Methyl Ethel released Triage in February 2019 marking the Australian band’s third album, and are presently touring to promote this acclaimed release. Performing in Glasgow’s King Tuts, it’s safe to say you won’t see them in another small venue like this. With support from Edinburgh-based Maranta, there is very much a good-time vibe in the venue tonight, packed to the rafters with people expecting a fun-filled evening.
Methyl Ethel is the musical project of Jake Webb. As a live band it expands to a five-piece and includes Thom Stewart, Chris Wright, Lyndon Blue and Jacob Diamond, and live they’re tight. Over the last few years, they have achieved some incredible things. In their home country of Australia, Ubu became an ARIA Accredited Gold single after landing at #4 in triple j’s 2017 Hottest 100. The band have clocked up over 25 million Spotify streams alone and all of their tour dates in Australia and London since 2016 have sold out. It felt imperative to go check them out, whilst performing in Glasgow, and not only Glasgow, but the intimate King Tuts.
Triage was written, produced and performed by lead singer Jake Webb, mixed by Marta Salogni and mastered by Heba Kadry and recorded in Webb’s home studio in West Perth. With the recording of this album, Webb felt a sense of closure with a triptych of albums, three releases. Methyl Ethel are very obscured, some say a surrealist outfit, as their dark lyrics and notions are almost disguised by their backdrop of dream pop hooks.
Maranta, heavy on the synth pop, are an interesting duo to warm up the crowd and for the most part they seem to. Euphoric, yet repetitive, there’s a compelling sound to Maranta, looping vocals and layering, and building. By the time Methyl Ethel hit the stage there is a nice buzz within the crowd and much anticipation to catch this Australian act.
Performing hits from the most recent offering, Triage, as well as the occasional tracks such as Ubu from Everything Is Forgotten, and Twilight Driving from Oh Inhuman Spectacle, the band are focussed on plugging the album. They had the crowd in their palm from the moment they hit the stage, and between their majestic performance, and the strobing lights, furthered the party atmosphere that Maranta had laid out for them. Webb’s passionate performance as frontman along with the band’s technical competencies, meant they were as their song suggests, Real Tight. Noting they’re performing Field Day this year, I urge all London-based fans of synth-music take themselves there to Australian splendour that is Methyl Ethel, or Jake Webb. And as for Scotland-based aficionados, I predict it will be in a less intimate venue that these lads next play.