an almost certain consequence of that, the most commercial sounding act tonight, his cross the Atlantic and just play attitude was truly refreshing. The smart money was on “Pen and Guitar” as the song to put him on the map.

Was I talking about beer? I was? Well, for my next trick I shall now talk to beer and get an answer. It’s a lifestyle choice.

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