Jonnie Common - Deskjob launch, Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Wed 6 Apr 2011
Multi-artist showcase including Panda Su, Meursault, eagleowl and Conquering Animal Sound
Honing his multifarious craft as curator, producer and alt-pop svengali, bespectacled tech-wizard Jonnie Common has pulled a sonorous blinder with Deskjob. It’s a compilation that showcases and rewires many of Scotland’s pre-eminent independent acts, including Meursault, Panda Su, eagleowl and Conquering Animal Sound. The album launch hoopla was suitably jubilant.
Common – of Glasgow electro-folk studs Down the Tiny Steps and latterly of skewed-pop charmers Inspector Tapehead – is an ace singer-songwriter in his own right (his debut solo album is due later this year), but he’s also a wily musical catalyst. His gentle, gadget fuelled ‘re-fixes’ of wonderful songs like The Oates Field’s ‘Nae Luck’, Panda Su’s ‘Eric is Dead’, eagleowl’s ‘Sorry I Spoke’ and Iona Marshall’s ‘2 Hearts’ are sympathetic and excellent.
Marshall, alas, had to cancel through illness, and Adam P Gordon was confined to ‘The Manchester Branch’ but the album’s remaining eight featured artists all played live, two songs apiece: Conquering Animal Sound’s performance was as hypnotic as their gauzy electronica; Panda Su was captivating; eagleowl stole our breath, as ever. Meursault’s Neil Pennycook, meanwhile, resembles a superstar more with each passing day. A first-rate shift at the office, all said: and not a photocopied arse in sight.