Gig review: The Pastels, CCA, Glasgow

The Pastels. Picture: Contributed

The Pastels. Picture: Contributed

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GIDDY at the prospect of this curated A Weekend Abroad event, The Pastels joined their peers Mogwai, Super Furry Animals and Elbow in launching their own alcoholic beverage, a right potent pilsner called Pastelism.

The Pastels

CCA, Glasgow

Star rating: ***

Pastels frontman Stephen McRobbie had learned his lesson in moderation by Saturday night but, as the assembled faithful would likely attest, Pastelism is less a brew and more a way of being anyway.

McRobbie had learned his lesson in moderation by Saturday night but, as the assembled faithful would likely attest, Pastelism is less a brew and more a way of being anyway.

Thus, two generations of gauche indie bands offered up their tentative tunesmithery for our head-nodding pleasure. Normal Love are a one-off vehicle for the latest songs by ex-Veronica Falls frontwoman Roxanne Clifford, delivered by an indie supergroup including Eilidh Rodgers of Sacred Paws and “come and dance with me” Michael Kasparis of Night School Records A driving girl group Krautrock number stood out from the rest of the work-in-progress.

The likeably dotty Debsey Wykes, formerly of the Dolly Mixtures and loved by many as Sarah Cracknell’s right hand woman in Saint Etienne, was equally reticent about delivering her tenderly arranged, tastefully 60s-influenced pop with her band Birdie, allowing young Glasgow four-piece Spinning Coin to emerge from behind their fringes as the most confident and kicking band of the night.

The Pastels’ music has progressed at glacial pace over the years. While the playing has not improved much, the ambition of their lullaby arrangements has. Yet it was one of their early naïve numbers, the epic Velvet Underground jam Baby Honey and an unearthed cover of the New York Dolls’ Lonely Planet Boy, which connected most keenly with the audience.

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