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Tenement Trail Review 2016


by our NBT correspondent MC Sparky 




 It's Saturday afternoon on the eighth of October in central Scotland.  The world offers Glasgow a mild autumn day and night with no rain, and 50 independent bands and their disparate audiences roam through nine popular music venues, revelling in sound.  This is the fifth year running of the Tenement Trail, Scotland's biggest independent Inner-City music festival and we are going to make our Twenty Quid Ticket work for us.


MC Sparky is out with three friends tonight.  Yippee!  We start at 3pm showing our ticket to the office at O2 ABC to get our wristbands and head over to FLAT 0/1,a hiptrippy room of old furniture and kitch decoration with bands playing in front of the street window.  Ear pleasing VELVETBOMB are just finishing so we order some vodkas and stand in line, as squashed up as can be to get a good view of MOONLIGHT ZOO.  This is a fantastic young band with great vocals, quirky lead guitar, and an absolute explosion of energy and enthusiasm.  Listen out for their new single, "Melting".


Squeezing out of the hot and stuffy room, we stop off for an Al Fresco coffee - believe me, a very rare Glasgae thing at this time of year.  We also pop into the WOKSTOP and get our noodle base sustenance for the evening.  I'm starting with a splurge of prawns and asparagus in a curry coconut sauce drowning fresh egg noodles.  Delicious!


More music to follow.  This time it's an even darker dingier place called THE PRIORY.  I'm sticking with Vodka, lime and lemonade but we don't last long nor get much of a chance to really hear TRIBAL HIGH as the sound is terrible, the toilets are blocked and quite frankly, my dear, a bit pongeroos!


BROADCAST is the next downstairs basement venue but this one has better air and better lighting.  Gracing the stage is LUCIA FONTAINE and her three backing boys.  She sings alone with a bit of help from the bassist.  The guitarist loves loud feedback.  She sings in a vibrant post punk style.  The guitarist loves loud feedback.  Did I already say that?


At 8.30 it's NICE 'N' SLEAZY hosting Australian touring band, THE PAPER KITES.  This is by far the best sound we have heard all day and the band really sound like they are comfortable making records, creating an almost ambient feel with rich keyboards and spacey guitar, held together by an accomplished vocal harmony.


Around 9.30 we change our pre-planned route and head towards O2 ABC2 instead of THE ART SCHOOL so we can be assured of a good view of the next band, SINDERINS.  I'm not sure of the true nature of this band - influences of folk, rock and prog seem to produce something that is not quite defineable, jostling for direction under leadership of three very different lead vocalists that switch taking over the helm as easily as they change instruments.  The audience are dancing and cheering and I get to smoke my E-Cig so everyone is happy.


Our last venture is at the world famous KING TUT'S WAH WAH HUT in St Vincent Street.  Here we only hear a few songs from MEDICINE MEN but they have groovy beats, a funky looking bassist and they end their set to rapturous applause.  For MC SPARKY and his mates, it is TAXI TIME and a couple of hours at home with YOU TUBE and a few glasses of red.