Stag & Dagger Festival Glasgow - Sat 21 May
Warpaint, Toro Y Moi and Sons & Daughters ensure Glasgow party is no washout
You couldn’t blame Stag & Dagger for the torrential rain that fell from Glasgow skies for the duration of the all-dayer’s third instalment in the city, though better planning on organisers’ behalf might have lessened time spent getting drenched. Using venues as far apart as Stereo at one extreme and Captains Rest the other made for some long treks between shows, while a few questionable bits of scheduling resulted in instances of protracted queuing at the mercy of the elements.
As has become the festival’s trademark, the line-up enticingly pulled together many of the most acclaimed and cutting-edge artists of the moment from near and far. Captains Rest was the day’s starting point, for an afternoon and early evening’s worth of some of the best up-and-coming Scottish bands, including the likes of French Wives – who packed the venue to capacity with their rich, pocket-epic strain of indie-folk – and the fractious post-rock sounds of The Scottish Enlightenment.
Ghostpoet’s mix of jazzy guitar stylings and dodgy versifying at the Art School proved that Stag & Dagger don’t always get it quite right; much more enjoyable downstairs at The Vic Bar were Veronica Falls, whose dark take on C86 is progressing from ramshackle beginnings towards something agreeably more robust. Highlight of the dreich day, South Carolinians Toro Y Moi injected some much-needed warmth into proceedings – the sun-kissed, synth funk of ‘New Beat’ hit home like a shaft of light parting the clouds. Similarly enlivening were perky indie-poppers Allo Darlin’, who shook-off the disappointment of having to cancel their first US tour due to VISA issues with a tirelessly bouncy set at Stereo.
LA all-girl quartet Warpaint at ABC were probably the day’s marquee name and their set of soupy art-rock was feverishly-received. Likewise Yuck, we’re told, though The List like many other folks failed to get in as Warpaint’s crowd all promptly flocked to Nice’n’Sleazy, causing a queue to back up across Sauchiehall Street – quite why such an obviously substantial draw were playing at such a small venue at that time seemed curious.
Another long but thankfully not futile wait to gain entrance to the Art School, and the standout band of the late shift was Glasgow’s own Sons and Daughters. Never ones to fail to make an effort – singer Adele Bethel looked resplendent in a purple dress and black fedora, with a feather boa wrapped around her mic stand – they raised the temperature with some typically intense and broody tracks from forthcoming new album Mirror Mirror, fuelling the musty scent of drying bodies determined to not let the party be a washout.