You think you’ve seen it all. Been there. Done it. Tweeted it on your metrosexual iPhone 5. However, in the basements, or one basement at least, the night people had gathered once more to twist and turn the laws of the universe upon their head. There’s a dog – a genuine woof woof bow wow dog - behind the bar for a start. It doesn’t like me, a fact obvious from the vaguely homicidal look in its eye, so getting a drink without getting rabies could prove to be a challenge. Move on swiftly, as the priest said to the choirboy.
Thula Borah soon diverted my attention from matters of survival. Four up on the path to intellectual musicality, they were a cross between ambient textures and what the Americans would call math rock although, in truth, they were what indie rock will be should it ever outgrow three chords and limitless compression. A languorous and intense set then but when you’re good you can get away with the odd ramble.
Altogether more boisterous were Sinister Flynn. Crowding the stage with musical firepower worked out well for them and they soon established themselves to be a musical runaway train that just wasn’t going to stop until the end of the track. On their journey through big and bigger, they riffed it up, drew on ska, went large on the vocals, shook the walls of Jericho with a horn section and generally proved themselves the kind of band that complements the excessive consumption of beer admirably. The audience seemed to be in agreement too and that’s a good thing because a hymn book isn’t a hymn book unless everyone sings from it.
Kick To Kill are the kind of band that will always be high on life and they duly plugged the gap between electro rock and the late night basement vibe with an energetically untidy set of moody synth driven omnipresence. You’ve got to have attitude to make this work and Kick To Kill certainly had that and, as those guitars cascaded into the darkness, you had to wonder why this band haven’t gone further. Just a matter of time perhaps.
Last on were Captain Majestic. Two up, they shuffled a bit of the blues into an anguished slice of stripped out rock that seemed designed to decorate the urban landscape. Sometimes simplicity is the key to the door and Captain Majestic, without any fumbling, unlocked it.
Time for a public transport story. It’s music related as the sax player from Sinister Flynn was there to witness the proceedings. Man says to woman “You smell nice”. Then he says “I really like your hair”. Woman then slides down towards the floor. Man says “It’s only three more stops ‘till Blairhill”. You can take the girl out of Coatbridge but, as a condition of her parole, you have to take her back at the end of the night. I know that’s not exactly Cinderella but, these days, you have to take what you can get.