Willie Campbell (4 stars)

Willie Campbell and The Just Joans

Brel, Glasgow, Thu 29 Mar


A misspent youth in Lanarkshire could lead to anything, but for The Just Joans it’s heartfelt, thickly-accented stories of departed friends and lost loves - that and a trip to East Kilbride being the high point of the summer.

Evidence of lyric theft - from the Wonderstuff and the Beach Boys - litters their wry tunes, at once laugh-out-loud humorous and poignant; as does the lineage of slightly shambling bands from their home area.

Willie Campbell spent his teenage years in a nearly-was band, Astrid, but in the different surroundings of the Isle of Lewis. Abetted by three musicians, much of the short set is still performed solo, though a Beach Boys reference is appropriate here too, thanks to some remarkable live sampling which gives Campbell’s voice a multitracked choral feel. He also debuts a new tune which, he confesses, borrows heavily from Bright Eyes - ‘sorry, Conor’. Seems that, for youngsters everywhere, old habits die hard.

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