Daniel Johnston is famous for being brought out of obscurity by Kurt Cobain, but it is clear by the crowd here tonight that his work has impacted a wide range of people.
The Wave Pictures have decided to tour his classic album Artistic Vice, showing the solid quality of the songs as well as revealing his influence over them and a generation of alternative songwriters.
Support act Froth seem to have stepped of a comic strip or one of Johnston’s, mad scribbles.
The six-piece met through a Glasgow’s Green Door music project and squeeze in equal measures of catchy pop and art school weirdness into their half hour set.
Switching instruments after almost every song, Froth is like ten bands in one.
From fuzzy Bjork style energy, to moody post punk drones to a rambling space odyssey of the best bingo halls the universe.
People arriving in time for the last song will have no idea what to make of them, neither does anybody else for that matter.
Finishing with the female guitarist screaming down the mic to a confused and awestruck crowd.
One things for sure they are one of the most exciting new bands in Glasgow.
Starting with ‘I Killed The Monster’ The Wave Pictures deliver a focussed retelling of Johnston’s work while losing none of the odd beauty of the song writing genius.
The band mixes in their own songs throughout, ‘Spaghetti’ and ’Lazy Eye’ are highlights, and their brilliantly intricate yet earthy and unpretentious lyrics are the thing that connects them to Johnston.
The three pieces are fantastic musicians, David Tattersall playing directly into a practice amp with no effects pedal yet somehow creating a full and captivating sound.
Playing mostly their simpler songs and only a few with their trademark African guitar licks, their setlist works well with source material.
Beatlesque number ’Do You Really Love Me’ is reinterpreted in a sombre tone with, mandolin and an amature dramatic slant, an unmiked drummer Johnny Helm delivers backing vocals while looking morose and clutching a beer bottle at the back of the stage.
There’s more theatrics to come as Tattesall runs of stage for thirty seconds to incite a clichéd encore.
There are some slow moments in the set, even stilted but the warm atmosphere makes up for that.
Finishing for real this time after three more songs including ‘True Love Will Find You In The End’ (suggested by an audience member) brings the enjoyable evening to a close.
Words: Peter Johnstone
Photos: Nadia Murdoch