Tag Archives: Pronto Mama

Albums of 2017 (10-1)

Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1 EPs 30-2120-1110-1

10. Bdy_Prts – Fly Invisible Hero [Aggrocat]

We would say that Fly Invisible Hero is a record that’s seldom seem in this day and age, but we’ve place another album slightly further up the list that BDY_PRTS will no doubt have taken influence from, what we can say is it is certainly a joyous shimmering piece of fresh air the accomplished duo. BDY_PRTS have built a reputation for their colourful live show over recent years, with bright beautiful costume designs and choreographed movements, but what this record proves is that beyond this what shines the brightest is the power of their powerful pop inflected tracks and beautifully hooky harmonies.

9. Golden Teacher – No Luscious Life

Golden Teacher came tumbling back into our ears in a familiar yet chaotic fashion, and it’s really is quite difficult to think of anyone capable of swapping places with them now they’re all but done. No Luscious Life chucks out a barely-tamed mix of housey beats, rhythms and quacks married to sometimes sinisterly spat vocals and the deepest of deep dub: it does bring to mind the marriage of punk and dance of bands, but this is nonetheless pretty original stuff and wild stuff. This is a blinding release: perverse, groovy, contorted and never far away from a shady disco.

8. Out Lines – Conflats [Rock Action]

Out Lines who could loosely be termed a Scottish super group, with Twilight Sad’s James Graham, SAY Album of the Year (2015) award winner Kathryn Joseph and producer Marcus MacKay, who were all drawn together on the back of a project from Platform, a multi-arts and community space in Easterhouse.  The product is Conflats an album of bleak and stark music, totally mesmerising with a gritty reality which draws you in. The album has a strong Scottish/Celtic thread running through it, be that from the unique vocals style, traditional folk elements, Marcus’s percussion, the harmonium or the stripped back nature of the music; there is nothing else out there like it.

7. Meursault – I Will Kill Again [Song, by Toad]

Essentially now the solo project of Neil Pennycook, despite an impressive cast list flitting through the revolving doors, Meursault returned this year with a really rather triumphant album. Usually a more interesting live proposition than on record it seems with I Will Kill Again that things have finally been translated more fully onto wax, capturing the intimate yet primal elements that define the band on stage: the introspective yet powerful darkness apparent in the soul of the main man is given free rein. Beautiful melodies and immaculate production with a hefty dose of reality – can’t ask for much more and one hopes this reincarnation carries on with more releases to come: Meursault come of age and are a very exciting proposition at the moment, very exciting indeed.

6. Breakfast Muff – Eurgh! [Amour Foo]

Breakfast Muff is that chaotic clatter in the corner, the clutter of noise you cannot quite ignore no matter how many times you slam the window shut, not that you’d want to! Eurgh! is a bit like that conversation you had in the smoking area of a clubbing nightspot last weekend, desperate to eloquently express views of social anxiety and repressed demeanour with the attention span of a gold fish. Gender, arousal and pervasion of society rocket under the sirens of beautifully crafted lo-fi punk scuzz across the thirteen songs from the Glasgow three piece.

5. Marnie – Strange Words and Weird Wars [Disco Pinata]

On Strange Words and Weird Wars the intoxicating pop-sheen is spread liberally: unapologetic pop, as it should be: there is a dark undercurrent but a pleasing shimmer outs itself. Pop needs records like this: records that can, in record company speak, hit different markets at once: records that sound great coming from crappy car stereos on the school run but also have a rather heftier undercurrent. Impressive stuff from Helen Marnie: breezy electronic music than can be consumed as just that…or on a number of other levels.

4. Pronto Mama – Any Joy [Electric Honey]

With six multi-instrumentalists you could almost start to think that Any Joy is going to be a little chaotic, yet with a sharp tongue the lyrics are bold, and the music is a beautiful concoction of sounds with each track having a story to tell and it’s own unique character. From solemn and sincere tracks to ones that bounce along and make your feet want to move, Pronto Mama don’t follow convention in any way and this is what makes them a genuinely unique band. They have established their own sound and are able to exhibit their extensive musical ability by pushing the boundaries of various genres. There’s so much being offered in Any Joy you need not look any further for a truly fulfilling album.

3. Spinning Coin – Permo [Geographic]

A surreal, pop-glazed jaunt through everyday life, flavoured with Pastels-style vocals and grounded by a knack for jangly hooks and hazy refrains. Blending indie nostalgia with a fresh take on questions both personal and political, this is DIY at its dreamiest.

2. Sacred Paws – Strike A Match [Rock Action]

Strike A Match captures the magic of the intoxicating musical landscape of Sacred Paws’ live shows, while navigating the melancholy of break ups and millennial mid 20s crises in a uniquely upbeat and comforting way. Moving to incorporate more instruments into their complicated African highlife rhythms and constantly catchy riffs, Sacred Paws bring humour and depth to their already full sound without compromising on Rachel Eggs’ signature guitar sound. Whether your dancing round your living room or trying to suppress a smile on the tube, this really is an album you could fall in love with over and over, and although it was released in winter it remains perfect indie soundtrack to your summer and beyond.

1. Babe – Kiss & Tell [Kartel]

Kiss & Tell, the second full length offering from Babe came too us quite late in the year, but it left quite the impression causing us to pap it slap bang at the top of the list. Whether it’s soft, synth laden R&B goodness, infectious electropop or Gerard Black’s immaculate falsetto Kiss & Tell charms with every bleep and handclap of its existence. Babe have always threatened something brilliant and with Kiss & Tell they’re produced a genre crossing album that’s smart, cohesive, fun and full of addictive charm.

Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1

Pronto Mama, Fiskur at Tut’s, 21/12/17

Fiskur opens the night preparing the way for the magnificent Pronto Mama and gets the crowd ready and psyched.

Although he was only one man (former Three Blind Wolves frontman Ross Clark), he does a remarkable job performing to backing tracks whilst playing guitar to give a full band sound.

His performance and stage presence are both great boasting an energetic set as he charms the audience showcasing some really elegant songwriting.

When Pronto Mama take the stage the entire crowd goes wild.

The band kick off with the incredible ‘Bottom Feeder’, to which the crowd sings every word back to them triumphantly.

The energy and enthusiasm and pride amongst the band projects in waves to the sold-out venue; this energy and enthusiasm is mirrored by the crowd as they became intertwine with the band in every line.

Pronto Mama, who play for over an hour and 15 minutes, play through their album, Any Joy, in its entirety.

The incredible energy ‘Arabesque’ has the crowd moving and dancing along, jumping up and down in sync with the band on stage who look and sound like they were having the time of their lives.

The songs are incredible masterpieces showing off exquisite songwriting keeping the audience enthralled from the first note to the end, with dynamic changes throughout the songs and throughout the entirety of the set.

Half way through they perform the incredible ‘Sentiment’, a stunning acapella number; the atmosphere in the building was incredible as a solemn calmness falls over King Tut’s, so still that you could heard a pin drop.

A mist fills the venue accompanying the sensational vocal and harmony work being displayed on stage; every time this song is performed it creates a spine chilling moment that will always be remembered.

As soon as this song is over, they are straight back into their vivacious set

Pronto Mama maintain the energy from start to end and holding the audience in the palm of their hands the entire way through.

In their encore they indulge the audience with some new songs, teasing a new album coming out in the future, before bowing out on ‘Still Swimming’ from their earlier EPs.

Throughout the set, the response from the crowd is incredible; the atmosphere, the songs, the band, the audience were unimaginable.

The passion that these boys have for their music is clear from the way they portray themselves on stage.

We can only expect bigger better things from these boys in the New Year and hopefully some new music too.

More Photos

Words: Shannon Cullen
Photos: Brendan Waters

Pronto Mama – ‘Bully March’

As a stand-alone single, ‘Bully March’ strides the line finely between the expected and the unexpected, the typical and the atypical, the tightly structured and the loosey-goosey.

Martin Johnson’s cerebrospinal fluid pressurising drums allow the song to flit well along axes of timing and feeling.

The typical emo elements are well balanced by the bands fairly unique usage of brass, whilst the vocals work well to ground the song and inject emotion.

At times, the song can sound like fairly boring Scottish indie, mirroring other bands, but these moments are quickly subverted with more original and interesting sequences.

The synth laden bridge towards the end of the increases the likelihood that the new will become the repeat listeners.

That being said, it’s likely that most people hearing this are already aware of Pronto Mama; coming off the back of the exquisitely executed album Any Joy, and playing all sorts of places all over the place, Pronto Mama are hard to ignore – and for good reason.

‘Bully March’ is as good an example as any other of the bands talent and chemistry, but they are truly a band to be experienced live.

Words: Paul Aitken

Doune the Rabbit Hole, Day 3, 20/8/17

During yesterday’s write up I failed to mention that one of my boots struck a leak.

so, I spend the early portion of Sunday waiting for Allan, our photographer for the weekend arrival, who is kindly bringing some wellies for me, unfortunately this means missing Ultras, but I do get on site in time catch Hairband whose fun noisy pop, with three way soft yet high vocal harmonies, have a real endearing lo-fi charm.

Lazy chilled out building numbers and chirpy garage pop, they’re a band we look forward to hearing some recorded material from.

Over at Baino Martha Ffion is simply delightful as ever, timeless sun kissed melancholy pop, her voice just caresses the crowd, it’s hard not to like and with a solid band behind her it’s the kind of stuff you could chill out and listen to all day.

Still this is a festival and clashes need to be accommodated for and Towel, just round the corner, brings a synthy punk energy that would be a shame to miss out on.

They’re a total not for everyone affair and nowhere near as comforting as Martha and co., but the trio are intense and fun, loud and aggressive, during their short set.

Indeed such a short set that Martha’s still on when I get back, and as ‘Lead Balloon’ ends the band explode into a pacey punchy rock section for ‘No Applause’, which closes things out beautifully.

Talking of timeless Jessica Pratt is the soothing experience sat on the grass that the entire weekend has been waiting for, she looks tiny sat herself on the Jabberwocky stage, but her voice has that perfect warmth to it; add over that her soft finger picked guitar than lingers over the field in a calming fashion hushing everyone to a chilled awe.

Pratt is joined on keys later on in the set, but this doesn’t change anything of the vibe, nor would you want it too.

Back at Baino Laura Gibson gives another calm chilled vibe, delivering soft folk tinged acoustic tunes, with a warm American accent.

Yet more gentle finger picked guitars create a delicate backdrop and a vocal delivery that brings to mind the gentler end Regina Spector catalogue with a slight twang, Gibson ends the chill out portion of the day.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen The Lovely Eggs and damn I forgot how good they are, their indie pop enthused punk with a comical edge and a proper northern accents changes the pace of the day nicely as we ease into evening.

The duo give out a confident presence and have enough surreal humour in their songs to keep everyone entertained, while maintaining a sound that at times build to a engulfing post punk display that gets you caught up in by itself; throw in songs about magical onions and sausage roll thumbs and you’re onto a winner.

Over at the Jabberwocky stage Pronto Mama deliver another solid familiarity with their brass touched poetic pop; they’re another act that it’s tough to tie down to a genre, but one with irresistibly crafted songs and catchy vocal hooks that stay in your head for days.

The Evil Usses bring back the psych tones of yesterday with a set that sways from soft jazzy vibes to cheeky 90s video game touching flourishes to trippy funk filled passages.

The band never quite get to the overpowering psych of the likes of Kikagaku Moyo yesterday, but it’s a teaser and a small reminder of the revelry on what so far has been a pretty chill Sunday.

Big Thief seem to deter the cultural appropriating portion of the festival crowd, which is a nice relief, as their delightful set of dreamy beauty with sad overtones goes undisturbed, well despite the unrelenting repetitive bass from the Decade of Dub stage.

They’re real, very real; Adrianne Lenker putting herself emotionally on the line with a backdrop that just quivers and haunts in the best way possible.

She comments ever so politely about the awkwardness about playing the set on the bass drowned backdrop, a feeling that is echoed by pretty much everyone in the tent, regardless their set garners such a delicate splendour that you can’t help leaving mesmerised by them.

Next it’s the turn of Start To End to close the main stage for the weekend, covering Daft Punk’s Discovery start to end would you believe, and they manage to attract the largest crowd of the weekend, despite lots of people having to leave early for work/school commitments the next morning.

Musically the band are on point, the Glasgow super group of sorts are unquestionably very talented musicians, but somehow the set feels a little flat, and while Pronto Mama’s Ciaran McEneny’s vocals are usually hooky and addictive, his Scottish twang doesn’t quite lend itself to Discovery’s electronic vocals, still despite this the crowd seem to lap it up and that’s ultimately a success for the festival.

There’s a little bit of time before we have to dash to see a bit of the much hyped Ho99o9, who in the short burst we see of them more than live up to it with an explosive live show that encapsulates as much the experimental harsh hip hop of Death Grips as it does the hardcore punk of Bad Brains.

The duo’s volatile presence is difficult to draw yourself away from and their sound is so powerful that I doubt you’d want to, sadly we have to get leave but have these guys noted to see again as soon as possible.

All in all 2017’s Doune the Rabbit Hole has done itself proud considering, what can be only described as a promoters nightmare, two headlines ultimately unable to play and the festival site being drowned in mud from before the festival’s start.

Maybe there’s a bit too much going on for a small festival, eight stages was always a bit optimistic, and while a festival can never chose its audience, losing 16 hours a day of dub and a few less ‘new age’ stores may go some way to not encouraging the more offence causing audience members.

Regardless, the bands that do play are of a consistently high calibre and the food and most of the atmosphere is to match; all of which make for a great festival, we hope the low turnout this year doesn’t effect it returning stronger than ever.

More Photos

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Allan Lewis / Harrison Reid

Preview: Doune The Rabbit Hole (Sunday)

With Doune the Rabbit Hole coming up next weekend we thought we’d give you a run down of some of the acts to check out, problem was we felt the line up so strong that we couldn’t limit it down to a certain number, here’s a wee day by day effort to keep you occupied:

SUNDAY

After two late night affairs Sunday’s festival rounding up treads familiar waters with a cover act closing the main Jabberwocky Stage, this year it’s Glasgow supergroup Start To End performing Daft Punk’s Discovery live, which by all account should be fun, but their certainly promises to be a lot less carnage as the festival draws to a close, here’s some acts to look out for.

JESSICA PRATT (16.45, Jabberwocky)

A lovely late afternoon slot gives way for the warm dream pop acoustic psychedelia of Jessica Pratt, with distinctive 90s hisses and therapeutic harmonies this will act as the perfect calm after last night’s late night dancing.

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BIG THIEF (21.00, Baino)

On the surface charming, intricate and fragile folk rock with a soothing vocal performance, the Adrianne Lenker led Big Thief explore dark themes of childhood trauma in the most stunning way possible.

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PRONTO MAMA (18.15, Jabberwocky)

With a sharp, bold lyrics are bold, and a concoction of sounds Pronto Mama are a band that are difficult to pin down, but one thing they are as a band is intoxicating. From solemn and sincere tracks to ones that bounce along and make your feet want to move, Pronto Mama don’t follow convention in any way and this is what makes them genuinely unique.

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MARTHA FFION (16.00, Baino)

Martha Ffion has a distinctive knack for combining loose, 1960s guitar rock—all bouncing bass and flourishing licks— underneath the winning charm of Ffion’s sugary melodies. Ffion does sultry like no-one else, lingering over lines as if coyly aware she’s dripping musical honey over every word making her a set not to be missed in a day full of chilled out beauties.

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ULTRAS (13.00, Baino)

Solid rhythmic ability and technically Over The Wall’s Gav Prentice’s latest project, ULTRAS now have a full album under their belt. Expect some sincere and grounded tracks, that make up for for what they lack in cool with an infectious attitude and plenty of energy for those that make in up for the early afternoon set.

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HAIRBAND (14.30, The Lodge)

All girl five-piece Hairband are relatively newbies to the scene, well in this band at least, making their debut just in March, but the excitement around what they do and the other bands they share member of has heralded us enough to go catch them for the first time. Expect some fun, weird pop and not to be let down.

Pronto Mama – ‘Cold Arab Spring’ [Electric Honey]

Latest single ‘Cold Arab Spring’ from Glaswegian six-piece Pronto Mama is taken from the band’s debut album Any Joy.

A compelling chunk of binge-y pop, laced with percussive brilliance throughout; an effortless sustain of syncopated harmony.

Opening with light cymbals and a melodic guitar run whilst the second guitar subtly plays the harmony; before you know it the intro/verse begins – prompting you in to a head-bobbing trance.

Implementing a solid and grounded chorus, bringing a clean-cut vocal that shapes the track nicely – Alongside an intelligent selection of breaks.

Tightly driven and inspired – class act that you can’t afford to miss.

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Words: John Houston

Pronto Mama – Any Joy [Electric Honey]

“Nothing’s really real” sums up the feel of Pronto Mama’s new release Any Joy; the self-described “post-modern bug-eyed beatnik group” believe in “a dirty dedication to song writing”.

The sextet, consisting of Marc Rooney, Ciaran McEneny, Martin Johnston, Michael Griffin, Craig McMahon and Alex Sharples, display an array of musical talent; each member playing at least two instruments.

You could almost start to think that this album is going to be a little chaotic, yet with a sharp tongue the lyrics are bold, and the music is a beautiful concoction of sounds with each track having a story to tell and it’s own unique character.

‘Bottom Feeder’ is solemn and sincere, it’s softness glides on alternating guitar notes while the vocals bring a solid tone.

‘Cold Arab Spring’ in contrast literally bounces along with beats that make your feet want to move, like when you’re walking outside with your headphones in and you so desperately want to break into a dance.

This sets the tone for ‘Arabesque’, which is less playful but still dance worthy; it’s an amalgamation of funk and Scottish indie vocals, then you’re taken by surprise by a little droplet of synth in the final bridge and the outro; it almost shouldn’t work, but Pronto Mama nail this one.

‘Rubber’ is a little smoother but still continuing with a funk feel, it’s gutsy and the vocals are frank, the echoing of lyrics in the final build up carries you forward to the climax before slowly leading you to a final solitary guitar melody.

‘Double-Speak’ offers a lovely exhibition of the band’s vocal range and capacity for composition, while ‘One Trick Pony’ is more dissonant and rhythmically antagonistic; it doesn’t follow convention in any way and this is what makes Pronto Mama a genuinely unique contribution to the Glasgow music scene.

They have established their own sound and are able to exhibit their extensive musical ability by pushing the boundaries of various genres.

Similarly ‘Sentiment’ introduces a new feel with acapella singing, the harmonies are on point and the finger snaps just enough to keep the rhythm.

‘All Your Insides’ is less contemplative and more light-hearted to begin, again the addition of brass gives this track a unique feel, but there’s still a lot of heart here.

This band’s lyrics tell it like it is, they don’t hold back and ‘The Deserter’ is no exception; their words are unapologetic and this is given more emphasis by the addition of colloquial slang.

This is continued in ‘Bully March’ and ‘You’re Only Human’, the latter demonstrating an acceptance of all things different, which is represented in their eclectic amalgamation of genres.

‘Bennie’ is more retrospective, and religion appears to be a consistent topic of the tracks; taking a hard look at life, contemplating loneliness and life.

There’s so much being offered in Any Joy you need not look any further for a truly fulfilling album.

‘Memory Song’ is a suitable end to the story, a subtle contrast but still true to spirit.

Pronto Mama share a wealth of expertise and wisdom in their latest release. It’s a break from the norm and a gem to find.

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Words: Rachel Cunningham

Pronto Mama, Declan Welsh and the Decadent West, ST MARTiiNS at The Art School, 26/5/17

It’s been a long hot day in May and frankly the atmosphere in tonight’s gig is flustered, intense; like any minute you could light up the audience with one choice spark.

Luckily, the bands on show all know how to work that magic.

First up is Dundee’s ST MARTiiNS, a band who usually sound pretty tropical, a bit sunshine pop, but tonight Mark Johnstone, Katie Lynch and co evoke a certain sultry, zealous atmosphere; maybe it’s just The Art School’s violet-flushed and noirish interiors, but there’s a streak of darkness to their live show that adds its frisson to what shows on record.

Lyrics like “If I could throw away the guilt I feel inside / If I could count the ways / you make me wanna cry” (‘About U’) acquire a heightened fury when performed onstage, owing to Lynch’s impressive vocal delivery, which ranges from the shrill-sweet tones of CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry to undulate low notes that truly mesmerise in a manner not all too dissimilar to Bat for Lashes’ billowing trills.

There’s a level of reverb and volume to ST MARTiiNS’s live-show which allows the jazzier rhythms and lacings of electronica to gain extra prescience, Lynch’s voice weaving a sometimes incomprehensible but always melodic thread through the pulsing and often off-kilter beats.

With catchy winners like ‘Bad Art’ under their belt, those showers of sparkling guitar, Lynch’s almost theatrical voice and the general enthusiasm of every band member’s performance, ST MARTiiNS are certainly ones to watch on the summer circuit.

Their energy offers a necessary warm-up to what comes next, Declan Welsh and the Decadent West; Welsh has been cutting his teeth awhile now in both gig and spoken word environments, and that loquaciously confident, cutting voice brings a grittier edge to the evening.

Musically, Welsh and his band recall early Arctic Monkeys, nailing the sweet spot between melodic guitars, thrashing drums and a vocal delivery that veers between harsh croon and somewhat guttural moments of spoken word, spitting vitriol on the social and political conditions of the times.

Welsh is no mere provocateur, however; he’s a genuinely pissed-off millennial, unafraid to supply a damning commentary on modern life.

An early song in the set references the side-effects of the internet, the hypnotic vacuity of Reddit and meme-culture; lyrics twisted with the biting satire of a Father John Misty song, though without Misty’s honey-drenched vocals to soften the blow.

Songs such as ‘Will’ and ‘Useless’ get the crowd invested and the shadowy venue is almost full already, despite the good weather outside.

Throughout the set, you’re never allowed to forget that Welsh is a Man Who Reads The News, and while the overt political posturing might seem contrived in other situations, you can tell that Welsh means every word he says and frankly, in times like these, the more young people voicing their political frustrations the better–especially when Welsh’s message is one of empathy over division.

Indeed, he precedes his anti-fascist epic, ‘No Pasaran’, with a speech about the need to overcome the scare-mongering tactics of hate coming from both the far-right and the political establishment, his impassioned tones made all the more ominous by a dark under-groan of bass.

When someone in the audience shouts “Theresa May is a cow”, Welsh asks if we can find a less gender-specific insult for the prime minister, before admitting his general agreeance with the man’s opinion; you can tell he thinks his words through thoroughly—in fact, he uses the word ‘deconstruct’ at least twice in the set.

Welsh’s lyrical intelligence doesn’t overshadow the music but rather complements the band’s tight performance and vivid delivery; he gives it his all with a rollicking solo on the penultimate song and the sweat drips off everyone’s face in the room.

While their set has been fraught, angsty and heavy, the Decadent West close on a slower, sexier jam, ‘Do What You Want’, which Welsh admits is all about sexual fluidity; again, politics mixes with the personal and here he does his best Alex Turner impersonation, swaying those snake hips in time to sultry lilts of guitar and lusty croons.

By the time Pronto Mama take to the stage, the crowd are certainly ready for something lively and the whole set is peppered with here we fucking go and Pronto fucking Mama chants.

This isn’t just the woozy enthusiasm of Glaswegians sloshed from a rare day of drinking in the sun, but genuine appreciation for a band whose energised, complex vigour encourages spirited reaction from the audience.

Tonight is the official launch of their debut LP, Any Joy, and as such the majority of the set draws from the lush expanse of this record, opening with the introspective and angst-ridden ‘Bottom Feeder’.

Lyrics like “do you know that nothing’s really real” seduce with their weird hypnosis, before a wall of heavy guitar and drums shock the crowd into roaring shouts, drawing back into quiet with a rhythmic tightness that indicates the band’s five year build to this kind of platform.

With vocals swapped between Marc Rooney and Ciaran McEneny, backed by an impressive flank of synths, brass, percussion, bass, guitar, keys and drums, there’s something of There Will Be Fireworks’ epic sense of multi-instrumentalist harmonics–songs reaching their dark, cathartic grandeur not through sheer noise but the complex, often jazz-like layering of melody and rhythm.

The band switch effortlessly between more guitar-led, indie rock handclap tracks (‘Cold Arab Spring’), to the tenderer melodies of ‘Goose Steps’ and the soulful, catchy jams of ‘All Your Insides’ and ‘Rubber’.

It’s pretty rare to see a band carry off the brass/guitar fusion so deliciously; as an ex-trombonist myself, it was definitely a treat to see the normally humble brass section take a strong lead, layering smoothly soulful textures or emanating slick, funky and off-kilter rhythms.

Lyrically, Pronto Mama take a cue from Scottish indie’s traditional knack for self-deprecating, bittersweet emotional aphorisms and narratives of everyday chaos; but what The Twilight Sad and Admiral Fallow do with often measured and tender abstraction, Pronto Mama nail with eviscerating critique, the sharp twist of satire redeemed by surreal wit and convincing, self-referential delivery: “some cunts get all the birds all the love / get your top-button up man […] are we all such a bunch of creative minds?”

There are more reflective moments, however, on the likes of ‘All Your Insides’, which follows luxurious brass riffs and irresistible hooks, building through pensive lyrics (“your good grace could cause half the world to fall”) which release on a shower of drums and pull back into the assured comfort of its chorus.

After ‘All Your Insides’ draws to a close, Pronto Mama call for a mid-set minute of silence in honour of the recent Manchester terror attack.

Having a minute’s silence mid-gig fells startling and genuinely poignant, with that onslaught of noise and energy suddenly withdrawn into hushed contemplation; it is a lovely gesture and proof that music heals not just as an art form, but for what it does in drawing people together, sharing ideas and emotional experience.

The latter half of the set progresses on similar form to the first, with ‘Arabesque’ perhaps garnering the loudest cheers and quite rightfully so as its sharp, jagged rhythms backed up by catchy licks, sinuous synths and lush percussion have the crowd hung on every word.

Pronto Mama close their set on ‘One Trick Pony’, that swooning love song buoyed up by warm bass and bright guitar, stilling midway to a dreamy rallentando, “but when your tongue touched mine I felt like a balloon / I hadn’t been that high since 2002”, and gradually building back into swinging rock riffs of guitar and brass that shift tempo and go out with a blast.

It isn’t long, however, till the band are summoned back onstage by raucous cheers. Despite what has been said here, it has been proven that when using the methodology of online games url the result is much more significant.

They manage to coax their rowdy audience into silent submission for long enough to deliver a pitch-perfect acapella rendition of ‘Sentiment’, and as this wee harmonic, reflective beauty draws to a close with “I’m done with this / my sweet neurosis I guess / should I try or should I just go get pished” there is a proper shivery moment when everyone draws out of silent awe to sing along with the last words.

The encore finishes with ‘Like Swimming’, a soulfully smooth number drawn from 2014’s Lickety Split EP.

Purring “I love you” in the band’s best Glaswegian tones, ‘Like Swimming’ is a fittingly heartfelt close to a set characterised as much by its tender moments as its rowdier forays into jagged, jazzy and frankly erratic rhythms.

Tonight proves for certain that Pronto have an experimental confidence that is more than adequately matched by the tightness of their sound.

Few bands could pull off the musical gymnastics that they do, but every shift in tempo, key and style is bright, sudden yet seamless: the jump cuts work because everything pulls together; the band ooze synchronicity as much as swagger.

On one of the year’s hottest, most sultry nights so far, it’s this kind of zany, innovative energy that’s needed to keep the senses sharp, but nonetheless never at the cost of musical nuance.

More Photos

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Words: Maria Sledmere

Photos: Allan Lewis

Pronto Mama – ‘Double – Speak’ [Electric Honey]

Blending emo, pop and synth elements in their music, Pronto Mama follow – or perhaps lead – the trend in contemporary Scottish guitar music for making novel use of common tropes from different styles to develop something unique.

The wandering bass, the rolling drums – each given adequate attention and volume, the creative guitar work and the versatile and endearing vocals; what’s not to enjoy?

‘Double – Speak’ is a good name for this track of two sides.

It is wonderfully difficult to predict or classify, making the upcoming album Any Joy – set for release in May – all the more tantalising.

The lyrics, the approach and the style of this act are unapologetic, which is likely to serve the band very well; I can’t wait to catch this evidently dynamic six-piece live.

The synthetic elements are not necessarily subtle, but they are sparing; allowing them to ensconce the traditional instruments in a mature and well thought out way without overpowering or detracting attention from them.

With some seriously talented individuals on board and music that traverses the line between originality and mass-appeal with excellence, keep these guys in radar range.

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Words: Paul Aitken

BBC Radio 6 Music Festival with Pronto Mama, JR Green, ST.MARTiiNS, Rituals at Tut’s, 22/3/17

Tonight the BBC 6 Music Festival begins in one of Glasgow’s most iconic venues in a sold out, but by no means packed King Tut’s.

Vic Galloway and BBC 6’s Tom Robinson compere the night and you can tell they are just as excited as the crowd to hear the bands and start the festival.

Coming from the band the Merylees, Rituals have changed their sound a lot and have now developed their own unique style.

From the moment they coolly walk on stage the band deliver a full on danceable attack with precise and tight drumming, over this the vocals go from being as rough as Iggy Pop to positively angelic without ever cracking the band’s ice cold demeanour; signed to Skeleton Key records this Edinburgh band is worth looking out for.

After a half hour break ST.MARTiiNS come to the stage, and out of all the acts tonight, these guys really dazzle and win over the crowd.

The lead singer, Katie’s classic sounding lead vocals seem to come from the golden age of alternative female vocalists like the Sundays, while still having a contemporary sound.

The guitar, bass and keys all work together to create a sound that is at once familiar, genuine and relevant.

Tom Robinson wraps up their set by saying that ST.MARTiiNS is a band that in five years time we will be bragging about how we saw them in such a small venue at such an early stage, he could well be right.

JR Green is certainly the folksiest group performing tonight, the lead singer dressed in tweed and playing an acoustic guitar.

The duo’s up beat and uplifting pop songs are a change for the night, and their sing-a-long hooks and simple timpani percussion transform the crowd into a swaying mass.

Subtle and beautiful lyrics mark this band apart and will definitely attract new listeners after tonight’s performance.

There is no doubt who the majority of the audience is here to see, chants of “Pronto fucking Mama” are heard as soon as the last band begin, which must be a hassle for BBC who are recording the show live.

Pronto Mama is a brilliantly strange band, with odd introspective lyrics that are also perfect pop, excellent harmonies and a wide range of instruments being played.

The dynamic performance includes a clap along chorus by an enchanted crowd; alas tonight is only really a musical taster session for these guys, and with each band only playing for about 20-minutes, every one of these acts is worth coming back to for a bigger serving.

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Words: Peter Johnstone