Meursault, Three Blind Wolves at Oran Mor, 19/6/14

In its small life, Oran Mor has become more than just a multi-purpose arts and entertainment venue in the heart of the West End, it has become an institution.

Sitting at the top of Byres Road, it is a beacon and facilitator for creativity and Glasgow’s enticing culture.

 

As its 10th birthday has rolled around, what better way to celebrate this than with a series of  live music, theatre and comedy events to toast this milestone.

Nestled among the the bill, which includes Scottish veteran Edie Reader, is a live performance from Edinburgh’s Meursault and Three Blind Wolves.

Three Blind Wolves are first on the bill and are still riding high after their well-received 2013 debut album Sing Hallelujah for the Old Machine.

The popularity that the boys have amassed is startlingly evident as fans belt out word for word the electrifying anthems.

Delivering a deliciously energetic set, beginning with their older tracks, ‘Hotel’ and ‘Black Bowl Parade’, the band are set to make sure the crowd are more than satisfied.

The deep harmonies offered by the rest of the band to complement Ross Clark’s lead vocals almost give off a vibe of an indie-rock version of a barbershop quartet.

A particularly rousing version of ‘Honey Fire’ leaves the crowd in awe of this bands eclectic mix of genres, which blend together to create the kind of sound that is particularly special.

Offering medleys and off mic moments a plenty, the band are loud and not afraid to make an impression.

After Three Blind Wolves rousing performance, the mood is somewhat mellowed out as critically acclaimed indie-rockers Meursault take the stage.

Despite being described as a mixture of ‘folktronica, alternative rock and indie folk’, Meursault can’t really be categorised in to any superficial naming device.

Neil Pennycook, the bands lyrically and vocally gifted lead is almost like the creative director of the whole deal.

The emotion that pours out of him during the bands entire performance is other-worldly and gives their entire live performance an almost whimsical feeling to it.

One almost wonders how he tolerates the emotional turmoil that he seemingly goes through in each live performance.

It seems exhausting and by the end you feel almost emotionally exhausted from just watching him.

With their most recent album 2012’s Something For The Weakened being shortlisted for last years Scottish Album of The Year award, it is evident that with maturation the band have found their own niche and with it the spirt of self-assurance has been bestowed on them.

A highlight of the performance is a cover of ‘Lioness’ from Jason Mollina’s project Songs: Ohia.

The similarities in Meursault with this particular work is evident and the cover is flawlessly pulled off.

A joke about a comment on the dubious ‘songmeaning.com’ website about whether the song could be literally asking if the writer actually has sexual fantasies about lionesses is made to introduce and end the cover.

Anecdotes of this kind are aplenty and enable Pennycook to switch between two onstage personas: serious and laid-back.

The dizzying change from heavy to light is much needed respite.

Other stand outs included ‘Dearly Distracted’ with its expertly executed monumental guitar solo and sultry tones which emanate throughout the venue.

‘Flitten’ provides a more lively tempo and enables the band to have the crowd in its hands with the songs rapturous appeal.

As the night draws to an end, we are left with a taster of a new song, which includes the lyrics: “and i look round this park and realise that this is a good life and to enjoy it”, perhaps a nod to a more optimistic new outlook that could possibly be introduced in their work to come.

The crowd react ecstatically as the band leave the stage and as the applause fails to cease, the band come back on to what they say is “their second ever encore in Glasgow”.

Finishing with the sharp, piano filled ‘Settling’, the band end on the kind of energy that leaves you hollow and completely emotionally demolished, yet almost begging for more.

Words: Katharine Gemmell

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