Joyce Delaney, the Glasgow “DIY bubblegum punk” band supporting Skating Polly, sound better than ever since the employment of their drummer.
One song, inspired by a quote from cartoon Bojack Horseman, warns against letting people off with shitty behaviour, while another laments the potentially embarrassing temptation to invite an ex over for “a cuddle and some hand stuff”.
Both playing scrappy guitar and singing, Nyla and Chrissy, who is also known around Glasgow for her solo acoustic music, are full of sage advice, and their back-and-forth between songs contextualises the silliness, rage and frankness of their lyrics.
Headliners Skating Polly is an explosive sister act on stage, ten times more raucous and distorted than they sound on record.
Formed in 2009 in Oklahoma, the band’s music has evolved through many stages from folk to fuzz-rock, resulting tonight in grrrl-punk mature beyond their combined age of less than 40.
After a heckler asks, “how’s your knee?”, singer Kelli Mayo recounts an anecdote about last time they played in Glasgow supporting Babes in Toyland.
Falling and dislocating her knee mid-song, Mayo continued to play the rest of the set from a chair, all before Dave Grohl did the same thing, she announces proudly.
Tonight there are no injuries, despite chaotic dancing at the front and frequent switches between instruments.
The lyrics of ‘Ugly’ speak for themselves, a passionate tirade against the aesthetic pressures women and girls face: “but you’ll always be ugly/and you’ll always be nothing!”
The band cover Madonna’s ‘Beautiful Stranger’, adding grunge factor to the pop song, as well as the Lee Hazlewood version of ‘Morning Dew’.
‘Pretective Boy’ is a witty and catchy indie hit from this year’s fourth album, The Big Fit.
‘Alabama Movies’ sounds like early Sleater-Kinney and Live Through This-era Hole.
Supporter and musician Kliph Scurlock, who has played with acts including The Flaming Lips, is celebrating his birthday and the band invite him up to the drum kit for their intensely loud and electrifying final song.
Skating Polly exceed themselves and shake off any delusions people may have about their youthful innocence, leaving the crowd reeling and the room buzzing.
Words: Ellen MacAskill