It is probably not going to be one of the questions that troubles the great philosophers of our times but, with fried food soon to be on my mind, I got to wondering what happened to all the indie boys with their floppy haircuts and skinny jeans. Did they all graduate to greater things or did they just pass the baton of fashion failure to the next generation? Perhaps the truth will never be known but, as if to distract all and sundry from such deeper thoughts, The Sinking Feeling, Antique Pony, Herbert Powell and Flakes were present and correct in the salubrious basement that is the 13th Note.
First up and obviously not deficient in energy were Flakes. With youthful exuberance and a somewhat belligerent balance between melody and chord assassination driving their songs forward, they struck the right note in the best lo-fi tradition. Let’s face it, if it doesn’t hurt then it isn’t music.
Herbert Powell were sufficiently intellectual to avoid any accusations of being on stage solely to play with their junk and, with scientific precision, they chopped up guitar riffs and repurposed them into complete songs that drew as much from contrived angularity as they did from the days of Postcard guitar pop for inspiration. The check shirted sound of the street is heard once more even when the lights are out.
Antique Pony also demonstrated a fondness for angularity that was aligned with a desire to venture maturely forward into math-rock territory. Their songs, perhaps unsurprisingly, had the jagged edges of a band bleakly accepting their destiny to drown in a sea of all the right influences whilst watching their lifeboat of inspiration being sunk by the torpedoes of equations and coefficients. Their allergy to melody would surely attract the sharks but surely, in a world where God exists, their affinity for chants might save them. Clunk click every trip anyway.
The Sinking Feeling were on to a winner right from the start. Having a name (probably) inspired by the second best film ever set in Glasgow (David Hayman’s downright perverse “The Near Room” being the best) gave them a head start and this band did their home town proud with a musical maturity that belied their tender years being much to the fore. Don’t get me wrong, The Sinking Feeling might never be considered commercial but any purveyor of properly presented songs of pernicious intent is, always and forever, going to be just fine with me. It is no insult to compare their performance tonight with that of an American band and their focus was, now and always, where you would want it to be.
Exit stage right.