Gig review: Martin Creed, Glasgow

Martin Creeds songs had a cumulative charm. Picture: Hugo Glendinning
Martin Creeds songs had a cumulative charm. Picture: Hugo Glendinning
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Artist Martin Creed won the Turner Prize 15 years ago with a playful work which bewildered and beguiled in roughly equal measure; his music, of which there is now several albums’ worth, may well draw the same response, though the audience at this warm, informal show were firmly in the latter camp.

Martin Creed | The Poetry Club, Glasgow | Rating ****

Though naïve in conception and execution, there was a cumulative charm and power to these two-chord adult nursery rhymes, sparingly augmented by punk saxophone and the odd wonky glockenspiel solo, and reminiscent of the original punk bands, such as The Slits, who made a virtue of their technical limitations.

Lyrics were sculpted from a few lines, or a few words, repeated rhythmically and sometimes sung in canon with his semi-operatic backing singer. They are inspired by his mum, his partner, his dog, his bassist’s aversion to walking anywhere, but mostly by his restless, stuttering train of thought, which manifested like a less finessed counterpart to the offbeat wit, wisdom and whimsy of the late Ivor Cutler.

There was a sharp edge to his tongue too. Brexit bosses and terrorists were not invited to this parade of humanity, the former repelled with the line “you’ve made your lie, now sleep on it”, the latter with a machine gun barrage of expletives. But there was a welcome for refugees on Let Them In and love for the beleaguered Jeremy Corbyn on The Direction of Love, which Creed was happy to confirm is “left”.