How many punters would spend £15 to watch a bunch of bands in one night who play every other week on the Glasgow music circuit?
That was the question that sprung to mind when we first heard about The Sauchiehall Crawl but not only did the organisers succeed in creating a mini-festival that pulled the crowds in, it was full of surprises and genuinely fun. As KC almost said: “If you build it, they will come”.
Sunday’s drama began with a lone piper leading a conga down Sauchiehall Street and through Sleazy’s as the clock struck 7.20pm to signal the first head-to-head clash in a sort of indie deathmatch way: Ross Clark v How To Swim. We opted for the latter and that meant a dash through the rain to ABC2, where we watched the 10-strong beast in action.
HOW TO SWIM sounded promising at first but the brass, strings and percussion that make up their racket quickly became somewhat cabaret. They were a bit like Polyphonic Spree without the robes, although extra kudos was earned by the fact they have one member who looks like Knight Rider-era Hasselhoff.
Edinburgh superstars-in-waiting BROKEN RECORDSwere last-minute additions to the ABC2 bill after Make Model pulled out of yet another gig (we have serious doubts over whether they’ll even be in existence before the summer is gone), but what a welcome treat.
Frontman Jamie Sutherland apologised on stage for his lack of interesting chat – which is not like him as anyone who read his recent interview with The Pop Copwould know – but few would have cared after such a bombastic set of earnest multi-instrumented rock. For the Broken Records completists out there, you’ll be interested to know they aired a newie called The Ukulele Song, which will no doubt be renamed something longer and more theatrical in the near future.
THE TWILIGHT SAD drew the biggest crowd by far of any act on The Sauchiehall Crawl bill and many folk we spoke to had bought their tickets purely to see the much-fawned over band.
It was noisy and drenched in meaty swathes of feedback but considering their lofty reputation, we have to admit we found our first experience of The Twilight Sad live show pretty underwhelming. Maybe you have to be a musician to fully appreciate them.
We briefly braved the rain again to catch THE ADS at The Beat Club and they did a pleasant line in camp indie pop, although it was just lacking in originality.
THE PHANTOM BAND were at least trying something different back at Sleazy’s with a plethora of odd percussive instruments.
Their lead singer looked a little unhinged at times, while his sidekick wore the kind of polkadot blouse you’d think twice about giving your granny for Christmas.
All in all, The Sauchiehall Crawl was weird and wonderful and half the enjoyment really did come from zipping about from one venue to the next. Our only disappointment was over the acts we missed. We can’t wait for the next one.
You can find mp3s by all the acts in last week’s preview on The Sauchiehall Crawl but here’s a couple of treats by the band who skipped in at the last minute…
4 Broken Records – Slow Parade
4 Broken Records – And They All Fell Into The Sea (Maida Vale session)
b June 6, Fat Sams, Dundee
b June 7, RockNess Festival, Dores (tickets)
b June 15, The Bongo Club, Edinburgh (supporting The Twilight Sad) (tickets)
b June 28, Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, Glasgow
b July 25, Wickerman Festival, Dumfries & Galloway (tickets)
b August 17, Liquid Room, Edinburgh (tickets)
b August 30/31 Hydro Connect, Inverary (tickets)