West End Festival All Dayer – Oran Mor, Glasgow, Sun 23 Jun 2013
The Twilight Sad, Meursault, Conquering Animal Sound and co play the all day lcoal music showcase
With 14 acts over three stages in one of the country's most beautiful venues, the second annual All Dayer event at the West End Festival provided an ideal way to soak up some of the best of Scottish music. Kicking off festivities were Campfires in Winter, who showcased material from their upcoming EP; their intricately constructed guitar dynamics oscillating between gentle ripples and thunderous crescendos quite impressively. Recent single 'White Lights' proved a highlight, with the showmanship of Robert Canavan's booming vocals and the thumping drum solo outro suggesting that they might not be an opening band for much longer.
Next up was mercurial loop master Adam Stafford, delivering a typically intense set of guitar-fuelled convulsing. Previewing material from his new album Imaginary Walls Collapse, he made quite an impression by building from live samples of his own voice with layered guitar loops and filled the huge room incredibly well for one man. A theme of intricate looping carried us to electronic duo Conquering Animal Sound, who appear on stage with a table decked full of noise-making gadgets. Unfortunately something just didn't quite click for them on the night though, as the subtleties of their interlocking machines were somewhat lost in such a big space and their understated charms lost the battle with idle chatter towards the back of the hall.
Edinburgh lot Meursault take the stage and instantly cast a quietening spell over the audience, using their perfect balance of introspective folk and noisy guitar bashing topped off with Neil Pennycook's adroit voice, which itself spans impressively opposing ends of the sound spectrum. Closing with the euphoric 'A Song for Martin Kippenberger” he abandons his microphone and makes his way through the audience while filling the air with a pained refrain of 'Please don't send me home' as his voice drifts further into the distance until it's gone, and the rest of the band shuffle off stage to huge applause; a rousing lead into our finale.
The headline set is a stripped-down performance from The Twilight Sad. Thankfully that is less subdued than it sounds and a well crafted mix of synths and guitar means that while some force is taken out of their songs they really dial up the menace, and James Graham's impassioned howl is more affecting than ever. It also means that an enthusiastic crowd are treated to rare live outings for several tracks, including 'The Room' and 'Made To Disappear'. As the last rays of summer day sunlight slip through the stained glass windows and mix with the red stage bulbs it's a picturesque sight, and the band look perfectly at home with their visceral noise being traded for a purer kind of exorcism which lays bare the clouded beauty of their songs. A closing double salvo of early favourites 'Cold Days From The Birdhouse' and 'And She Would Darken The Memory' provides a fittingly triumphant end to a brilliant day of quality Scottish music.