Thurston Moore - The Arches, Glasgow, Mon 28 Nov 2011 (4 stars)

Captivating picture of solo artistic triumphs from Sonic Youth frontman

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Thurston Moore, The Arches, Glasgow, Mon 28 Nov 2011

Thurston Moore performing at Union Chapel, London

You split from your wife of nearly thirty years, who not only is the mother of your child but is also responsible, along with you and some other talented friends, for creating one of the most important musical legacies in modern music – you’re gonna be a little bummed out right?

It’s perhaps too simple an idea to entertain, too obvious a question to ask of Thurston Moore, but, as he appears in Glasgow for a ‘solo’ show, he is on surprisingly great form; dishevelled and laidback as ever but remarkably competent and with a deadpan demeanour to die for.

Presumably, this glaring change to his personal life has been deliberated over with such furious effort before we even got a hint, that maybe he’s… OK? Or perhaps, as OK as you can be.

While we make peace with the fact we’ll never know for sure, he certainly seems in good spirits as he shakes off the memory of missed flights and departure lounge naps in a hail of observational quips and an extended trip down the avenues of his three major solo works, beginning with Psychic Hearts.

With a line-up shaped by the acoustic-leaning Demolished Thoughts, released earlier this year – harp, violin, 12-string, etc - songs like ‘Psychic Hearts’, ‘Patti Smith Math Scratch’ and ‘Never Day’ are given a lush reworking, while leaving plenty of room for Moore to wring all manner of unholy noises from his battalion of pedals.

Splitting his attention fairly equally between all three albums, strangely omitting more obvious ‘hits’ like ‘Benediction’ for example, Moore paints a captivating picture of his own artistic triumphs, one that renders any worries about the future of Sonic Youth utterly pointless.

Thurston Moore - "Circulation" (Official Video)

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