Live review: Endor, Randolph’s Leap, Amber Wilson, Esperi at The Captain’s Rest, 31/3/11

The Captain’s Rest is one of our favourite venues in Glasgow. Even when it’s quiet there seems to be a good atmosphere. So when the venue goes from a fairly packed basement to an “I’ll just keep my pint in my pocket then” basement, not only is there a definite buzz but it also becomes apparent that choosing to wear three layers is at least three layers too many.

 

The stage which looks as though a drum kit had been set up in the middle of a kids play area, an assortment of toys, bells, xylophones, glockenspiels and a music box are all carefully placed around the front of the stage building the curiosity in the crowd.

Shortly after Esperi carefully tiptoe on stage and find their places.  Band leader Chris Lee-Marr perches on a Cajon with his guitar and whispers something that sounds like “this song is called ‘Lone Wolf’”. The audience is silenced by the delicately put together composition.

Esperi’s soft vocals are beautifully offset by violin and cello played by Cat and Ruth who seem to be connected by psychic link. Esepri’s finale ‘Silo of Fire’ steals the show as Lee-Marr samples every instrument and toy strewn along the stage via his loop pedal before mounting the drum kit where the band bash out a magnificent crescendo.

With the crowd still discussing what is a difficult act to follow, Amber Wilson and company appear on stage. At first glance you don’t think she will be up to it. Imagine your mate’s hot little sister standing nervously in front of a confident band. Nonetheless Wilson lets her music do the talking.

Despite being plagued with what she referred to as “throat Aids”, she sings her heart out with a voice that could put even the heaviest conscience to sleep, along to some very intelligently minimalist music. Particular highlights of the set are the heartfelt ‘Wounded’ and her new song ‘Wolf’.

With two bands still to go and feeling ready for bed, all six of Randolph’s Leap bounce on stage and begin to bash out ‘Squeamish’, bringing their crazy party to the crowd. Randolph’s Leap look like they have so much fun, with members changing instruments mid song, playing melodies you’d swear you’ve known since you were a child along with some clever and delightfully silly lyrics. The whole thing comes together as a slightly folk flavoured, well-pieced together mishmash.

By the time Endor reach the stage there are people queuing down the stairs, trying to get a look. This is who the majority are here to see, which kudos to the other acts who manage to wow a crowd that would have been previously neutral to them.

Endor do not disappoint, he fans sing and clap along to their favourite hits, something Endor’s set is riddled with, such as ‘Without the Help of Sparks’ which has the crowd chanting along like a zealous thrall. They are incredibly tight and powerful with infectious hooks all over place backed up with intertwining guitar harmonies. They also have a softer side with ballads like ‘Chapel Doors’ showing off some lifting vocals and fantastic song writing.

When Endor’s set finishes the crowd refuse to let them leave and the band are dragged back on by the magic (“one more tune!”) words. It is a fantastic end to a night in which every act held their own and earned their place with the crowd.

Words: Steven Dowd

Photos: Ingrid Mur

More pictures HERE

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