Gig review: Chain & The Gang

THE redoubtable Ian Svenonius has been a welcome regular visitor to Glasgow for more than 20 years, imparting his wealth of wisdom and hipster musical influences across a number of group incarnations.

Ian Svenonius latest group incarnation Chain & the Gang. Picture: JP
Ian Svenonius latest group incarnation Chain & the Gang. Picture: JP

Chain & The Gang - Broadcast, Glasgow


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His latest, Chain & the Gang, comprises an ever-revolving line-up of cool chick collaborators, all the better to communicate his deadpan call-and-response rock’n’roll dispatches.

On this occasion, he brought a band of immaculately aloof female musicians, all kitted out in sharp shiny suits, holding down the groove while Svenonius engaged in his erudite, improvised sermons. “We’re told west is the best,” he intoned gravely. “That’s why we bring a decidedly north-east-south perspective.”

While it’s true that Svenonius sniffs the zeitgeist, then runs in the opposite direction, there is a natural accessibility to his music which belies his perennial underground status.

The springy garage punk of Reparations, New Wave strut of Certain Kinds of Trash, the deeply funky Detroit Music…in fact any musical style with innate, irresistible rhythm was fair game for this eclectic set.

While Svenonius’s poker-faced punk preacher performance is a well-honed act, he wasn’t averse to breaking that fourth wall. Sizing up the geography of the venue, with its low ceiling beams to hang off, he stepped out on one of his habitual crowd surfabouts – but Glasgow wasn’t there to catch him. Our loss. Even on a school night, Chain & the Gang were an unfettered blast.

Seen on 28.05.14