Music review: The Pastels & Ela Orleans at the Glad Cafe, Glasgow
The Pastels & Ela Orleans ****
The Glad Café, Glasgow
Perched behind a tiny keyboard flanked by samplers, a laptop and a propped-up notebook, Orleans sculpted her self-described “movies for ears” before our very eyes.
Pre-recorded samples mingled smoothly with looped recordings of her live vocals and keyboards.
Despite the minimalist set-up, Orleans’ music is impressively layered and emotionally rich. She sounds like a warmer, more romantic Nico singing songs influenced by radiophonic electro, haunting 1950s doo-wop and 1960s garage go-go grooves. The Pastels, meanwhile, were reassuringly the same as ever.
They began with a wonderfully serpentine Morricone-esque instrumental augmented by trumpet and flute, before rattling through a typically charming set of bittersweet, flat-vowelled guitar pop.
From a distance, bandleader Stephen Pastel (who’s more garrulous than his image would suggest) still looks like the same wan young mop-top who helped to forge the template for sweetly uncompromising post-punk pop in the 1980s.
Their continuing influence on subsequent generations of sensitive, heart-on-sleeve indie bands is obvious, but The Pastels sound is theirs and theirs alone.