Perfume Genius – CCA, Glasgow, Mon 1 Sep 2014
Fragile and initimate pop chamber songs from Seattle-based songwriter Mike Hadreas
When the Seattle-based songwriter, real name Mike Hadreas, says 'welcome to my home' soon after taking the stage, it can almost be seen as an invitation to make yourself comfortable, as a lot of his fragile chamber pop tunes, confessional and intimate, touch on a troubled adolescence. However, at no point is it self-indulgent, and the hour-long set exudes a genuine sense of catharsis and liberation from a mixed-up past.
His excellent new album Too Bright is a lot less self-conscious and introverted than previous efforts and this is reflected, to an extent, in the show. ‘Queen’ is a gem of a pop song about existential gay panic, in which he belts out the rhetorical ‘don’t you know your queen?’ over a thudding distorted bass and a menacing synth line.
As a performer, Hadreas is still a bit bashful, and on the more emphatic numbers which have been introduced to his set, it feels a tad restrained. Hard to tell if it’s a by-product of his own fragility, or an affectation, but it’s a minor point which doesn’t detract from the sheer beauty of the tunes themselves.
CCA, Glasgow, Mon 1 Sep.