There’s something about The Glad Cafe’s performance space that’s particularly suited to music of the most direct nature: to artists who somehow combine qualities of force and proximity. This night, the first of these was Molly Linen, a recent arrival on the Glasgow scene. As yet, she’s released only two songs, Away and Waited Long, both of which were performed this evening. Neither would be out of place – apart from being on electric rather than acoustic guitar – on the early ’60s American folk circuit.
To these were added a number of newer tracks, the most recent being Outside and Light in Your Eyes. These maintained her bedroom-tape sound, but developed it into something more individual, with a far more self-assured sense of song construction. The quiet confidence with which Linen deploys the long instrumental coda of Outside portends good things for her; as her raw talent is further refined through live performances, she’ll almost certainly prove an act well-worth watching out for.
Following Linen was Viking Moses, his words fracturing the sonic space like a chainsaw in candyfloss. When joined for select numbers by the ethereal backing vocals of Ceylan Hay, the balance between the two proved exquisite. Their rapport was at its best in the just-released Clown School, in which they cascade down through repeated lines of laughter. If the song’s introductory spiel holds true – and, judging by Hay’s somewhat flustered reaction, it might be – it could be the most elegant song about spontaneous erections that 2017 has yet produced.
I heard Molly Burch; I couldn’t say I saw her. By somehow managing to put The Glad Cafe’s only supporting pillar directly between us, I found myself fully, gratefully immersed in the songs of her Please Be Mine album as they reverberated through the room. This felt entirely appropriate – given its otherworldliness, it’s difficult to imagine Burch’s sound even having a source. Her knack for making words into pliable things betrays her origins in another era, perhaps a collision of several eras: some non-existent dream pop cover version of Sandy Rogers’s Fool for Love soundtrack.
After her (genuinely unscheduled) encore, I chatted with a couple up from Clitheroe who were working in town and had decided to check out the gig. Still reeling, I asked them how they’d describe Burch’s set. ‘Seductive’, said one; ‘sultry’, said the other. Looking through my notes later, I found the same two words, both prominently written. Consensus, if ever there were such a thing.
For more on Molly Burch click here.