Live Review

Marnie Stern, Broadcast, Glasgow

There is no danger of this Sunday night in Glasgow petering out into early summer torpor.


Photo: Michael Gallacher

Sunday night gigs can often be notoriously tricky affairs. The danger of a soporific, languorous crowd is always prevalent. It’s something the newly expanded four-piece Sky Larkin are aware of as they take the stage at Glasgow’s underground bunker Broadcast. Fortunately, the Leeds quartet are met with a hugely enthusiastic crowd that allay their fears. The expanded Sky Larkin are certainly a mighty proposition; the addition of Nile Marr on guitar and Sam Pryor on bass has given the band added dexterity and a new dynamic. It definitely works. They have the air of a band who are confident that they are returning with a clutch of stone cold killer songs. Playing all new material aside form a soaring ’Still Windmills’ and a reworked ’Summit’ the band attack the songs with new found vigour. Recently premiered track ‘Motto’ is a clear highlight. This support slot is early warning of a band ascending to the next level.

Tonight’s headliner Marnie Stern is already on an altogether singular level, and her performance is a joy to behold. It’s hard to understate how infectious her inventive guitar tapping, shredding, yelps and vocal tics are. To her eternal credit, a recurring number of minor technical glitches fail to put her off her stride. There’s something wonderfully endearing about a musician clearly so in love with performing. Despite at one moment becoming so tangled up in wires that she wonders aloud how she ever manages to cross the street and get through the day in one piece, tonight’s performance is an extremely well received triumph. The great thing about Marnie Stern live is that her performance is perpetually on the edge of falling apart but never quite does so. It’s genuinely thrilling stuff.

Tonight’s set is mostly made up of instantly accessible songs from fourth album ‘The Chronicle’s Of Marnia’, though there are some older jams on show. ‘You Don’t Turn Down’ bristles with kinetic energy and a feverish excitement that transmits to the audience, while ‘Transformer’ is even more rousing. Its vocal call to arms of: “The future is yours, so fill this part in” provides a communal moment of joy.

The cacophony of sound combining frenetic guitar and the seriously impressive drumming of Joe Wong builds to a crescendo during added encore ‘Transparency Is The New Mystery’. There is no danger of this Sunday night in Glasgow petering out into early summer torpor. Marnie Stern has truly endeared herself to the Glasgow audience.

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