Gig review: Treacherous Orchestra, Glasgow

The Treacherous Orchestra were in merciless form. Picture: Contributed
The Treacherous Orchestra were in merciless form. Picture: Contributed
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Fresh from winning Album of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards for their latest opus Grind, the 12-headed party monster that is the Treacherous Orchestra looked and sounded more like a fearsome rock band than ever, wreathed in tattoos, skulls and shades, and driven by a mighty rhythm section.

Treacherous Orchestra | Rating **** | Glasgow Drygate

Such is the potent mix of influences rocked by this big band that they even flirted with prog rock keyboard arpeggios and a drum’n’bass break at one point.

It has long been noted that the Treacherous Orchestra make the irresistible connection between ceilidh and club music and they were in merciless form in this low-roofed club venue, teasing out the repetitive riffs en route to the inevitable euphoric explosion of sound.

But, as ever, they maintained a disarming balance between showcasing the subtle touch of the individual players – and their skills as writers – and their undeniable power as a massed ensemble, never more so than on the beautifully lyrical call-and-response between accordionist John Somerville and piper Ross Ainslie on Halcyon Days, underscored by a bass and fiddle backing which implied eastern exoticism.

A sweatier second set also delivered light and shade in spades, but the trajectory was inexorably upwards through the heavy riffing of March Of The Troutsmen, the tricky time signature shifts of Phit Dae A Dae, the deep and meaningful singalong Sausages to the euphoric release of Maverick Angels, and they swept the crowd along with them every note of the way.