Gig review: Lightships/Snowgoose, Glasgow CCA

THE CCA was awash with Glasgow’s jangling indie pop royalty at this debut outing for Teenage Fanclub guitarist Gerry Love’s long-awaited “solo” project.

Being a collaborative sort, he has recruited Fanclub associates, as well as members of Belle and Sebastian, The Pastels and erstwhile Soup Dragons to his latest ensemble.

While no great departure from his parent band’s unswervingly melodic craft, Lightships is a gentler, more winsome proposition overall, characterised by tastefully effects-laden reveries which were delicately garnished with Tom Crossley’s fluttering flute, the airy chime of xylophone and the meditative clarinet playing of Jim McCulloch, and intermittently pepped up by the swirl of Chris Geddes’ keyboards. Often, the arrangements were more arresting than the songs.

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Having taken several years to bring the album, Electric Cables, to fruition, Love was in no great hurry with this performance, which ambled through the tracklisting in chronological order. An unassuming figure he proved to be a shy, rather hesitant frontman, who could barely look the friendly crowd in the eye, even as they eagerly lapped up the more robust numbers such as Silver and Gold.

There was some personnel crossover with support band Snowgoose, but the pure, fragrant tones of frontwoman Anna Sheard and the insouciant jazzy inflections of some of their material, especially the title track of their debut album, Harmony Springs, was more redolent of 60s Britfolk acts such as Pentangle or Joni Mitchell and the Laurel Canyon set.

Rating: ***