This is the fourth time The Yummy Fur have played Glasgow in this reformation, and the second as a headline slot hosted by the ever brilliant FUZZKILL Records, and such is the obsession with these 90s zine favourites that we’ve been to every one.
This time we get to see them headline to the superbly cosy Old Hairdressers attic and there’s no doubt this will be the smallest headline slot you’re going to see them play.
Opening proceedings are Edinburgh Leisure and the dui quickly move from a recorded spoken relaxation introduction to unnerving glitches and looped samples that create a textured sound that builds to a maximal, but not too overpowering backdrop.
A good minute passes with the duo seated in the floor before a short vocal burst comes in and quickly the track ends, the second track seems more conventional, well for a few seconds at least before a staple gun adds percussion and a leery dual vocal is put over more tense electronics.
The rest of the set continues in similar fashion, but all with a hypnotic groove and calming influence to contradict the general jittery avant-garde atmosphere.
Dutch duo Deutsche Ashram provide more hypnotic psychedelic vibes, this time without too much unnerving electronics and more of a chilling effected vocal that teases you in and entrances.
Jagged post punk guitar and sharp chanted vocals create a haunting feel that has you swaying along as if snared in their trap, at times they become more ethereal and at others, like in their closing number, the use of brash sampled beats takes them to the verge of trip hop territory, if it weren’t for there ever present psychedelic indie guitar lines.
Then it’s time for probably the best band Glasgow has given us.
With that familiar angular jarring guitars and McKeown’s addictive yelp, The Yummy Fur carry all the rock ‘n’ roll energy and make it seem easy.
Break these tracks up and they really shouldn’t be this infectious, but the stabbing guitars and seemingly scattergun lyrics come together in short bursts that leave you just enough time to catch your breathe before going again.
‘Sexy World’ proves an earlier example of the band’s engrossing back catalogue, which looks set to be compiled into a ‘best of’ type release in the near future, as pounding drums and squealing guitars leave McKeown wooing with a beaming grin on his face.
Follow that up with ‘Kirsty Cooper’ and the hits keep flowing.
A pretty inappropriate comment from McKeown, that I’ll resist publishing, draws more than a few questioning expression, but it’s quickly forgotten as the set smashes on.
A few years ago I witnessed this band at Stereo and one audience member insisted on chanting the “che-che chelovek” refrain from ‘Chelovek’ for the whole set, much to the annoyance of everyone else in the room, now the band seem content to counter act the potential of that by airing the song fairly early in the set.
‘I am ‘Cosmetic Man’’ and ‘Roxy Girls’ draw from the quick thrills delights of their 1996 album Night Club, before ‘Canadian Flag’ sends the crowd mental with McKeown bewilderedly quipping “that was great” after the track before catapulting into ‘Plastic Cowboy’; it’s non stop fun.
‘Shoot The Ridiculant’ closes the main portion of the set, before a rather convoluted encore gives way to a slight tuning melt down; ‘Policeman’ sends the Hairdressers into a huge sing-along and ‘Department’ finishes things off in the same incredible style of the whole set.
Words: Iain Dawson