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Paying two quid to see three bands is never going to be a waste of money but when the three bands involved are the talk of the Art School it’s easy to see why Sleazy’s is packed on the same night that the NME tour rolls into Glasgow. True, the crowd that’s here tonight probably consider themselves too cool to follow the hype of the national music press but word of mouth has meant that everyone is here with high expectations.

First up are The Mitford Girls who have a sound that’s pretty sharp, energetic and perky. All programmed beats, poppy guitar and keyboard. it brings to mind the kind of friendly hyper-punk of Bis and Motormark but with one major difference. The Mitford Girls are fronted by one of the most annoying singers I have ever heard. The

lyrics are pretty good, even if there does seem to be an obsession with lights (neon, halogen and other) lurking in there, but the delivery doesn’t sit well with the band’s sound. The singer’s flat, shouty vocals give a pretty broad hint that he’s been listening to Arab Strap but hasn’t figured out that they sound unique because it’s a

pretty difficult trick that they pull off. Yes please to instrumentals, hell no to accapella…

Shitdisco have one of those names you don’t forget in a hurry and having heard them a couple of months ago I still hadn’t forgotten how good they sounded. Pretty hard to categorise they’re a little bit Liquid Liquid, eve a little bit Specials and something about them reminds me of Gang Of Four…

They start well, the beats tight and persistent and building up a real head of steam. They have a distinctive style, kind of punk/funk but with a dance edge. Think “Yeah” by LCD Soundsystem and you’ll be pretty close. The only drawback is that their isn’t much variety to

their songs so what sounded fresh and exciting at 10pm is unremarkable by the time their set is through. Definitely one to watch though…

Although it’s their gig The New Rosy Jewels play second on the bill. Bassist Darren lets on that it’s not due to lack of confidence or a desire for an early night – “We just want people to hear us before they go clubbing”. Anyone who did plan to leave early will be glad of their considerate (and savvy) scheduling as The Jewels are on terrific form tonight. There is a kind of dark, terse energy to them as they punch their way through their edgy, serious and enthralling set.

Up-front soundwise are washes of guitar and singer Wallace’s Ian Curtis-like vocals but it’s all underpinned by solid bass and tight drumming. Sombre-faced keyboardist Jill adds atmosphere throughout every song as well as key stabs that seem to lift the whole band when needed and the result is a fully formed sound and a recognisable style. They look like a band that’s spent a lot of time rehearsing and as a result become a seriously good live band, with the emphasis firmly on serious. Smiles are in short supply onstage and when Wallace sings about “needing permission to speak” everyone in the room feels the oppressive atmosphere to which he’s referring. Still, a sombre outlook doesn’t stop the music being terrific and the audience certainly appreciates them. After all, they can always have a laugh when they go clubbing…..

Review by Andrew Coyle