Casual Sex - Mono, Glasgow, Tue 4 Mar 2014
A slick, 80s post-punk performance from the ungoogleable Glasgow foursome
What would you expect from a gig by a band called Casual Sex? If the answer is four men bringing slick 80s post-punk to life on a wet Tuesday night, fronted by a Robert Smith-inspired, make-up adorned frontman with self-confessed ‘daddy issues’ then you’d be alarmingly accurate in your expectations.
Ahead of their debut stint at SXSW, alongside other Scottish acts including Young Fathers, Prides, Honeyblood and Holy Esque, Casual Sex’s UK tour brings them home to Glasgow for a messy one-night-stand – as if songs like ‘We’re All Here Mainly For The Sex’ didn’t already make that blatantly obvious. But the Glasgow crowd know what they’re letting themselves in for, encouraging singer Sam Smith’s innate showmanship and Kapranos-style swagger. When drummer Chris McCrory invites them to come forward, ‘into the splash zone,’ they willingly oblige.
Between Eno-esque guitar on ‘Stroh 80’ and a reggae breakdown on ‘North’, they know how to keep things musically interesting, balanced nicely with tongue-in-cheek humour, such as the ambiguous lyrics to ‘What’s Your Daughter For?’ and Smith dedicating title track of politically-themed ‘Bastard Beat’ EP to George Osborne.
At points, there’s an amusingly natural choreography onstage with Smith, guitarist Edward Wood and bassist Peter Masson, as their instruments move in unison with the beat, whether that beat is found in the funky undertones of ‘Nothing On Earth’ or jagged notes of ‘Soft School’.
Despite their not-so-Google-friendly name, don’t expect these guys to stay under the radar for long. Try to catch them before the release of their debut later this year. Even if it’s your first time, don’t worry, they’ll be gentle. Maybe.