John B McKenna, We Were Promised Jetpacks and Over the Wall (4 stars)

Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Thu 5 Jun

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John B McKenna

ROCK

Starting with suitably hushed reverence for John B McKenna’s gentle powerhouse of a voice in an acoustic set, and ending with the squawking guitar, pounding keyboard and trumpet combo of Over the Wall, tonight’s outing of the monthly Thursday Moore night was a slow but steady burner from quiet to loud.

The position of the stage lighting combined with the red backdrop made Mr McKenna resemble a Hammer Horror baddie, but it gave an appropriately eerie edge to a plaintive run-through of the likes of ‘Keep Me in the Dark’, and a lyrical nod to ‘mescaline horizons’ reflected the narcotic thrill of his tunes. Cracking.

We Were Promised Jetpacks took the baton and ran with it in excellent style, in a pocket-sized Arcade Fire/Idlewild/Morrissey with acoustic guitar wizardry plus violins kinda way. So, Over the Wall undoubtedly had their work cut out for them, and what the music lacked in broad appeal it made up for with affable stage banter, mid-song high fives and Neil Diamond anecdotes.

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