Gig review: Steve Malkmus & the Jicks, Glasgow

WHERE some veteran artists might suffer from a kind of post-reformation blues after getting the old band back together only to break-up them up again, Stephen Malkmus looked in his element with 90s slacker-rock legends Pavement’s successful, albeit short-lived and openly financially-motivated reunion circa 2010 long-since put to bed.

Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: TSPL
Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: TSPL

Steve Malkmus & the Jicks - Oran Mor, Glasgow

* * * *

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The Portland-based Californian guitarist and frontman is one of his generation’s true musical visionaries, and his distinctively meandering, fuzzed-out, mildly goofy muse remains strong in his work with The Jicks, featuring Joanna Bolme on bass, Jake Morris on drums and Mike Clark on guitar/keys.

Their sixth album Wigout At Jagbags might be their best yet, and provided several of the evening’s highlights, from the trashed-up Philly soul of Chartjunk to the ridiculously fun Larait, with its quite possibly tongue-in-cheek salute to “the best decade ever… talkin’ ‘bout the Eighties!” Bolme joked that the disarmingly lovely Houston Hades could have used some dancers.

Elsewhere across a rarely-predictable set we got the screwball rock’n’roll of Brain Gallop, and the excellent Stick Figures In Love, which could almost be The Cure’s Boys Don’t Cry warped near beyond recognition. There was even a nod to the Pavement days come the encore, with the idiosyncratically uplifting Brighten The Corners outtake Harness Your Hopes, harking back to days not so much forgotten as best left a fond memory.