ABC, Glasgow, Fri 11 Dec 2009
When a band play their new album in full without barely taking a breath, you know they’re either a tad self-absorbed and wrongfully rate their album as fantastic, or, the album is actually pretty fantastic.
Tonight UK prog-merchants Porcupine Tree thankfully slip into the latter. They open with ‘The Incident’, a 55-minute song cycle which meanders through nuggets of battering rock-outs and dreamy, dainty musical interludes, and it makes for a truly engaging and wholesome listen. ‘Drawing The Line’ pivots on a chorus worthy of any pop song-writer, whilst the title track seeps and slithers into this band’s electronic side.
And whilst the band music-make on stage and frontman Steven Wilson gets lost in his curtain-esque hair, the healthy crowd here tonight are treated to an extensive and fluid video show too, making this a whole lot more than just five guys on a stage.
By the time they close with fan favourite ‘Trains’ there’s a sense of glee pervading this venue, reflecting off the mammoth disco ball perilously dangling from the roof. And when end-of-tour japes spring up on the screen, including ancient photos of band members sporting truly awful haircuts, this euphoria is only escalated. Wilson apologies tongue-in-cheek for still not being able to play ‘The Incident’ properly yet, despite this being the last date of their tour, but the assembled masses on the dance floor don’t care, and rightly so.