It’s no secret by this point what big fans we are of the Livingston gothic post-punk duo Gravelle, and this was now the third time we were seeing them within mere months.
They walked on to a perfectly added puff of smoke and kicked off with The Worst to stir the dark mood. Keeping the chat to a minimum, they fired into the great tracks off their Liquid Skin EP, then worked they way through as of yet unrecorded material, with the highlight being the equal parts catchy and gloomy Shedding Skin, which is right up there as one of their finest.
Monique as usual shined with a bewitching voice and one of the scene’s most expressive faces, and Kyle really put forth a lot of aggression into his often swift riffs. Kudos to the engineer by the way for the appropriate choice of lighting to match, as we feel this really boosted the pair and put them in an environment which fitted with their music.
If there was any immediate flaws, the only one that stuck out is that they need to find a way to make the switcheroo in Touch Me a little less stilted, but otherwise this was another dazzling and drawing set from Gravelle, who continue to convert more strangers into fans, including one behind us who was quoted as saying “they were fun”, so they definitely achieved something here.
Nicole of Moonstruck On Clydeside recommend riot grrl squad Curdle to us a little while back, and we dug their stuff, especially as it’s a genre we hadn’t delved into enough, so we were glad about that, and now we had the opportunity to witness them live.
All dressed so fabulously and opening with Red To The Elbows, they gave us a mixture of lovely dual harmonies, stylish guitar pickings, thick basslines and tom pounds. Their tunes had generally cool rhythms, and the sound had this neat fusion of elements from rock and roll, doom and stoner rock.
Top choices included Blue Black, Give Me Your Phone Number and the tempo-shifting Flies On The Ceiling, and the title for Dave Gahan Is Such A Love Butt gave Freya from Woodwife a wee chuckle.
They implemented a theremin and even a freaking butter knife of all things to play riffs in one instance, and it actually worked. Unfortunately, it was a little rough around the edges in areas, whether it was chords being forgotten or a few miscues, and it was honestly a bit distracting.
But taking those problems out of the equation, Curdle were still solid overall and had a real raw and bona fide quality to them that clicked with us. Just need’s a touch of tightening up, that’s all.
The headliners Woodwife were the only act of the show that we entered into completely blind, but we had faith in Nicole’s taste and the hype she gave the band heading into this.
Right from the offset, they had us hooked in as they generated this captivating ambience that just resonated across the entire room. Most of their numbers were slow-burners (and not in a negative way) which started off easygoing, gradually building in size and speed with each passing verse, eventually leading up to satisfyingly grand payoffs, but there were also a couple of faster, catchier selections thrown in that sparked a vivid energy.
Freya was terrific, with her vocals being broad and so alluring, particular when she stunningly hit the high notes. The duelling guitars were paired so well, and Greg especially was quite adept, actually strumming with a bow in a couple of spots, plus he was immensely animated; bouncing, bobbing and shuffling around merrily to his heart’s content, and he had a very good voice in his own right. Lastly, the drumming from Douglas was excellent and helped to drive the flowing rhythms.
The feedback from the jam-packed crowd was unanimously positive, especially when they revived an old classic of theirs. It was just a spectacularly engrossing display from a tight trio who knew how to entertain folk and get them sucked into the moment.