Gig review: Ben Montague, Glasgow ABC2
YOU would be hard pushed to pick Ben Montague out of a line-up of anonymous coffee shop singer/songwriters, but now that major labels have all but given up on the search for vital new music in favour of a sedative soundtrack to drift in one ear and out the other, his inoffensive brand of breathy nine stone weakling pop seems to be everywhere.
Call it the Gary Barlow Effect – boyband-level compositions minus the frisson of teenage hormones.
There was nowhere to hide the banality during this acoustic gig at which the eager-to-please Montague was accompanied by guitarist Ben Martinez, who garnished the crushing mediocrity with some fancyish flamenco-influenced licks.
Main support act Kristyna Myles, who joined Montague for a double dose of don’t care on the duet Liberty Road, is cut from similarly uninspiring cloth. All credit to her for busking to raise money for charity, but in the more exacting environment of a club venue her perky, polite and slightly anachronistic acoustic soul pop set sounded like cannon fodder for the bland newcomer slot on a future episode of Later With Jools Holland.
Given the underwhelming musical company, amiable trio Mark and the Mystics, formed only a few months ago, were a refreshing tonic, even though their easily digestable diet of fragrant folk pop, chirpy Americana and droll, slightly surreal banter offered no more than a pleasant way to pass the time.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 21 C
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Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
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