You know the nights are drawing in when the only people standing outside a venue when you arrive are the smokers. There’s a chill in the air but that is never going to bother them. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be Friday without a basement and tonight’s basement was that of The Captain’s Rest and the attraction of said basement was the appearance of White Heat and Zoobizaretta.
Pausing only for the essential Guinness and to muse on the collective communication skills of the iPhone generation as they babbled about whether a text just sent had been received when the recipient was sitting next to them, it was time to descend into the pit and experience White Heath. White Heath are no normal band, you see, and they proved a shiny example of disciplined experimentation as they brought what could have been art house jazz folly into sharp focus and such was affected intensity of Sean Watson’s voice that he burned out the sound guy leaving him incapable of doing his job for the rest of the night. Further rounds of applause were also due to Shoubhik Bandopadhyay for his flame powered takeover of the vocal throne and Mark Rowley’s attempt to blow down the walls of Jericho with his bass trombone. I bet there is many a candle out there that wish they burned as brightly as White Heath.
A damn sight more civilised were Zoobizaretta - it was the launch of their album “Foam & Leachate” - and they presented themselves as polished representatives of the Glasgow “sound” whilst being not entirely unskilled at packing an abnormally large number of musicians on to the compact and bijou stage of The Captain’s Rest while they were at it. Positioning themselves at the lightweight indie meets folk side of things, mellow melodies were the order of the day. Well, they were mellow for most of their set (and they seemed genuinely bemused by the positive reaction from the audience) until – just as you would be about to write them off as mediocre – they went up-tempo and the joyous female voices overpowered the deadpan male lead and brought love and sparkles into the room. The grumpier among you might just think that was the band hitting their stride but it was more than that – it was a bit of musical magic.
Incidentally, a fellow reveller told me what, or more accurately who, a Zoobizaretta is. It turned out to be less interesting than I had hoped so you can just Google it.