Kan at the Slaughtered Lamb, Sunday 19th February.
The last time I saw Kan was at the Arches in Glasgow, to launch their forthcoming debut album Sleeper at the Celtic Connections festival. Tonight, on a cold quiet February night I went to see them again, this time in the downstairs room of a pub; furnished with sofas, chaise longues and easy chairs. Stageless, with just a corner of the room in which to squeeze a drum kit and a three mike stands.
To be honest, whilst I knew I was in for a good night (Sleeper is a solid album) I wasn’t expecting the gig to be the same exciting affair it had been in Scotland. I’m glad to say I was very wrong. After a quiet, almost apologetic, start Kan cranked up the tempo with Mangatakk, and soon the audience were tapping, clapping and dancing in their seats, grinning to themselves and anyone else who caught their eye before whooping and whistling their appreciation at the end of the tune. That’s the way it’s done at this venue, you see. No talking, no noisy chatter, just respect for the musicians. And there was plenty tonight, for it was clear that all four musicians were equally skilled, both in the art of writing cracking tunes and sheer musicianship. There was the excitement and passion of Lau, the ease and familiarity of Flook and edge and new direction of two relative newcomers, drummer Jim Goodwin and guitarist Ian Stephensen.
Hard to pick a best bit, but it may have been Aidan O’Rourke playing Superfly (that well known Treacherous tune) – though Jim’s drumming dexterity was a close second. Hell, I don’t even know why I’m trying. It really was an awesome night, and for those of you that are reading this who sat at home instead….you missed a top night. Check out their tour dates and go see them. And next time you get a flyer from those lovely people at Pull Up The Roots, think about going along!