Sat in the Glad Café in the South side of Glasgow I felt like I had travelled back to my time in London at the Café Oto where you would encounter the most experimental yet pleasing sounds. This was one of those nights, with conceptual Canadian Eric Chenaux headlining. Performing tracks from new record, Slowly Paradise, he mapped out our feeling at the beginning of his set, so he ensured he left us with enough energy to get home with.
Eric Chenaux was a fixture of DIY music in Toronto throughout the 1990s and 2000s, progressing from local postpunk band Phleg Camp and Lifelikeweeds towards a highly technical player of amplified acoustic guitar. A traveller of loose and improvised music, folkways, bent jazz, and sculptural sound, Chenaux began releasing work, both solo and collaborative in the 2000s, whilst also being a regular on the live scene in Toronto’s fertile avant/improv scene, and as co-founder of the experimental music label Rat-drifting. Constellation has been recording his solo records from 2006 onwards, which explores and is yet sumptuous, his ballads drenched in his fried guitar playing.
First on the bill was Northern man, Dean McPhee, who admitted that his homelands of North Yorkshire was oft inspiration for his tracks. There were nods to bands such as Mogwai with this thorough, electronic ambience yet also Shoegaze vibe there was much going on with his set, particularly the final track of his set which was in relation to the Kendall Witch Trials, yet was harmonic and fluid with rhythmic patterns to the track.
Signey Jakobsdottir was next, modest, humble and yet amazing in terms of her percussion sketches. Admitting to being a percussionist in bands, she is rarely working solo like this but I think it’s fair to say that she highly impressed the crowd with her culturally rich sounds, kicking it all off with a rendition of Fisherman’s Lassies. Included in her set was Gamalang music, almost reaching the beat you would often hear in the sub club, but not quite, one that was more for the ears of the Glad Café goers.
Eric Chenaux kept his set strictly to six songs, no less DIY and experimental from what we expect. Clearly John Martyn influenced but more discordant, there are also evidently Bon Iver head nods, with his vocals. Soothing and sublime, yet his bent, fried fretwork throws you as a listener and in some ways his music can be rather challenging.
For more on the Glad Cafe’s programme click here.