Geneva, King Tut’s, Glasgow ***
Aberdonian quintet Geneva could have been contenders. Fronted by the mature choirboy vocals of Andrew Montgomery, they carved out a distinguished place in the crowded post-Britpop landscape of the late 1990s before splitting after their second album, Weather Underground, was released in 2000.
Twenty years on, the band have resumed touring as a four-piece and a vinyl edition of that album is available for a tidy sum from their merchandise stall. The market for 90s indie holds up nicely, as does Geneva’s graceful music. Montgomery’s voice is too good to languish and he remained the USP around which the band wove a suitably sonorous sound replete with guitar reverb and tribal gothic drums which harked back even further to the relative pomp of 80s indie rock.
Montgomery pushed too hard on Promised Land, apologising for a hoarseness which barely affected the more controlled ebb and flow of the rest of the set. A loose, dubby bassline gave way to elegant ennui on Museum Mile and there was a brief burst of surf rock in honour of guitarist Steven Dora’s shirt, followed by tremolo aplenty on the next track.
New material was in the mix but nothing to cut through quite like their elegantly anthemic singles. The Smiths-like swagger of No One Speaks was offered as a good-natured riposte to the jocular hecklers in the crowd, while Tranquilizer bore out the broad comparisons with their former labelmates Suede.
Despite concerns he wouldn’t make it through the final song, Montgomery coped admirably, with a particularly lovely unamplified vocal interlude received in reverential silence. Fiona Shepherd
Milky Chance, O2 Academy, Glasgow **
About ten minutes into the set, Milky Chance were sending their young fans into raptures with Fado, the Portuguese folk-tinged electro-pop opener from their latest album Mind The Moon. Thick of moustache and half-masted of trousers, frontman Clemens Rehbein switched from guitar to synths, ready to take the song to its clubby climatic coda. Then, horribly, the wrong noise came honking from his instrument, everything abruptly stopped and all the stage lights came on and everyone stood around blinking at one another in confusion.
It’s rare to see a slick show like this come so wildly off the rails, and it was hard not to laugh. At least until they promptly started playing the entire track again from the start.
Occasional technical glitches notwithstanding, things seem to be going very much in this genre-fluid, dodgily-monikered German ensemble’s favour right now. Certainly the Spotify algorithms appear to support their cause, having helped push Milky Chance – think a kind of Euro Maroon 5, or Maroon Fünf, if you’d prefer – to a billion-plus streams and counting, presumably among the same student-y demographic that made up the audience here.
Shiny-funky numbers such as Fallen and Blossom were Eurovision quality cheeseballs. In fact, considering Germany’s poor showing at the competition in recent years they could do worse than putting these guys in. A diversion into cod reggae felt inevitable, and indeed it came with The Game.
“Is everybody ready to go really crazy?” enquired Rehbein enthusiastically, as Milky Chance’s milkiest bangers Flashed Junk Mind and Stolen Dance were duly milked. The chorus of the latter earnestly entreated everyone to “do the boogie all night long”. But let’s just leave it there, shall we? Malcolm Jack