After the release of his acclaimed record, Fire Behind The Curtain, Adam Stafford has returned with his limited edition fruit salad cassette, The Acid Bothy, promoting it with a night of soundscapes and experimental noise in Glasgow’s Hug and Pint. With Pefkin, otherwise known as Gayle Brogan, and Coping Mechanism, Phil from PAWS, supporting, the night is curated to be wonderfully synth-based, removing us from the more comfortable ideas of what we think to be a song, with lyrics and melody.
Adam Stafford is a Falkirk-based filmmaker and musician that is evocative in style, whether directing a film based on the poetry of Janet Paisley or recording an album that is embodied with depression and poor mental health. The Acid Bothy is just as avant-garde as previous albums, albeit limited to fifty copies and on a fun and colourful cassette format. What is perhaps different is that he has limited his album somewhat, keeping it as an improv-synth album.
Pefkin, a name somewhat inspired by Nico (real name Christa Päffgen), in the shape of Gayle Brogan performed a lengthy track, titled Celestial Navigation, which incorporated a plethora of instruments including a bowl-shaped sculpture, which she filled with water, violin, and synths, of course. Culminating a soundscape of noises, Pefkin was an intriguing start to the evening, setting the bar of what was to follow.
Coping Mechanism, which saw Phil from PAWS stand by a laptop, layering sounds upon sounds, with a gradual build, which ends in a riot of noise, is somewhat difficult to engage with, as he enigmatically keeps an elusive presence on stage, keeping his laptop close to his chest. Perhaps that feeds into the effect he aims to have with his music, but it’s not easy to tell.
Adam, on the other hand, introduced his Acid Bothy, and sat down to his synth, which he intensely played for the next half hour, introducing new tracks from The Acid Bothy, experimentally dark and warped synth-lines, which build up to more of a psychedelic and surreal experience. Creating somewhat of a claustrophobic atmos with the levels of intensity here, akin to perhaps an Acid Bothy, it was somewhat of a relief to witness the guitar being pulled out to perform a couple of Fire Behind The Curtain tracks, finishing the night off with the hauntingly stunning The Witch Hunt.
A great night for showcasing the capability of the synth, it must be said.
Photo courtesy of David P. Scott.