Film & Music review: A Night At The Regal, Glasgow

The 02 ABC, Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

The 02 ABC, Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

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THE old ABC cinema was partially restored to its former function for this bespoke Glasgow Film Festival event, comprising a programme of main feature and supporting shorts, all soundtracked with some element of live performance.

A Night At The Regal

ABC, Glasgow

****

Hooded, cloaked and brandishing a torch, Monoganon frontman John B McKenna roamed the aisles like the spectre of a cinema usher, supplying vocals and commentary over VHS home movie footage, while Joe McAlinden, onetime frontman of Superstar, provided beguiling, breathy vocal accompaniment to his recorded score for the beautifully shot Scottish road movie EDIT.

Self-styled “lethargic pop band” eagleowl demonstrated that they were no slouches, performing complementary soundtracks to three contrasting short films – their post-rock ebb and flow matched the surge of the surf in John Grierson’s Granton Trawler, Norman McLaren’s abstract technicolour Begone Dull Care elicited a free cacophony and Mark Cousin’s Between Picture and Word, described as “a slow film to play loud”, was powerfully embellished with their epic, momentous score.

British Sea Power’s collaboration with filmmaker Penny Woolcock on From the Sea to the Land Beyond is cut from the same social history stock as King Creosote’s From Scotland With Love and The Unthanks’ Songs from the Shipyards. Like those artists, BSP succeeded in enhancing the carefully curated archive footage of work and leisure, seaside and shipping, mostly drawn from the BFI National Archive, while remaining true to their own winsome, slightly offbeat sound, crafted with strings, horns, keyboards and a Boys’ Brigade bass drum.

Seen on 19.02.15

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