Emma Pollock‘s album Watch the Fireworks her first try as a solo artist after the demise of her band the Delgados. It’s quite a try too, incorporating elements of noise pop, shoegaze, country as well as incorporating influences from some 4AD compatriots like the Throwing Muses. An excellent solo debut, that not enough people have heard. This was way too apparent at her show at the Crocodile on Thursday night. Granted she was competing withe the annual People Talking and Singing over at Town Hall and Sondre Lerche at Nectar, but this town is big enough to support more than one good show on the same night, and based on the strength of Watch the Fireworks I thought the Croc should have been packed.
Emma didn’t seem deterred by the sparsely populated Croc as she bounced out on stage, commenting on the infamous pole in front of the stage, saying that she hope it was responsive. She didn’t let up, and was totally engaging, telling stories of how Aiden Moffat of Arab Strap made fun of her while she was shooting a video in downtown Glasgow, as well as handling drunk Londoners with aplomb. After telling us how she wrote the song Glorious Day with poet Brendan Cleary, a drunk English guy yells out you wrote it with a poet and you didn’t know it. Emma, without missing a beat responds in deadpan, that’s the best thing to rhyme with poet.
The band sounded perfect and made the songs from Fireworks really crack. Here Comes the Heartbreak, Acid Test and Paper and Glue all had that a beautiful shoegaze-like sheen to them. She played every song from the album, and joked at the start of her encore that if we wanted another song, she would have to play something twice. I would have been curious to hear a Delgados song to she how she would have interpreted it given her new pension for the immediate more straightforward songs. This show was like a secrete, you can’t believe no one else knows about. It was so good you couldn’t believe that the rest of the city wasn’t in on it too. Their loss, and I’m willing to tell anyone who will listen even it is after the fact.
I missed Jen Wood, but got there in time to see the Hungry Pines. They are fronted by two excellent women on guitar, and have a sound that reminds me of English band Salad and Australians, the Howling Bells. Their music has some slight gothic undertones, but the wall of guitar that they build up on many of their songs could earn them a shoegaze tag as well. The band’s set started off a bit slow, but by the end of it I was pretty amazed by these ax wielding of these women. Now that Electrelane have called it quits maybe I’ve found some new female guitar heroes?