Musical Review: Poster Paints, Glad Cafe, Glasgow ***
Poster Paints’ self-titled debut album, released on the crowded evening, features a song called Never Saw It Coming – a reasonable summary of a band’s origins built on a serendipitous misunderstanding when Glasgow band veteran guitarist Simon Liddell including Frightened Rabbit and Olympic Swimmers, sent singer Carla J Easton a piece of music in hopes she would add vocals to the recording.
Easton, who first rose to prominence with pop quartet Teen Canteen before embarking on a solo career, took to the air and ran with it, penning a brand new song around Liddell’s instrumental. There’s a lot to be said for lockdown boredom – without it this laid-back ensemble might not exist. As Easton jokes, “tinker or die,” and she’s not talking about putting up shelves while on leave.
The poster paintings follow the great tradition of self-effacing Scottish indie pop, rich in melodies, sprinkled with aching ballads and embellished with clattering guitars and abundant use of the tambourine. Easton has long since learned to stop worrying and embrace his self-proclaimed pot voice on a set of songs that effortlessly recall the cute fate of classic girl band melodrama through the prism of 80s/90s indie boy bands in contact with their feminine side. – the set even included a cover of Into Your Arms by one of those bands, The Lemonheads, slowed down to bring out the melancholy.
Their own Circus Moving On was a moody indie blues highlight, as was the appearance of vocalist Lomond Campbell, who joined the band for Ribbons, marking his first duet performance in the same room as Easton. The Poster Paints album may have been pieced together remotely thanks to the lockdown, but this in-person gathering of constituent parts was deemed by Easton to be “better than Kylie and Jason”.