It used to be the case that support acts were there to fill in the time before you saw the band you actually paid to see. In the main, they were placed there by the promoting record label to push their newer fledgling acts, in the vain hope that their style would strike chord with the otherwise resistant concert goers. The success rate was mixed and invariably the band were forgotten as soon as the concert was over.
Nowadays, with record labels only focussing on larger, more lucrative and very short-lived acts, independently promoted gigs have the flexibility to bring in not only more local talent but are happy to give them the boost of wider exposure. The most complimentary reason for bringing in a local support act is because the main act themselves are fans. This was the case at Stereo, in Glasgow on Saturday night.
Bdy_Prts are ridding on a high of their new found popularity but that success did not stop them forgetting a band they themselves love and so the support they personally chose was Le Thug. And what a band they are.
Taking the stage, bang on time, Le Thug are unassuming in their poise and are wonderfully graceful in their execution. Their on-stage sound is not for the fainthearted as the volume is set to max and the delivery forces its way into your brain without bothering to knock on the front door. If you can imagine Still Corners trying to make your ears bleed, you are not far from what Le Thug can offer. But it is a truly gorgeous sound.
The entire proceedings are held together by the powerful drumming of Jamie Finn providing a wall of rhythm like you have never heard before. The underlying tunes are provided by Danny McColgan on keyboards and samples. Over these amazing noises is Michael Raphael Gilfedder playing bass, guitar or extra samples with a bewildering array of effects pedals. Their whole sound is an incredible combination of wonderful noises packaged up into bundles of sheer class.
And with the a serenity akin to Angela Gail from In The Valley Below, the stylish Clio Alexandra MacLennan layers her gentle vocals into the mix, smothering the songs with the luscious delight. Her voice may be quiet but she is by no means an also-ran. She unassumingly but deliberately places her voice right in the very fabric of the songs, layering her own sound into the overall product and then just as quickly dips out, leaving the music to take over and fulfil its flourish.
Le Thug played for only 25 minutes and it was one of those gigs where the memorisation of the talent in front of you means the time zips by faster than a modern day number 1 single in the charts. All too suddenly Clio announced it was to be their last song and then that was over. The crowd were stunned and exploded in thunderous applause and cheering, knowing they had indeed seen something very special. Le Thug are band to watch and to watch out for.
The main act was Bdy_Prts and they quickly set their stage up and then disappeared off. They came back, bang on time, dressed in more spandex than an ABBA tribute act. This did not mean that we were about to be treated to cheese. Far from it; they put on a show that was musically superb, artistically very entertaining and exceptionally well choreographed with a really close banter between the two front ladies. Taking the crowd through their repertoire old and new, Jill and Jenny provided humour, style, quality and grace, many times within the same song.
Graciously they announced that they were so pleased to have had Le Thug support them because they are one of their most favourite bands and the crowd totally agreed. Clio, who was in the audience, accepted the accolade with a very happy smile on her face.
Bdy_Prts played for 45 minutes and when they announced their last song, there was protestation from the crowd for good reason. But the girls were adamant to end the show the right way and in true, proper and respectful style, they left the stage to rapturous applause, very much leaving the crowd wanting more. They have cemented the assurance that there will be a similar turnout when they return in the near future.
Supports act are now just as important as the main acts and sometimes can even surpass them. They are well worth going to see and in the case of Le Thug, are an absolute gem of a find. It will not be long before they are justifiably headlining their own shows.
Le Thug play King Tuts in Glasgow on Sat 18th July 2015. Don’t miss it
Duncan Watson, 13/06/15.