Gig review: Laibach, Glasgow

Slovenian avant-garde music group Laibach. Picture: Creative Commons

Slovenian avant-garde music group Laibach. Picture: Creative Commons

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RUMOURS abound that Sam Smith will be chosen to sing the new Bond theme. If that is the case, then the film’s producers have missed a trick in not commissioning the infinitely more entertaining veteran Slovenian agitators Laibach, who surely embody all the qualities of that particular brand in their epic, melodramatic, orchestral anthems.

Laibach

Classic Grand, Glasgow

****

They have even kindly named their latest album Spectre as an unwitting sign of their suitability for the role.

In addition, frontman Milan Fras has the stern presence of a Bond heavie, while the superbly haughty Mina Spiler contemplated her keyboards with the disdainful froideur of an irresistible foreign agent. Their three black-clad bandmates were the anonymous drones one underestimates at one’s peril.

Together, they began this particular campaign with a static reserve, calmly staring down the audience, before gradually ramping up the camp with liberal use of the chorus effect on the stentorian backing vocals, while hypnotizing the masses with beautifully shot mirror films projected on to the back wall.

Political comment and sly satire have been hallmarks of their 35-year career. Eurovision – another intimation of a lost opportunity – had its hookline “Europe is falling apart” cheekily amended during its final iteration to “UK is falling apart”, accompanied by the first smile to break Fras’ austere visage in about 20 years, while the mischief continued with the joyous Whistleblowers, a Colonel Bogey March for the post-industrial goth generation, which is as catchy and deadly as a weaponised airborne virus. Glasgow caught the bug.

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