The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Stereo, Glasgow, Thu 3 Dec 2009
Pains of Being Pure at Heart joke that they keep returning to Glasgow (this is their third show here in a year) out of a desire to find ‘Scottish husbands’. Singer Kip Berman would specifically like ‘one who looks like Jim Reid,’ according to keyboardist Peggy Wang-East.
Which hints at another reason why the Brooklyn indie pop denizens surface here so frequently – their fuzzy, thumping, dreamy sound takes its lead from a raft of Scottish bands, including Reid’s Jesus and Mary Chain, Orange Juice and The Pastels. Yet before we all start blushing, it’s worth noting that they’ve been touring pretty much everywhere for the last 12 months and more. And it’s apparently taken its toll: POBPAH (a clumsy acronym if ever there was one) feel run down tonight – voices are hoarse, faces look peaky.
Sparks fail to fly during their best song, ‘Young Adult Friction’. But Berman’s way with a burrowing melody – full of melancholy and longing – is undeniable, and they’ve warmed up nicely by the end, and a feedback-strewn blast of full-on JAMC-homage ‘Gentle Sons’. Haste ye’s back, and we might get down on one knee next time.
Stereo, Glasgow, Thu 3 Dec