The Delgados with Sluts of Trust and Malcolm Middleton at Lee's Palace, March 22. Tickets: $18. Attendance: 370. Rating: NNNN
first act sluts of trust laid down a surprising set of heavy rock bombast, a ballsy stand for a two-piece. Between unlikely guitar god John McFarlane , prancing like some slight red-haired femmey pastiche of Motörhead's Lemmy (all black-leather flares and red indie-folk golf shirt) and the cannon-battery drums of Anthony O'Donnell , the effect at Lee's last Monday was whole.
Listening to McFarlane caterwaul super-emotive observo-lyrics, it's hard to shake the feeling you've been let in on a musical rendition of a secret bathroom wank. Brilliant.
Malcolm Middleton sings his embittered-sweet neo-folk with the confessional verve of a young heartachy Billy Bragg, focusing hard on the lovelessness and replacing the politics with a wicked brogue and a tongue at least four times as foul.
When the Delgados hit the stage, the crowd squeezed in to soak up the group's blend of effortless Glaswegian banter and ultra-baroque indie virtuosity.
Having brought the Sluts and Middleton (both signed to the Delgados-owned Chemikal Underground label), the band is a pared-down affair (no violin or cello). But like veterans, the Delgados don't try for the blustery sound of their albums, instead finding big sound in trimmed arrangements.
The set of their popular standards and a couple of new songs (which augur well) was adorned with amusing asides, like bassist Stewart Henderson 's boozy admission of love for Toronto and songbird Emma Pollock 's championing of PCs over Macs.
Cold comfort, definitely.