Gig review: The Glasgow Mix Tape, Glasgow

Singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins. Picture: John Devlin
Singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins. Picture: John Devlin
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AS clichéd as it sounds, the people of Glasgow remained in high spirits during the incessant downpour that drenched this free outdoor event. In the puddled twilight of the Commonwealth Games, the music brought salvation.

The Glasgow Mix Tape

Glasgow Green

* * * *

Organised by music/community project The East End Social, it was essentially a celebration of Glasgow’s estimable legacy of independent music. That spirit was encapsulated by Edwyn Collins, who performed a charmingly ramshackle acoustic set packed with classics from his songbook. Alongside guitarist James Welbourne, he illustrated why disco-pop gem Rip It Up has never been a busker’s favourite. Rarely has a song fallen apart with such mutual good humour between artist and audience.

Collins’ contemporaries The Bluebells sliced through the rain with their amiable mix of countrified soul and jangle-pop, although disaster struck when their biggest hit, Young at Heart, was cruelly silenced by a sound malfunction. Of all the songs for the gremlins to attack. Thankfully they recovered with a jubilant closing chorus of The Staples Singers’ I’ll Take You There.

He may be an Englishman, but headliner Lloyd Cole was perfectly in tune with the day’s agenda. Backed by Glasgow’s The Leopards, he delivered a crowd-pleasing suite of literate guitar pop standards, including Lost Weekend and Brand New Friend.

Highlight of the day, however, was a grin-inducing, energised set from terminally underrated punk-pop originals, Bis. In a parallel universe, the irresistible likes of Kandy Pop and Eurodisco are classic radio mainstays. In France they’d build a statue in their honour.

Seen on 02.08.14