Some nights you just feel lucky. A mere £10 for a ticket to see Speedy Ortiz who then add Trust Fund and Pinact to the bill, both bands I’d happily pay £10 to see individually. A nasty dose of man-flu that forced me to miss a Chastity Belt gig earlier in the week has also magically vanished so I’m in good spirits. Time to swap a dose of lemsip for a dose of noise.
Bringing that noise are Glasgow band Pinact and a healthy crowd gathers towards the front, successfully ushered there by vocalist / guitarist Corrie. This is the first time I’ve seen Pinact in their new guise as a three-piece and they’re on form, a busy schedule at NYC’s CMJ festival the week before proving more than enough to keep them on top of their game. The addition of bass adds a little weight and balance to their live sound and perhaps takes an ounce of pressure off Corrie’s shoulders. Pinact are a blistering live experience, their Nirvana like melodic punk is nothing new but what sets them apart from hundreds of other similar bands is the quality of their hooks and the vocals. Corrie’s voice powers out through his fringe, switching from quiet to a broken howl and tonight it dominates their sound.
Finally I’m getting to see Trust Fund, it’s been a long time coming. We’re a week ahead of the release of Seems Unfair, their second album of 2015 and they start with the (mostly) gentle title track from this excellent new record. What strikes me most about Trust Fund is the sense of fun they fill the room with. The new songs buzz and bounce off the walls, ‘Football’ and ‘Dreams’ are brilliant examples of the punk pop direction of the new record which dramatically lifts the pace from the more tender debut album. The older songs (and I use that term very loosely) in this set like ‘Cut Me Out’ and ‘Scared’ are of the rockier variety and smiles spread through the crowd beneath a lot of bopping heads. Trust Fund are thrilling.
I’ve seen Speedy Ortiz play a handful of times now and I’m always amazed by them, tonight is no different. The set spans their career to date and it’s an impressive array of quality rock from start to finish. The 90’s comparisons they attract ring true but they also have their own unique sound, more so than any other band I can think of. Debut album songs like ‘Tiger Tank’ and ‘Pioneer Spine’ hit home hard and sit perfectly alongside the catchy indie rock of ‘Raising the Skate’ and the floating ‘Zig’ from this year’s Foil Deer album.
Speedy Ortiz songs duck and dive all over the place. The two guitars and bass play parts that don’t sound like they’ve got any business welding together but somehow they do, and when it all locks in they twist and weave through your skull, bruisingly powerful one moment and beguilingly melodic the next. However, with Speedy Ortiz it feels like it’s about much more than the music. Their well publicised stance on providing a safe environment for everyone at gigs, determination to play all-ages shows wherever possible and attitude to gender equality are all to be applauded but none of this gets shouted from the stage soap box. A t-shirt with the slogan ‘Gender is dead’ is the only message on show in Glasgow. Their effort and innovation deserves enormous credit for trying to make the world a better place. Sadie Dupuis is, as always, charming and polite to a fault, charismatic but not a show-off. She is the embodiment of the band’s integrity and easily the most captivating front person around.
They close out their set with a rousing ‘American Horror’ and retire to the merchandise stall where they happily sign records and pose for photos with fans. This evening has been filled with a feel good factor and the only surprise to me is that the venue, which was busy, wasn’t absolutely packed like I’ve seen it for far inferior bands. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have Speedy Ortiz in Glasgow. If they’re visiting your town make absolutely certain you don’t miss out.
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