Glasgow has produced many great bands over the years. Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits, Belle and Sebastian and Orange Juice have all graced my turntable/cd player over the years. I'm not sure what it is about the place but to my mind it has produced some of the very best indie-pop bands in the last 25 years or so. Camera Obscura have been added to that fine roster. Formed in 1996 they have done the rounds and honed their sound and are now produce almost perfect pop with a twist.
Tonight they headline a mini indoor festival at London's 229 venue in Great Portland Street. Having stuffed ourselves in China Town my companions and I turned up just in time to see the final support bands final tune. The Clientele sounded good and I would have liked to hear more. They are definitely a band I'll be checking out on Myspace.
Camera Obscura have a lovely 60's feel to some of their songs. You only have to hear 'If Looks Could Kill' to be transported back to a sweaty 60's nightclub or dare I suggest Wigan Casino where the talc covered floors would only aid your dancing.
'Lloyd I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken' is probably their most well known song. Written in response to Lloyd Cole and The Commotions seminal 'Are You Ready To Be Heart Broken' it has made my last two summers infinitely better belting out of my car stereo. Quirky and as catchy as a catchy thing it just makes you smile. Their version tonight, all thought devoid of the string section of the record, had their devoted following bouncing and singing along at the tops of their voices. How great it must be to be on stage with a crowd of 500 or so singing your song back to you. Bloody marvellous.The highlight for me though was the superb 'Lets Get Out Of This Country' which was introduced by Tracyanne Campbell as 'Lets Get Out Of This Thieving Country'. You can't argue with that.
Camera Obscura are well known for performing off the wall cover versions as encores and tonight was no exception. Their slowed down version of Robert Palmer's 'Some Guys Have All the Luck' was sung my Tracyanne as she read the lyrics from a sheet of crumpled paper. Apparently they had only recorded a session version for BBC 6 Music that afternoon so they weren't that up on how it went. It was a good stab at it and it was, as all cover versions should be, significantly different from the original. it was a fine gig and I'll definitely be catching them again in Colchester on their October tour. You can't beat a bit of Scottish indie-pop to put a smile on your face.