As rock ‘n’ roll entrances go, tonight’s resembles something like an Ayrshire reboot of Spinal Tap. More “Och no, Oran Mor” than “Hello, Cleveland!”
Tonight is the night Trashcan Sinatras make their long awaited return to the Glasgow stage… that is, after we wait some more. How ironic that their choice of opener Got Carried Away; the show takes some ten minutes and several false starts to get underway amidst much guitar re-tuning, strap fiddling and general faff. With this, though, comes some informal interaction with a home crowd who revere their (relatively) local sons and are happy to humour a few more minutes after years of exodus from the local live circuit. “We really should get out more”, offers Frank Reader by way of an apology. Far from prolific by their own admission, the band have in recent years taken to touring their sporadically released albums on Stateside stages.
Their fourth LP Weightlifting offers a mass of material to kick things off, and later bookends the show with it’s title track. Meanwhile, seminal second album I’ve Seen Everything (recently voted as Scotland’s second favourite album ever in a poll by readers of The Herald, as singer Frank Reader cheerfully reminds us) fill in the gaps. Lead single, Hayfever, gets the crowd bouncing to augment the already ‘cosy’ temperature of the Oran Mor’s basement and the ever sublime Easy Read is easily the highlight of the night.
We are also treated to a decent slice of Cake and its earliest singles. When these older offerings still sound far this from stale, the setlist is right to favour them.
Renditions of later material such as Autumn or People are similarly accomplished but are perhaps best less-suited to the lo-fi acoustics of the venue. By contrast, the pop picking of How Can I Apply and The Genius I Was also remind us what they have always done best, while a stripped-down Send for Henny still delights.
I was initially enchanted by Trashcan Sinatras’ magical melodies and clever wordplay a quarter of a century ago. Since then they seem to have collectively amassed less grey hairs than this reviewer and still seem comfortable on the stage, where the mercury surely rises faster than for us in the crowd. Moreso perhaps for drummer Stephen Douglas who’s on a double shift tonight, having already moonlighted in support act Heirloom.
Despite the challenging climate and an uncertain opening, the professionalism of our headliners still satisfies the masses. We do wonder whether ‘stoppage time’ could have been added so as to include a few obvious staples seemed to have been omitted, but a curfew is a curfew, so we leave Oran Mor through its the basement, by the trashcans.
Photo courtesy of Chris Colvin.