Phonotonal

The Wendy House Collective
Live

Although the compilation album ‘Welcome To The Wendy House’ was already available to the public (and achieving favourable reviews), the live event in Glasgow’s Mono was the first time that all six members had publicly gathered to play to their fans, new and old.

Glaswegian duo Finniston started and immediately launched into ‘It Angers Me So’, one of the favourites culled from the compilation album. The punch-the-air joy in the guitar strumming gave the feeling in the venue that everything was going to be alright and The Wendy House was indeed a fine place to frequent.

With the accordion and acoustic guitar songs coming across extremely well, the opening set of the night was warmly received, and rightfully so, considering that Jolene from Finniston was a chief instigator behind the collective and the night itself.

Following on was The Boy Lacks Patience and the beauty of having such a varied line-up was evident as the genre and style changed completely but with none of the quality lacking.

The tracks showcased songs based around keyboard noodlings and torch song styled vocals. Although slightly more morose in tone, there was a welcoming cabaret type feels to some of the tracks that never allowed the plaintive music to bring anyone down too much. With song topics like love on the internet, The Boy Lacks Patience brings a modern twist to a style of playing and came across well.

Again to showcase the breadth and depth of quality contained within the Wendy House, next up were The State Broadcasters who, like Finniston, chose to open with a popular song from the album. ‘My Binoculars’ was an obvious stand-out on the album and its perky shuffle and cheery melodies transferred to the live arena extremely well.

The set continued and the female backing vocals, and even some harp playing, added to the joy of the set. Perhaps a louder song to conclude may have allowed The State Broadcasters to leave a lasting impression on everyone but with the band growing in confidence, it can only be hoped there is more to come from them.

Vivien Scotson is a young singer-songwriter and is very likely to receive a lot of media exposure in the next few weeks. As part of time-old tradition, underdogs Gretna F.C. are releasing a record to celebrate their Scottish Cup Final appearance and Vivien features on the track, so if you happen to catch the track on television, you can put a face to this review.

With a slow style of playing but incredibly strong vocal phrasing and delivery, she impressed either by herself or when she was accompanied by Jolene Finniston or Tim Attic Lights. Again, the style of songs within Vivien’s set may have differed from the other acts and may not appeal to everyone but her vocal performance alone should win some fans.

Stepping up again in tempo, Evan Crichton took to the stage, ably accompanied by some friends, including fellow Glaswegian singer-songwriter Paul Alexander on bass.

With a run of songs containing melody after melody, there was possibly too many good tunes at once to take in from Evan’s set, but it show the quality he has at his disposal. For an act who is admittedly still on the up and up and a band that had only convened a short time before the show, the fact that there was a maintaining of the standard set before them proved what a good show they played.

Headliners Attic Lights came on next and ably showed what everyone in the venue probably already believed. Out of all the acts, they had the biggest sound and probably displayed the most confidence. That’s not to belittle any of the acts on show but merely explains that the Attic Lights have probably had the most experience and have an assuredness that is hopefully reachable by all the performers here that night. By this time the crowd were getting merry and the vast majority were swaying along and greatly enjoying the set.

Befitting the occasion, all the artists returned to the stage at the end and joyfully banged out a version of ‘Death Is Not The End’, which, while not being the best song of the night, had everyone in the venue clapping and smiling along. If you can imagine the end scene of the original Live Aid but with a better song and featuring people who genuinely wanted to be there for the night and for the music, as opposed to furthering their career or publicity (and okay on a million times smaller scale), you can probably picture a great end to a great evening.

Guest article from Andy R.

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