Year round, the folks from Tenement TV film local and touring musicians acoustically in a Glasgow living room. Their annual one-day festival, Tenement Trail, provides an opportunity for the bands they have featured to crank it up in more traditional gig venues.
Neighbouring Sauchiehall Street venues Broadcast and Nice’n’Sleazy were first off the mark, both providing that murky subterranean vibe in the middle of the afternoon. Evil Edison’s set took in melodic, moderately angsty post-rock with a metallic grungey edge to a couple of numbers, while fellow alt-rockers Bloodlines offered intricate math rock guitars and shifting time signatures. The declamatory Declan Welsh has swagger to spare which just about saw him through his unwavering “shouty f***er on stage” set, including a love song, Jesus Christ I Think I’m In Love, delivered as if he had been hit by a Buckfast-dipped Cupid’s arrow.
The bijou Flat 0/1 was next to join the party with two of the best sets of the day coming from The Bar Dogs, five young guys who clearly care about the cut of their lapels and turned in a rollicking rootsy rock’n’roll display, and the twin-fronted Van T’s who mix up pop melodies, choppy femme punk and swampier rock’n’roll riffs.
By late afternoon, ABC2 was in on the act too. Rudimentary thrashy trio Pinact hold a candle for Nirvana in one hand but can’t resist the gonzo punk pop of Green Day either.
But White were the name at the top of the posters. Now signed to RCA, they looked to be the main contenders of the day and certainly seemed to have made the connection with the throng in attendance.
In a previous life, they were hirsute roots rockers Kassidy; as White, they have gone for a very different but equally stylised sound – a muscular 80s-indebted electro pop/rock with a touch of late 70s cyber Bowie thrown in for sonic interest and a whole lot of Heaven 17 on debut single Future Pleasures.
They have an additional weapon in frontman Leo Condie, who is a performer for sure – he can almost do the splits as he was happy to comically demonstrate but is also capable of Billy Mackenzie-style vocal histrionics when required.