SATURDAY 22 APRIL – TEEN CANTEEN
NICE & SLEAZY’S, GLASGOW
There wasn’t much time to waste following the conclusion of the Butcher Boy gig. After saying thanks to the band members, and taking my leave of Stuart Murdoch (yup, the very one!!) who had been seated next to me throughout, it was a two mile train trip into the city centre and then a haul up the hill to Nice n Sleazy’s to see if I could blag my way into the Teen Canteen gig that was also a special part of RSD 2017.
I never leave things to the last-minute but in this instance there were some plans that may or may not have seen a crowd of us going along to Sleazy’s or maybe to other events in the city that evening and nothing could be determined or finally decided till late on. In the end, circumstances dictated not everyone could be part of an extended stay and by the time arrangements could be firmed up I was annoyed to find that there weren’t any tickets left for the show featuring Glasgow’s most dynamic all-girl pop band.
Luckily for me, there was a single return on the door and I was able to get myself inside where I would be in the company of Aldo and Jondo, both who had been seated on the other side of me at the BB gig, along with Gary who is a mate of Aldo’s and has long been a champion of the band along with many other emerging talents within the wider Glasgow scene.
Teen Canteen have always been a joy to watch and listen to but there was something a bit special about this performance which elevated it higher than any others I’ve been lucky enough to witness previously. Maybe it’s down to the fact they have been together now for an extended period and that they have been receiving near unanimous critical acclaim with each release. It could also of course be linked to the fact that Carla Easton has also been lauded for her work with Ette whose album, Homemade Lemonade, was my favourite release of 2016. Her stage presence, manner and confidence is way beyond what it was from shows of a couple of years back, but the very same can also be said of her sidekicks Sita Pieracinni, Chloe Philip and Debbie Smith. The new songs from the Sirens EP which was being officially launched at the gig proved to be majestic while the older material packed a punch that I thought had occasionally been lacking in previous outings.
A previous review of the band saw them described as part wall-of-sound and part-Postcard records. Whoever it was coined the description has nailed it. Great vocals above great booming pop tunes but with the odd touch of fragility and cuteness that made early Orange Juice such fun to listen to. Oh and there’s a fair bit of Clare Grogan in there too…. Entry to the show also came with a copy of the new EP on 10″ transparent blue and red vinyl with white splashes and it’s a piece of vinyl treasured every bit as much as many of my other bits of plastic from waaaaay back.
The show was a huge success, leading to demands from an appreciative and adoring audience for an encore, something which clearly thrilled the band; it’s been years since I’ve seen a group come back on with such wide grins and expressions of delight.
Teen Canteen deserve to be massive pop stars, appearing on network TV shows the length and breadth of Europe and further afield. But as we all know, genuine talent rarely gets what it deserves. Next month sees the band play a huge show, opening for The Divine Comedy at the 2,500-capacity Kelvingrove Bandstand here in Glasgow. Neil Hannon and his mates will need to be on their finest form to stay in front of the support act…but for those of you who have tickets, you’re in for a real treat the entire night.