Tuesday, 23 August 2011

chad vangaalen @ captains rest, 18th august

On arrival, Tesla Birds (AKA Steven Kane of Happy Particles) is already sat cross-legged on the floor, hunched over miniature keys like Schroeder made flesh, coaxing all manner of lovely ambience forth in the pale light of a Mac-screen. He’s no one-trick pony either, finishing with a reverb and falsetto-based ballad that transfixes all in attendance.

When Chad VanGaalen wearily confesses “we’re three and a half weeks into the tour now, and we’re so bored” he breaks one of the foremost gig commandments: flatter thy audience. Nurse! Administer a shot of adrenaline post-haste, before his candour is misinterpreted. Suddenly savvy to the potential faux pas, he quickly clarifies by professing love for Glasgow, but he needn’t have worried; the ennui ain’t catching.

Not with music as heart-breaking as solo-uke opener Shave My Pussy, as wistful as Sara and as invigorating as Do Not Fear coming out the speakers. But he’s evidently not one for hyperbole: early on, he jokingly bills the night as nothing but empty promises, while a cover of Here Comes Your Man is introduced with a shrugged, “because we get bored on the road”. The crowd has more than enough enthusiasm to go around tonight, but someone get the poor guy a DS already.

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