Music review: Poster Paints, Glad Cafe, Glasgow

Carla J Easton and Simon Liddell’s new band Poster Paints taps into the grand tradition of self-effacing Scottish indie pop, writes Fiona Shepherd

Music review: Poster Paints, Glad Cafe, Glasgow ***

Poster Paints’ self-titled debut album, launched at this packed party, features a song entitled Never Saw It Coming – a reasonable origins summation of a group built on a fortuitous misunderstanding when guitarist Simon Liddell, veteran of Glasgow bands including Frightened Rabbit and Olympic Swimmers, sent singer Carla J Easton a piece of music in the hopes that she would add some vocals to the recording.

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Easton, who first came to prominence fronting pop quartet Teen Canteen before launching a solo career, took the tune and ran with it, penning an entirely new song around Liddell’s instrumental. There is a lot to be said for lockdown boredom – without it, this easygoing ensemble might not exist. As Easton quips, “DIY or die”, and she’s not talking about putting up shelves during furlough.

Poster Paints
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Poster Paints follow in the grand tradition of self-effacing Scottish indie pop, high on melody, sprinkled with aching balladry and embellished with jangling guitars and ample use of tambourine. Easton has long since learned to stop worrying and embrace her self-confessed Marmite voice on a set of songs which effortlessly hark back to the cutesy doom of classic girl group melodrama via the prism of Eighties/Nineties male indie groups in touch with their female side – the set even included a cover of Into Your Arms by one such band, The Lemonheads, slowed down to draw out the melancholy.

Their own Circus Moving On was a moody indie blues highlight of the set, as was the guest appearance of singer Lomond Campbell, who joined the band for Ribbons, marking his first duet performance in the same room as Easton. The Poster Paints album may have been pieced together remotely through lockdown but this in-person coming-together of the constituent parts was deemed by Easton to be "better than Kylie and Jason".