Kochka, The Mademoiselle and Tragic O'Hara live at Stereo in Glasgow
Tell me a tale, I hear you say, of plastic glasses and women in masks. A challenge? Not if you are in Glasgow on a Saturday night, it isn't. Destination Stereo as a Bluesbunny, armed with only a packet of chocolate raisins to compensate for his urgent need for a wit transplant, put pen to paper on Kochka, The Mademoiselle and Tragic O'Hara.
Plastic glasses, much like pop tarts, are the work of the Devil. Tragic O'Hara, much like his trademark blue suit, could also be the work of the Devil. After all, he spins tales of redemption whilst claiming to listen to hip hop during the week. An unusual source of influences for a one man, one loop pedal and one guitar outfit perhaps, but it took him out of singer songwriter territory into a musical place that was more authentically urban than any pair of name brand trackie bottoms yet available on EBay.
Powering up what could only be called a surfeit of musical ability were The Mademoiselle. Three good men with scarcely a sound check between them revved up a post rock soundtrack to a road movie as yet unshot with vistas of synchronicity taking the place of mere mortal considerations such as songs. As the guitar did the talking, a thinking man would unavoidably be drawn to the conclusion that the lost concept of the "head" band had been duly reinvented and made great again. In fact, the word "great" has finally a use again.
Launching their album "The Entropic Biopic of a Quixotic Psychotic" were the ever inventive Kochka. If there had been a white rabbit, or a frightened white rabbit for that matter, in the room it would have been chased out by the amplified theatre that this Glasgow band brought to the peeling plaster and squeezable plastic glasses of the basement of Stereo. Mark Donnelly walked not only the stage but also the floor with his megaphone haunted by the ghosts of a hundred circus ringmasters whilst the rest of the band displayed a most unexpected precision in the execution of their neurotic opus. That sense of drama overcame the distraction of the dancing woman wearing pony boots and led to the conclusion that Kochka do what they do with much more imagination than most of their contemporaries.
With time now properly distorted, the woman in the mask drew a symbol on my hand with a pen she could not find. If I were a philosopher, I would find deeper meaning in that but fortunately I am but a Shetland pony in matters of the intellect.
November 19, 2011
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