Monoganon - Mono, Glasgow, Thu 10 Jan (4 stars)

Monoganon - Mono, Glasgow, Thu 10 Jan

Photo: Dylan Matthews Blueback Hotrod

Charmingly ramshackle psych-folk performance from John B McKenna and co

Wandering onstage to the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme, then spending ages tuning up, deliberately awkwardly, Monoganon are a glorious curveball.

Gigs by the Glasgow-formed quartet are relatively rare, as singer/songwriter John B McKenna lives in Malmö, Sweden. Under-rehearsed spontaneity only adds to their set, as he leads a merry wander through kaleidoscopic psych-folk meets slacker rock songs that eschew obvious structure.

The rushing build-ups of ‘Eternal See You Soon’ – driven by dextrous open-string tuning guitar from Andrew Cowan and Colin Kearney’s furious drumming – could belong to Yo La Tengo. ‘Best Pals’ channels Pavement at their fuzzy best and ‘Anatomy’ has a chorus Radiohead would kill for if they still did choruses. With excellent second album FAMILY due later this year, there’s big things ahead for Monoganon, though here’s hoping it doesn’t cost them their ramshackle charm. Most musicians would be mortified if their guitar fell off mid-song; McKenna crumbles into laughter at his Larry David-worthy comedic misfortune, seemingly delighted by the beautiful chaos of it all.

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