Gig review: Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Glasgow

IT’S not every day that Tav Falco rides into town – in fact, it seemed that nobody at this enthusiastically subscribed concert was entirely sure if the cult Memphis-bred, Vienna-based musician had ever visited Glasgow before with his self-styled “art damage” band Panther Burns, originally formed with Alex Chilton in 1979.

Tav Falco’s Panther Burns

Broadcast, Glasgow

Star rating; * * *

Back in the day, Falco was a contemporary of The Cramps and The Gun Club, and while the sartorial style and proud pompadour have been lovingly maintained, the unschooled, unpredictable rock’n’roll edge has been sanded down to produce a much tamer, more urbane performance by Falco and Panther Burns’ current 
line-up of suitably stylish 
French and Italian musicians. Still, Falco maintains an impressive fidelity to the heritage sounds of country music, rhythm’n’blues and the sort of retro pop standards which often feature on the soundtrack of David Lynch movies.

Selected covers and a bonus tango demonstration with dancer Via Kali were scattered among the original material, much of it drawn – or so it felt, according to Falco’s many plugs – from the most recent Panther Burns album Conjurations.

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In the end though, it was possible to have too much of a good thing, as Falco played on and on at a self-absorbed, long-distance pace, flouting the curfew and welcoming the prospect of police intervention. Had the local constabulary arrived to shut down the party, they would have found a good-natured gathering rather than a hotbed of rock’n’roll transgression.

Seen on 09.02.14

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