Gig review: Uneasy Listening: An Evening with Clint Mansell

In a former life, Clint Mansell fronted eclectic indie combo Pop Will Eat Itself but he has returned to the stage in weightier musical robes, as one of Hollywood's most acclaimed film composers, most closely associated with the dark movie matter woven by the likes of Darren Aronofsky and Ben Wheatley.
Clint MansellClint Mansell
Clint Mansell

Uneasy Listening: An Evening with Clint Mansell | Glasgow Royal Concert Hall | Rating ****

This Uneasy Listening showcase of his maverick talents, as rendered with an exemplary rock trio, pianist/composer Carly Paradis and the Sonus Quartet, was far removed from jovial Proms at the Movies territory and took on extra import as Mansell dedicated the performance to his late girlfriend Heather, whose death in 2014 led to the postponement of the original booking.

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It was clear that this was a date Mansell always meant to keep for the sake of the fans as much as in Heather’s honour. What was immediately striking was just how different his work is, drawing on David Bowie or Mogwai as much as Tchaikovsky or Nyman, while his audacious gothic electro score for Pi with its skittering, propulsive drum’n’bass momentum and the creepy strings, taut drumming and minimal keyboards of the Moon soundtrack were in a league of their own.

Proceedings were scattered with humble stories of meetings with Madonna and encounters with Requiem for a Dream author Hubert Selby jnr, and accompanied not by footage from the relevant movies, but beautifully shot impressionistic films which made Uneasy Listening all too easy to become immersed in.