It’s not that long since Washington State’s Chastity Belt visited this very same Glasgow venue. That time I was sick and couldn’t make it which made me feel even worse. The ticket stub still remains depressingly attached to the ticket somewhere in my bedside drawer. Praise be to these four wonderful people for touring the ass out of 2015’s brilliant Time to Go Home album, for personal reasons it’s great to have them back.
Tonight’s set, like that album, kicks off with ‘Drone’, it’s melancholic chords and melody are reflective of much of tonight’s set, thrilling and fun but with an underlying sense of discontentment. The opening song glints gently, Julie Shapiro’s strong voice dominates it and the heads in the crowd sway slowly at first but pick up momentum like flowers in a strengthening wind.
By the time ‘Cool Slut’ is played early in the set the band appear to be completely locked into their flow, captivating and mesmerising with the mix of floating guitar strummed delicately by Julia and perfectly augmented by Lydia’s simple but beautifully crafted lead guitar. Julia looks determined and focused, her voice bold and impressive whilst the other band members appear happily lost, punch drunk in the noise they’re creating. Annie’s bass lines provide the perfect balance of punch and groove and she slowly sways, eyes often closed, her neck and knees bending along with every note. They’re fascinating to watch.
Between songs the mood is playful. Gretchen moves from the drums to stage front to take over vocal duties and is bursting with pride and excitement over a new t-shirt purchase she’s made that day. A gift for Sandy (lucky you) that she promises she’ll only wear this once. Annie is showing off a hair-do Julia has crafted for her. They want to know if anyone has any haggis with them because they want to try it. They also want some weed, they’ll have far more chance of getting the latter. In a more regular nod to their surroundings two of them are wearing Tuff Love t-shirts, cool, we love ’em too. Thankfully they don’t go down the route of speaking in Glaswegian accents.
Set closer ‘Joke’ feels and looks like a celebration. We get more posturing as the song closes, the band sharing smiles with each other as they lean together, kneel down, wander around the stage and into the crowd, dragging the song out for as long as they want with the audience lapping it all up. Thankfully two encores extend the night a little longer before they head into town in search of weed and haggis. It’s been a wonderful night, more than making up for my badly timed sickness the last time. Now it really is time to go home and we’re all going home happy.