Live Reviews

  Tamaryn, Man Without Country live at Mono in Glasgow

tamaryn at mono

It was one of those time travelling moments. You think you are in the here and now but actually you are way back in the day and all of those nightmares about reliving the early days of electro pop have just come true.

That would be an unduly harsh viewpoint to take on Welsh band Man Without Country for they played it like it they were the plugged in sons of some dystopian urban redevelopment nightmare. Dressed in black, as you would expect, they kept it simultaneously upbeat, looped and ironic as they unleashed their metronomic wall of sound upon the apparently unsuspecting vegetarians that frequent Mono in dear old Glasgow town. Applause followed, as it should.

Tamaryn were less easy to diagnose. The band that featured her name were dressed in black professionals. Rhythmically solid, fluent in the bass and practically oversupplied with a waterfall of reverb laden cascading guitars, they provided a backdrop to her intentionally disassociated and positively reflective voice. Tamaryn, as a band, were something that didn’t quite fit being considerably less cute than, say, La Sera, but also equally divorced of the psych folk of, say, No Joy yet still could be considered part of the grrrl genre.

Atmosphere was the key here and as the, surprisingly melodic, sonic assault overpowered the capacity of the sound system, the thought in my mind was that this band were actually less of today than they were of the past. The distant past at that. I’m thinking of the Velvet Underground as the most appropriate parallel, only without the arthouse pretension. Her red lipstick nonetheless preyed upon my mind. Too obvious, when aligned with her very blonde hair, to be a pastiche of glamour, she seemed both an icon of conventionality and unconventionality at the same time. Just like Nico, in fact.

In my book, you can’t go wrong with an enigma and Tamaryn were certainly something of an enigma. One day at a time sweet Jesus, so goes the song. I will figure them out.

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