Frog Pocket (5 stars)

13th Note, Glasgow, Fri 8 Feb

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Frog Pocket

ELECTRONICA

Frog Pocket’s get up tonight couldn’t be less timely. With the indie-embracing Celtic Connections just finished, John Charles Wilson is going back to his roots.

Any artist tagged as ‘experimental’ must frequently hear mutters of ‘has he started yet?’, but in Frog Pocket’s case it’s appropriate: as he leans over a table crammed with effects and electronics, it’s like watching a bomb disposal operative, removing a wire here, pausing, twiddling a dial there, then, suddenly, an explosion of noise, as everything kicks in. Among all this technology, Frog Pocket coaxes all sorts of sounds from a fine old fiddle, producing jigs and reels, laments and, perhaps crucially, frightening sawing motions which would have no place in a folk club. Nor would his unconventional style of clambering on the table, adjusting the effects with his knees, and cranking up the BPM. Pastoral guitar mixes with breakbeats and the tunes defy the audience not to dance. Then, reeled in, they’re hit by splatters of impossible, spine-twisting rhythms. If that wasn’t enough, he returns then with a bizarre encore of a game of musical statues.

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