Wednesday, 11 December 2013

live review: The Dismemberment Plan / Great Cop @ Stereo, 28th November

With a Fugazi-referencing moniker and a Hüsker Dü‎ cover centre of tonight’s set, Great Cop aren’t coy about their influences. As interlocking guitars trade tight riffs, the Glasgow quartet’s inexhaustible and trouserless drummer Joe Campbell batters out full-on fills, and the combination rattles the viscera with such force that its recycled nature barely registers.

Shortly before The Dismemberment Plan make their live return, the room goes expectantly still, mistaking last-minute tunings and tweaks for a band ready to start. “Um, we’ll be ready soon” chirps frontman Travis Morrison, gently diffusing the premature hush. But the crowds’ eagerness is understandable. It’s been 12 years since D-Plan last played Glasgow, with this their first post-reformation visit; as such, there’s much to catch up on.

Despite its relatively lukewarm reception earlier in the year, cuts from Uncanny Valley stand up well in tonight’s set. From the giddy loops of opener Invisible to the wonky disco syncopations of Mexico City Christmas, the fruits of their reunion fit in seamlessly amongst the longer-cherished likes of Gyroscope (which triggers the first mass sing-along) and crisp relationship opus Ellen and Ben; in fact, the only jarringly ‘modern’ moment comes in the encore, when a slither of Lorde’s Royals interrupts a noisy finale.

Throughout, Morrison is an endearingly off-kilter performer, ramping up the stuttering madness of Girl O’Clock and grinning away when fans start respectfully shoving his slight frame around the stage during The Ice of Boston. This mix of musical idiosyncrasies and affable charm summarises their cult appeal, and makes tonight a real pleasure.

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