Sunday, 27 November 2011

Gig Review - Bwani Junction @ Bloc

Bwani Junction released their debut album 'Fully Cocked' on Monday 21st October and travelled along the M8 to give it a proper Glasgow release party at Bloc on Wednesday 23rd October.

First on the bill were Glasgow popsters The Dirty Demographic, who kicked things off on the third attempt. Vocalist and sporting a dashing vest top was Angus Munro, who along with Stefanie Lawrence serenaded us with glittery pop influenced songs. Second track was a wonderful little song about 'Lucky (The Matchmaking Wonderdog) where you can hear a little bit of Belle & Sebastian influence before kicking into full gear. Also given an airing was a newer laid back track 'Patchwork Heart'. The band have a sound that Elton John would be proud of, and with fantastic vocal range and performance from both singers, the crowd who had gathered certainly enjoyed the fun spirit of the show. Last track 'Little Time' was a real show stopper.

But luckily the show didn't stop because next up where The Seventeenth Century. The five piece had dove straight into proceedings, the opening number having a steady beat with raw strings over the top. Might have just been me, but the cornet solo in the next track reminded me slightly of the opening theme from Star Wars! Despite the thunderous drums, and emphatic efforts of lead singer Mark Brendan Farmer, who is sporting a rather nice set of braces, the band still maintain a very warm and homely sound. There's elements of Admiral Fallow sound in there, and the songs are well crafted, usually working up towards a climax. The rhythm section have no trouble making themselves heard over the din of the bar, which sadly did drown out a few of the more intimate moments. The closing track of a shortish set brings an eruption of cornet, violin, drums and even a few dance moves.

So it's onto the headliners, Bwani Junction who with the Afro-Caribbean sound get the party started straight away. Playing onstage in front of a huge cock drapped behind them (get your mind out the gutter, it's the picture at the top of the page) the band are keen to showcase songs from the brand spanking new album 'Fully Cocked'. It's easy to compare the sound to that of Vampire Weekend or Foals, and whilst there is a clear reggae tinge in the laid back basslines, Bwani Junction have a very unique sound. There's also room for a new song 'Neighbourhood Watch' which has a bit of a slower start than most of the set. As previously performed for Uncle Vic, a cover of The Pogues song 'Dirty Old Town' goes down well. At times it feels like I stumbled in a jam session such is the laid back vibe. 'Middle Meadow' goes down a treat, and the packed crowd at Bloc lap it up.

The album 'Fully Cocked' is out now and you can buy it here (Amazon), here (iTunes) or here (Avalanche)

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