Sunday, 3 August 2014

Randolph's Leap and Guests

The Bowler's Bar, Glasgow - Sunday 27 July

I've got a wee bit behind with the whole gig review thang, so this is a week or so overdue. This was part of the East End Social project ....

"The East End Social is an ambitious new music project bringing a host of concerts, events and workshops to the east side of Glasgow. Running from April to August 2014, The East End Social promises an eclectic music programme across a range of venues, appealing to visitors and east end residents of all ages."

This particular whole-day-gig was organised by Randolph's Leap and Olive Grove Records under the banner "I Can't Dance To This Music Anymore" (click to view promo video recorded prior to the gig at the Bowler's Bar)
Randolph's Leap - Hosts for the day

The line-up for I Can't Dance To This Music: 

Randolph's Leap

State Broadcasters

Skinny Dipper stripped back sets from:

The BMX Bandits


Kid Canaveral
Adam Ross

... with Vic Galloway on DJ and compère duties

I was particularly looking forward to the Leap and Kid C as always, but also keen to see Meursault before he metamorphoses into a new entity, and of course the BMX Bandits. I knew little about Skinny Dipper or State Broadcasters, but if they were friends of the Leap they were bound to be good I reckoned.

Vic Galloway was playing some tunes, old and new - Blue Nile, Cocteau Twins, Pictish Trail etc. to keep the crowd happy, but at the appointed hour (13:00) Adam Ross of Randolph's Leap stepped up onto the tiny stage and did a few introductions before launching into the first solo acoustic set.
Adam solo acoustic set
He started with Cassie O’Tone "I sit here in the bath and pretend i’m doing the luge. I keep misjudging corners and break my skull in two" and followed with 3 new songs which all sounded pretty good - no idea of the titles, but something like Under The Sun, Regret, Place That I Linger. He finished his set with Psychic from the Real Anymore album. Lovely stripped back set and Adam's voice never fails to impress.

BMX Bandits were up next - well four of the seven Bandits with a guest appearance from none other than Adam Ross on drums (first of several guest appearances by Adam).

We were treated to a fine selection of Duglas T. Stewart's whimsical stories between songs, with the Bandits trademark humorous/sad lyrics during the set. Rachel Allison's lovely voice adding a real depth to the songs - which included:

Fireworks, And It's You, Do You Really Love Me  (Daniel Johnston cover), Students Of Life, Listen To Some Music and Disco Girl.
BMX Bandits, well some of them

Kid Canaveral's David MacGregor was next on the bill. Without his band members to reign him, he probably spent as much time chatting with the crowd as he did playing songs, but it was all good fun, and even funnier was his attempt to curtail his language (which can be colourful on occasion) as there were young kids in the audience :-)
David MacGregor representing Kid Canaveral
Despite the extensive banter, David manage to play: Her Hair Hangs Down, What We Don't Talk About, You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night (with well orchestrated audience participation and harmonies), Low winter Sun & And Another Thing. Really enjoyable set from David on great form.

Neil Pennycook was making one of his last appearances under the name Meursault.

This was the first time I'd seen Neil live, despite owning several of his albums. The first thing that struck me was the power of his voice. In the small Bowler's Bar venue, he didn't really need the microphone for the louder vocal sections, and indeed stood well back. 
Meursault - Neil Pennycook
The set consisted of a mixture of Meursault tunes and some interesting covers. Set list was roughly: Flittin' (great version - Adam on Drums again!), Death to Meursault, Lioness  (Jason Molina cover), Memoirs of a Stockbroker? (Mungo Jerry cover), Lament For a Teenage Millionaire, Day Drinker (Adam Faucett cover) and a couple more. This was a compelling performance by Neil and well received by the audience.

After a considerable amount of sound engineering, Skinny Dipper ("almost a girl band") took the stage - all 9 of them!

Skinny Dipper stage crowding
No need for Adam's presence this time, they brought their own drummer :-) Skinny Dipper are a new band with three members of Randolph’s Leap in them. They’ve got a new EP coming out towards the end of the year or the start of next year.

Skinny Dipper have been described as "sunshine-pop harmonists" and they did just that - bright, mostly happy tunes well performed with big strings, brass and keyboards backing. This was a lovely set in a (by this time) well packed Bowler's Bar.

Press labelled as "Caledonian alt-country charmers", State Broadcasters were on next.

Completely unknown to me me prior to this gig, the Broadcasters line-up unusually included a harp, a cello and two trombones, as well as the more usual guitar and keys. 
State Broadcasters
Their songs were ear-catching and sounded great in the tiny venue. Of course, they too needed a drummer for a couple of tracks and enlisted the help of Mr Ross. By this time Adam was beginning to get embarrassed at being described as the Jools Holland of the drums, but he worked his way across the stage, through the band, eventually found the drum stool and proceeded to drum through the next couple of numbers very ably. State Broadcasters are definitely worth further investigation on this evidence. 

Finally it was the turn of the hosts - Randolph's Leap, who on this occasion were a trombone player short of the full Leap ensemble. 
Adam glad not to be drumming
Exuberant and fun as always, there were a couple of songs I'd not heard the Leap do live before - namely Crisps and Undergod, but perhaps that was due to the missing trombone of Fraser Gibson. 

One of the highlights of their set was their cover of Camper Van Beethoven's "Take The Skinheads Bowling" where Adam insisted that Neil (Meursault), David (Canaveral) and Graeme (State Broadcasters) join him on stage for the vocals. A wild and crowd-backed version of Skinheads followed with wholehearted chants of "Got big lanes" and "All the same" etc.
Funnily enough, in the following song, Counting Sheep, Adam inadvertently swapped back into Camper Van Beethoven mode and mixed up the lyrics, to much crowd cheering. 
As always, Randolph's Leap live are something not to be missed and their set ended a very fine afternoon and evening of quality music, friendly banter and inter-band camaraderie.

Set-list was: Goodbye, Foolishness Of Youth, Nature, Isle of Love, Weatherman, Microcosm , Undergod, Hermit, Take The Skinheads Bowling (Camper Van Beethoven cover), Counting Sheep, I Can't Dance To This Music Anymore and Crisps

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