Moody...

Moody…

Placed in the thick of the audience of Glasgow’s Classic Grand; it’s crowded, hot and difficult to get to the bar*. So it is with genuine excitement, helped by the countdown timer projected onstage, that Low arrive on stage as the timer hits 00:00.

Proceeding with a flurry of tracks from their new album ‘The Invisible Way’ leading to the highlight from that album ‘Clarence White’, despite solely playing new material by this point there was no indication from the crowd that they were getting restless. If anything the way person whooping throughout was told by a fellow audience member to “shut up you fuckin’ twat!” much to lead singer/guitarist Alan Sparhawks’ amusement**.

So far the tone has been set by sombre and introspective musings aided by the super 8 film projections taking place behind them. It is with this that the band proceeds into older material signalled by the hypnotic drum of 2005’s ‘Monkey’***. What was to follow was a mixture of tracks throughout Low’s career with particularly haunting renditions of twin tracks from 2010’s ‘C’mon’, ‘Witches’ & ‘Especially Me’, drummer & singer Mimi Parkers vocal on the latter proved especially mesmerising.

Throughout the set though, Low had to not only endear themselves to the crowd**** but to compete on the loudness scale due to the punk covers band playing downstairs. Which if you are at all familiar with Low’s back catalogue could prove problematic*****. Possibly in response, Sparhawk & Parker, head into ‘Pissing’ which amps up the volume and provides the crowd with one of their few rock out moments.

As the main set finished with ‘To our knees’, Low returned onstage fairly promptly for the encore. However, as aforementioned, the band downstairs began to repeat the challenge of loudness. Sparhawk recognised the song as Talking Heads ‘Psycho Killer’ and led to the crowd through a rousing rendition of its chorus, as he fully admitted that these were the only lyrics of the song he could recall.

After this uncharacteristic fun was finish with, the band headed straight into ‘Canada’ which caused more movement in the audience than had been previously seen that evening and was successful in drowning out the racket from below. Finishing with ‘I hear…goodbye’, from their recent record store day reissue, the night is closed******. An intimate gig, where their environment worked against them, Low were able to rise above it and present something very special for all.

*Not to mention the smell of stale sweat & oddly… Stilton?

** It was a well-deserved put down – how dare you whoop a band!

*** Is this their big hit?

**** They didn’t have to worry there.

***** What can you do when a cash till plays havoc with the quiet nuances of your set?

****** Threatening to stab us all in the heart, much to the Mrs’ (Parker’s) horror.

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