Mac DeMarco, TONSTARTSSBANDHT at The Arches, 20/5/14

At last year’s Stag & Dagger Mac DeMarco played to an eager crowd in a packed out Broadcast, he was the hot ticket that year, which made tonight’s gig all the more surprising when it was announced as being in Mono.

Maybe the organises weren’t convinced by Mac’s massively acclaimed new album, Salad Days, but pretty much as soon as this was announced it was clear the demand was there, and if The Arches isn’t sold out tonight it isn’t far off.


Opening proceedings is New York based brothers TONSTARTSSBANDHT, a drum and guitar duo that bring some interesting elements to set that at times doesn’t float all that well with a good times vibes the crowd are looking for.

There’s some hefty guitar wielding and a few awkward moments when the frontman ducks to play with pedals for an extended time leaving those further back unsure whether they’ve left the stage or not, but all in they don’t leave too bad a taste there’s plenty of fun elements, their reverb drenched harmonies are engulfing at times but there’s all to many people that aren’t up for their brand of noise pop tonight.

Mac DeMarco is a different beast altogether and the chirpy Canadian along with his bandmates emit waves of sunkissed joy over the crowd, albeit a little to quiet for my liking, but questionable sound is taken as a given when seeing a guitar band in The Arches.

Still, the band are full of banter and their affected sound still hits all the right spots to put a spring in your step and a smile on your face, as they mix tracks mainly from DeMarco’s two full-lengths to date.

It’s all surfy sundrenched sing-alongs, DeMarco’s BC home is generally sunnier than Scotland but not necessarily known for it’s warm climate, and catchy stoner alt pop, these guys are instantly likable and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see them step up a venue for the next visit.

As the crowd gets washed over in waves of reverb and DeMarco launches himself into the crowd you think you’ve got the ideal gig for escaping Glasgow’s unpredictable outside, but thrown in a cover of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ for good measure and you’ve got that touch of nostalgia that just makes for more than just a fun Tuesday night.

See you at the Barras guys.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Daphne Mickalaki


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