“ANYONE know how to change a string?” frontwoman Roxanne Clifford asked, as her bandmate James Hoare’s wounded guitar became the first in a calamity of technical gremlins that dogged Veronica Falls’ otherwise fairly triumphant homecoming.
There’s probably a good joke somewhere in the irony of a venue full of recognisable Glasgow musicians – this London-based indie-pop quartet, substantially ex of this parish, being of a particular respected and connected cache – struggling to fix an instrument. But the wonkiness of sound only added to Veronica Falls’ already wilfully slightly shambly aesthetic. Clifford’s voice was understatedly pretty, even when it slipped out of tune at the end of My Heart Beats.
New album Waiting For Something To Happen finds them eschewing significant originality in favour of indie tunefulness on the C86 and early Creation records axis, and it works. They’ve upped their game by adding melodies so catchy that even the hooks seem to have hooks. The rushing bittersweetness of Broken Toy subsequently threw into contrast the down-strumming and gloomy voices of older material a la Beachy Head and Found Love In A Graveyard.
Hoare’s instrument was salvaged in time for Veronica Falls’ best number, Teenage. A rasping amplifier reverb spring rather trampled on the subtler qualities of Roky Erickson cover Starry Eyes, but somehow added to the cacophony of pounding finale Come On Over. New equipment permitting, Veronica Falls are on to a distinct winner at the moment.