I ask the barman who tells me there might be something going on upstairs and points to the mezzanine – “brilliant” I think, “I’ll hear them from down here”.
I realise too late that everyone is having fun without me in a totally separate part of the venue.
Sorry, Antibarrier, I’m sure you were excellent.
I arrive in time to witness the poetry of Kevin P. Gilday.
He opens with a poem that touches upon having a Hitler-esque moustache drawing laughter from the crowd.
His poetry is delivered with a charming Glasgow inflection, which makes this Perthite go weak at the ears.
My favourite of his is ‘To Live and Die in Dennistoun’, a scathing monologue of living and growing up in Glasgow’s East End.
Scornful observations peppered throughout his three minute tirade, Gilday ends it with a sentiment of 75% of Glasgow, “I’d rather be here than the fucking West End”.
His final poem ‘It’s Not Good Enough’, a sort of stick it to the man, don’t settle for what you’re given prose, a reminder that we’re each responsible for what happens in our own lives; it earns a well deserved raucous cheer from the crowd.
The DDN is up next and quite rightly; he doesn’t like the crowd speaking while his dark soundscape echoes round the now fairly packed Old Hairdressers (he made this clear by shooshing us).
Hold on to your hats, folks!
We’re obviously in for a bloody treat.
“Why can I still hear talking…?”
Oh, and again… he really isn’t happy.
Don’t worry though; it’s going to be a belter.
I glance at his t-shirt, “I don’t have friends”, perhaps this is why he’s pissed off.
So after what I assume are some technical problems, what I have on display at the moment is possibly the wankiest, most pretentious thing I have witnessed.
Like something that Chris Morris has invented, The DDN is now dancing around the stage to a hip-hop beat making random yelps.
Throughout his mishmash of bizarreness (during which the crowd is still talking) it sounds like someone’s switched on their hoover… oh wait, he has.
Over this there is more shouting, however not in time with anything.
As a performance piece, maybe The DDN would work but due to our friend, with no friends, looking like he’s just stepped out of the Glasgow Comic Con, it really doesn’t and he is coming across as arrogant.
Topping the bill, we have some good old Scottish post-rock nourishment.
This is my first time witnessing Le Thug although on the strength of their exciting debut EP Ripping, I’m anticipating wonderful things.
The sound they produce is a noisy three-way between My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Ros and Fuck Buttons.
Their rough sounding drone has moments of pleasance and Clio Alexandra MacLellan’s vocals lend the songs a melodic reprieve saving them from becoming white noise.
By no means is Le Thug perfect, some songs linger for a little too long and guitar parts maybe meander off and get lost in some of the turbulence formed in the background.
Having said that they’re doing a good job.
And much like Fuck Buttons supplying London 2012 with an Olympic soundtrack, take heed any Commonwealth committee members out there, I think you’ve got your surprise theme in the making.
Words: Ben Nairn
Photos: Neil Donaldson