In a short space of time tonight, Edinburgh trio Found managed to both baffle and entrance with their experimental pop. Bookending their 30-minute set, Dimples and Johnny I Can’t Walk The Line proved the most difficult listens.

However in between, You’re No Vincent Gallo and recent single Anti Climb Paint did more than enough to suggest Found are a band that will only get better. Full of cinematic splashes of drum and synth samples, and in the case of the latter a beat that had the crowd nodding in unison, they made checking out debut album Factorycraft seem a risk well worth taking.

Found’s ‘Anti Climb Pain’


As spectacles go, this was a fairly routine affair. Musically sound but far from compelling, pleasant rather than attention-grabbing. There’s no doubting the quality of songs like Won’t Let Me Down Again and Hawk, but as a live experience it was one of those shows where you’d have been better staying home and buying the record.

While Lanegan undoubtedly possesses a certain dark charm and presence, he looked disinterested throughout and Campbell’s timid hushed vocals were often barely audible over the noise from the bar.

An enjoyable performance in parts but overall it was one which suffered more troughs than it offered peaks.

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan’s ‘Who Built the Road’

Returning home from a successful UK jaunt promoting second album Spitting Daggers, Glasgow-based trio Sparrow and the Workshop once again showed why they’re regarded as one of the city’s best bands with another stellar display.

Sitting comfortably alongside established favourites like Devil’s Song and I Will Break You, new songs Against the Grain and Snakes in the Grass with their aggressive vocals displayed plenty of the by-now-familiar SATW urgency. The latter proved the highlight of what was another compelling showing, thanks in no small part to its ragged melody and infectious hook.

Sparrow and the Workshop’s ‘Snakes in the Grass’

Having repeated the critical success garnered by their eponymous debut with latest offering Belong, New York quintet The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart rightly found themselves playing to a much larger crowd tonight than on their previous visit.

They may not have spoken much between songs, but the indie-pop combo definitely made a connection with the crowd, thanks to the energy and passion that went into delivering tracks like Stay Alive, The Body and set highlight Young Adult Fiction.

TPOBPAH’s ‘Young Adult Fiction’ Live

Max McElligott, AKA Wolf Gang, may be on a high at the imminent release of his debut album Suego Faults but sadly for the Tut’s crowd who bore witness to tonight’s set, there was little to get excited about as McElligott’s 80s-pop-influenced songs came and went in an uninspired blur of repetitiveness.

A lack of any discernible presence from him or his backing band didn’t help matters either, but ultimately it was the lightweight nature of songs like Lions In Cages and Dancing With The Devil that ensured it was a far from memorable night.

Wolf Gang’s ‘Dancing with the Devil

If you were one of the dozens of people unable to gain entry to see arguably the festival’s biggest pull, Sons and Daughters, then this year’s Stag & Dagger was a truly frustrating affair. Fans of Yuck faced a similar fate as the organisers’ lack of foresight when it came to venue allocation left many disappointed.

Fielding the weakest line-up since its inception, there was little to choose from given the filler-heavy bill, but thanks in no small part to Desalvo, what could have been a total wash-out was salvaged due to another all-conquering display. Also worthy of note were fellow Glaswegians Happy Particles, who showed much promise during their brief set.

Happy Particles’ ‘Infinite Jet’ Live

Once you got past the noodley nonsense and appreciated tonight’s Rush show for what it was – a prog-rock spectacle – there was much to enjoy and not just because it was three-hours long.

Musicianship over musical content was the theme for the night. Luckily for the sold-out crowd, close-ups of each member doing his thing on the giant video screen catered for the thousands of die-hards, even if it did make singer/bassist Geddy Lee look like a homeless vampire.

The epic Tom Sawyer was the night’s stand out moment both musically and visually and while much of what followed was for the devoted, there was just about enough to keep the uninitiated entertained.

Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’ Live Glasgow May 14 2011

It’s easy to understand the appeal of Kendal quartet Wild Beasts. Hypnotic rhythms underpin much of what they do, while their songs have a dramatic air that gives the overall sound a sense of grandeur.

However although the crowd was certainly receptive, there was a lacklustre aspect to tonight’s show that made their set easy rather than avid listening.

Deeper was the pick of the new material aired. Lifted from their new album Smother, the song oozed atmosphere even with the slightly Tony Hadley-esque vocals. Less pleasing was the more upbeat Still Got The Taste which failed to ignite. All in all it was a hit or miss set and one which lacked a cutting edge.

Wild Beasts’ ‘Albatross’

Launch parties for previously-unheard-of bands are all too often drab affairs where family and friends turn up in their droves while new potential fans appear thin on the ground.

That was very much the case tonight as Selective Service took to the ‘stage’ to celebrate the release of their latest EP You Best Believe. Sadly however it seems unlikely many will ‘believe’ as the Glasgow quartet’s brand of bluesy 60s-infused rock, although not without its merits, lacked any edge.

Their best moments came courtesy of the underlying groove the four created at will, but with predictable melodies and a certain sameyness – not helped by a lengthy set list – overall it was a distinctly average showing.

Selective Service’s ‘Greyhound Blues’

It’s not often a band write a song during a sound-check then debut it hours later. Well with opener Glasgow 90 that’s exactly what Atlanta-based quartet Deerhunter did tonight, and in so doing ensured their 90-minute set got off to the best possible start. Simpler than what was to come but no less potent, it was a real signal of intent.

What did follow was nothing short of mesmerising at times especially on the epic Desire Lines and Never Stops. Both laden with atmosphere and punctuated by ragged bursts of heavily-distorted guitar, the former provoked the kind of sustained applause few bands achieve but all aspire to.

Deerhunter’s ‘Memory Boy’ Live on Letterman