In TIMES of global uncertainty, paranoia and depression – so that's basically at all times – you could do far worse than turn to Ian Svenonius, the resident oracle of the Washington DC underground, for witty words of wisdom, a penetrating geo-socio-political vision (US-centric, admittedly) and some damn funky tunes.
Over the past 20 years, Svenonius has helmed a series of cult musical vehicles - Nation of Ulysses, The Make-up, Weird War and now Chain & the Gang – which speak truth to power, or to any discerning ear. His followers are modest in number but they have excellent style and taste on their side.
At this darkened basement gathering in Glasgow, Svenonius conducted a series of playful call-and-response exercises with his mischievous backing singer, his band of reprobates, including longtime wingman James Canty on guitar, and ultimately with the surprisingly well-behaved audience.
The message is … well, let's just say that if Svenonius wasn't causing his acolytes to laugh aloud at his lyrical audacity – It's A Hard, Hard Job (Keeping Everybody High), according to one of his pocket hypotheses – he would be weeping for the world as he delivered the recession blues What Is A Dollar?, the sultry social lament Youth Is Wasted On The Young and the cynical cool jerk of For Practical Purposes (I Love You).