Tag Archives: Kelora

Sean Nicholas Savage, Kelora at Glad Café, 7/3/18

Support band Kelora are creepily atmospheric, playing gothic lullabies at a somnambulant pace.

A repetitive drum machine ticks along like leaden footsteps up an old wooden staircase, their doomy songs wrapped in a thick fog of synthesizer and reverbed guitar.

The venue staff at the Glad appear to be under strict instruction to keep the trio bathed in blue light for the entire duration of their set.

But lest it all sound too dour, two of their members are dressed in shaggy onesies, making them look like pantomime extras having a cigarette break, while the third sports a jumpsuit and a sleepy expression – an air traffic controller on a particularly bad Monday morning.

The minimalism and ominous sense of space in Kelora’s music – somehow both agoraphobic and claustrophobic simultaneously – puts me in the mind of Young Marble Giants burning through the slower, organ-driven numbers on Colossal Youth.

There’s a wonderfully morbid theatricality to their performance, and the vocal hooks on tracks like ‘999’ and ‘BOY’ nestle deep in the eardrums for some time after Kelora depart the stage.

I saw Sean Nicholas Savage a few years ago, when he toured with a backing band.

At that show, he delivered his hazy, retrofuturistic soul music a little stiltedly, chained to a keyboard, but at the Glad Café tonight, I quickly realise there are to be no such frills.

Savage plugs his phone into a jack at the corner of an otherwise empty stage, and as the first of his backing tracks begins to play, the long-legged, Hawaiian-shirted balladeer starts swaying like a drunken palm tree, crooning in a beautifully, ridiculously high falsetto.

The Glad becomes a karaoke booth in some weird border town; the audience witnesses to Savage, as if drunk on tequila and heartbreak, pining for a lost future.

It’s all very surreal, but importantly, he isn’t trying too hard to be ironic – for the duration of the set, he seems to completely immersed in his own weird world.

Like Lewis on the ‘lost eighties’ album L’amour, Savage has mastered the vocal inflections and sonic mannerisms of a particular era of production; that of shimmering, synthesiser-driven blue-eyed soul.

Once I realise that it’s like watching Steve Buscemi at Club Silencio, I can’t get rid of the image.

Penultimate track ‘Other Life’ gets a strong reception from a crowd who, having warmed up to Savage’s initially bewildering dance moves, are now in full groove.

After the show, he chats with enthusiastic fans as he mans the merch table, approachable and with a smile.

His clearly personable nature is the cherry on the top of a brilliantly strange evening.

Words: Graham Gillespie

Freakender Day 3, 17/9/17

Have you ever been to a festival and seen every act on the bill? Have you ever been to a festival, seen every act on the bill and never been bored or disappointed by anyone you’ve seen? I have now, and the glorious occasion that is Freakender closes with a nice chilled affair in the Old Hairdressers’ upstairs venue tonight and it’s a purely beautiful occasion.

The hangover isn’t as painful as I would have expected going into the third and final day, still I feel pretty sleep deprived so that may need to be shook off or embraced to enjoy the beautiful line up on offer on a relaxed Sunday evening

Cian Nugent on his second of three times on stage this weekend, delivers something not only completely different from his other bands, but something completely different from the whole bill, as gentle intricate finger picked guitar lulls you into a dreamy trance before his soft slurry Irish vocal gives you a cushion to lay your head too.

It’s the sort of music to sit down to and have it drift over you and perfect for a hungover Sunday, we’re being eased in nicely.

If Cian Nugent’s set is to sooth you in Kelora’s is to give you the shivers; haunting vocal harmonies give an eerie suspenseful background a terrifying beauty.

Decked in matching pyjamas they’re an emotionally draining prospect, washed with a dissident bath of eerie charms; it’s melancholic, dark and gorgeous in presence leaving you sweating it out utterly mesmerised.

Tomorrow Syndicate have been a bit of an enigma, but now finally reveal themselves for their first live set, and a set running with triumphant psychedelic kraut dipped indie pop.

They maintain that Sunday feeling with a warm but head nodding offering that gets the first movements of the night, while stunning VHS projections give a context to their space age, yet timeless sound.

Take away the kraut inflected keys and strip their sound to the core and you might just have a perfect indie pop band, but those keys and a few other flourishes give an otherworldly feel to their sound that weaves in calmly and then slowly takes over.

The Bellybuttons keep up the nice ride with gentle rolling riffs, endearingly warm vocals and a reverby bounce that gets you moving without ever sending you crazy.

Yeah their sound my be indebted to 90s lo-fi alt rock of the likes of Pavement, but they bring a fresh impotence, a new wry satirical drawl to that sound that have made them one of the most impressive bands in Glasgow for years.

Jack Cooper and co. seamlessly slips from sound checking into their set as wonderfully constructed instrumentals takes over, casting the audience to dreamier locations.

The set continues in this fashion with lovingly delivered accented vocals that shed a light on the Ultimate Painting man’s debut solo album’s homely feel.

There’s a strange classic feel that lends the band’s sound a timeless quality, but also a very hometown vibe, all the tracks are about Cooper’s hometown of Blackpool, giving piece a real intimate beauty.

The set may end a bit indulgently, but it is a hugely rewarding experience, as has this whole weekend been, make sure to check out anything the Freakender guys are promoting it’s bound to be brilliant.

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Neelam Khan Vela