The first volume of Under The Covers was one of my favourite releases of last year, a trope of bands recorded their takes on, some classic and some relatively unheard, love songs for Fuzzkill Records Valentine’s Day compilation, so it was with great anticipation that I turned up the launch of the second edition of the compilation.
Unfortunately some unforeseen circumstances cause me to miss the first couple of hours, and even though I arrive at 7pm I have already missed three acts from a packed line up, still it’s a relief to see the Sleazy’s basement is healthily full when I arrive.
Label favourites Sweaty Palms are the first act I catch and the four-piece deliver a haunting set that drowns the captivated audience in reverb driven psychedelic vibes.
These guys featured our top 10 EPs of last year, with Hollywood Wax, and it appears from their live set that they’re just getting stronger, closing not on the cover of Bowie’s ‘China Girl’ they recorded for the compilation, but on Tammy Wynette’s ‘Stand By Your Man’, giving their nonchalant gothy pop vibes to the 60s classic.
Halfrican may have changed two thirds of their members in the last year, but the chilling urgency to their live set is still as present as ever as the duo draft in Holy Mountain’s Andy McGlone on bass duties for the evening.
Their intense sleazy pop is a highlight on a strong line up, and even though they fail in attempt to get Fuzzkill’s Ross Keppie on to sing the chorus, they do pull of the track of the night in an absolutely buzzing rendition of Van Halen’s ‘Why Can’t This Be Love’.
The first of two Manchester bands tonight, Fruit Tones capture a real energy, but don’t seem to generate as much buzz as the Glasgow acts before then, understandably so without the home crowd behind them, but it’s all sneery fun surf pop from a band who’s live performance quickly wins over the crowd and more than justifies their place this high up the bill.
Back with the Glasgow acts, and the last one of the night, as Breakfast MUFF pull off another addictive instrument swapping set, further cementing their place as one of the most exhilarating live prospects in the city.
Fast paced, squealing hooky fun that you just can’t walk away from, this is a band well worth seeing.
Tonight’s special guest headliners have just popped along from a support slot with PINS at The Hug and Pint and despite the daunting place of headlining such a strong and hectic bill Manchester’s Peace and Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali more than rise to the occasion.
Their pounding rhythms work with a sneered hooky vocal to give their sound a real dance floor dimension that’s more than addictive enough to have everyone remembering their name.
Another successful night from one of the most productive and consistently exciting labels in the city, and tonight’s release is all for charity too, looks like a pretty healthy donation going the way of Maryhill Foodbank and Refugee Action, buy the tape it’s a wee gem.
Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Elina Lin