Celtic Connections review: The Pop Group, Glasgow

The Pop Group: Cult appeal
The Pop Group: Cult appeal
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Glasgow’s Creeping Bent Records was founded 20 years ago on a love of The Pop Group’s debut single She Is Beyond Good And Evil. So it was fitting, not to mention thrilling, that this bone-shaking Bristol band, reunited since 2010, should play at the label’s birthday celebration.

The Pop Group - ABC, Glasgow

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Less clear is their Celtic Connection – for sure, there is no other act of their confrontational calibre appearing at the festival. Their strictly cult appeal resulted in a venue downgrade to ABC2 – good news in terms of ambience, bad regarding PA power.

The innate ferocity was there as frontman Mark Stewart, a hulking man mountain with a fearsome delivery, tore into their 1979 debut single We Are All Prostitutes. Yet in the midst of this cathartic industrial post-punk outpouring came the funkiest bass solo from Dan Catsis.

Without the necessary volume to rearrange the audience’s innards, as is their way, this singular group settled instead for spotlighting The Funk in their sound. Forty- and fiftysomething men shimmied with increasing enthusiasm as they dusted off the superfly Blind Faith from their second album For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? (sing along if you know the words) and responded to the irresistible jagged funk-soul appeal of Where There’s A Will and joyous pop philosophy of We Are Time as if Sly & the Family Stone themselves were in the house. Play that funky music, white boys.