Music review: The Pastels & Ela Orleans at the Glad Cafe, Glasgow

Watching The Pastels play to a sweaty sold-out crowd '“ including BMX Bandit Duglas T. Stewart '“ in the backroom of a bohemian café is quite possibly the apotheosis of the Glasgow indie experience. That sensation was compounded by a bewitching solo support turn from Ela Orleans, a Polish DIY ­musician who has lived in Glasgow since 2011.
Ela OrleansEla Orleans
Ela Orleans

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.

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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.