Live review: Glasgow Podcart and Detour present United Fruit, Ice Sea Dead People, Alarm Bells at Stereo, 28/5/12

Tonight caps off yet another successful tour for the ever-growing United Fruit (literally; they’re a five-piece now) and a marquee evening for Glasgow music scene institutions Glasgow Podcart and Detour.

As a result, there is a real nice atmosphere to the night (the weather couldn’t have hurt either) as the anticipation for tonight’s excellent line-up grew.

First up is Alarm Bells, featuring members of the recently departed Dananananaykroyd in their new incarnation.

Tonight is only the band’s second show, but the amount of hype already surrounding them is clearly exhibited from the reasonably sized crowd who make it down early.

It’s clearly early on from John Baillie Junior’s Cedric Bixler inflected falsetto, synth-heavy sound and the roaming song structures that this new band is paying some lip-services to early Mars Volta, or even Seattle math-rockers The Fall of Troy.

This isn’t necessarily a problem; the post-hardcore meets prog-rock sub genre, the aforementioned bands are mainstays of, has produced some fruitful results in the past decade; but as things are with the relatively fresh band, there isn’t much originality to be had here.

They perform very well for a band who are still clearly finding their feet, but there appears to be some work still to be done as tonight’s set feels a little bit flat, particularly for such exuberant music.

There’s bucketfuls of potential here, but the band need to escape the shackles of their fairly worn influenced before they can truly make a mark on an average audience.

London’s Ice, Sea, Dead People however get things particularly roaring, with Stereo’s sound-system suiting them much more than previous performances from the noise-rock quartet.

All four of the still fairly young band are firing on all cylinders tonight, and seem to go down excellently with tonight’s crowd.

Every time I see ISDP live they seem to grow with confidence and confinement in their abilities, and it seems not unreasonable to suggest that they as a band are going to start going big places very soon.

United Fruit are a pretty reliable source of live ROCK that it seems almost pointless reviewing them these days.

They’re a band so confident in their ever growing circles that I believe it’s much more difficult for them to put on a bad show (I’ve certainly never seen it) than a good one.

What is worth reviewing is the two new songs they feature tonight, which both sound particularly promising, though I’m still not entirely sure what the addition of a third guitarist does to the set other than volume-increasing.

As with their Captains Rest show a few months back, tonight’s finale ‘Red Letter’ features various support band and audience members taking part in a venue-wide drum-a-thon, while main vocalist Iskander Stuart obliterates his guitar – he’s gonna feel that in the morning.

All and all a hugely successful evening, and excellent weather to match, Taps Aff!

Words: Adam Turer-Heffer
Photos: Debbie McCuish

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