Thursday 4 December 2014

Live music: Hausfrau, Apostille & Pennycress

2014 has been a dazzling year for live music in Glasgow.  A lot of the truly outstanding sets I've witnessed have been by Glasgow-based artists such as party band extraordinaire Golden Teacher, their jazzier chums Whilst (their set supporting ESG at Broadcast was like being run over by a monster truck) and Richard Youngs.  Three acts, however, have tempted me from my couch more often than any others.  If I could have bought a season ticket to their shows, I would have.  They are about as far removed from the legion of plodding, guitar-wielding dullards as is possible and they are:


In the first half of 2014 Claudia Nova's (previously of the brilliant Aggi Doom) Hausfrau played a succession of icily atmospheric shows that peaked with an untouchable performance to just a few initiates at Roxy 171 on Great Western Road (the YouTube clip above was filmed that night).  Against sparse backing, Claudia sang the bulk of what would become her first record.  That night's rendition of the title track, 'Night Tides', was one of the unquestionable highlights in a year of phenomenal live music.  Hausfrau's debut cd came out on French label Unknown Pleasures to little fanfare on the day that Scotland voted No to independence from the rest of the United Kingdom; there wasn't even a launch show or party for it which was a real shame.  Glaswegians can buy 'Night Tides' from the upstanding citizens at Monorail Music.

Hausfrau will be appearing at The Poetry Club on the 20th of December as part of The Green Door Studio's 7th birthday celebrations.


Over the past few months it has been thrilling to watch Night School Records boss Michael Kasparis as Apostille ratcheting up the level of his performances to an almost insane level over a succession of increasingly incredible gigs.  Few can match Apostille for sheer commitment and physicality.  Few would even try!  One particularly exhilarating performance in support of Alex Neilson's Death Shanties at The Old Hairdressers saw Kasparis starting seated, determined to do something different, but by the end he was climbing over the wooden chairs screaming in the faces of the faithful.  It was nothing short of breathtaking.  Live, songs like 'Wrong', above, take on a heft and a momentum that impels you to move.  Dark electronic music has seldom sounded less po-faced and more danceable.

Apostille appears at Audio on the 19th December as part of the Status Choke / Broadcast Beach Christmas bash.  Don't miss it!


The name Pennycress (originally just Cress) started appearing at the bottom of bills in the summer.  From their first show in Glasgow School of Art's Vic Bar it was clear, however, that they had both ferocity and texture in equal measure.  Since then they've blasted their way through a number of show-stealing sets to the point where they really should be the main draw.  Theirs is a tight, cohesive take on Olympia, Washington riot grrrl/hardcore.  Fired-up teenagers the world over should be tearing down whatever posters they have on their walls to make way for their Pennycress clippings.  Fingers crossed they can capture their spark when recording.  If they can, their records will be  uncompromising treats.

Pennycress play tonight (Thursday, 4th December) at The 13th Note.  Quick!

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