Anyone who has seen Popup live will know that Damien is a tremendous frontman, one who can exude vulnerability and the threat of violence at the same time. Think Malcolm Macdowell as Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange and you’ll get an idea of his on stage presence. But bringing Adi to the front has given them previously undiscovered options and also showed Popup’s confidence in their music. This is not a band who are willing to rest on their musical laurels, or on any one style. I think they are the height of their powers and can’t wait to actually own their new material. If you don’t believe me then get yourself along to Mchuills in Glasgow this Friday (4 March) and make me right or make me wrong.
On Thursday night another Texan bound band, Kid Canaveral, held a fund-raising night at Stereo, and again it was a strong under-card. First on was ex-De Rosa man Martin John Henry, who I’ve managed to catch a few times this year already and his forthcoming album is possibly my most keenly waited release of 2011. Then came Randolph’s Leap who were new to me and immediately charmed. Any band who has an EP named Battleships and Kettle Chips has me at hello, and they’re playing The Captain’s Rest on the 31st March. I would suggest, if you’re free, you could do worse than make your way along.
But this was Kid Canaveral’s night and they knew it. Last year’s Shouting at Wildlife was one of the best albums of the year (it was number 5 in the Scottish Bams) and they are always a delight live. Theirs is a set that is devoid of filler, and they make playing together look easy, which is always a sign that a band have hit their straps. This was a celebration as well as a send off and the crowd were stamping and yelling for more in traditional Glasgow style. If I had to pick highlights they would be Smash Hits and new single You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night, for which there is this rather excellent video: