The Low Anthem @ The Venue at Oran Mor, Glasgow

One imagines that if there is music to greet you at the gates of Heaven, that music would be played by The Low Anthem.  The Rhode Island five-piece always provide the most sumptuous medley of softly-plucked guitar strings, fragile flute and vocals so hushes at times that they could easily have been from a ghost.

Taking residence this time in the basement Venue at Oran Mor instead of their more recent haunt upstairs (Ben Knox Miller raised some chuckles when he noted that they unloaded their gear upstairs out of habit only to be find “some fucking wedding band had set up) it took some time for the band’s acoustics to settle into the intimate setting, with the rockier sounds of their more recent album, Smart Flesh, becoming lost.  Boeing 737 sounded particularly messy.

But when they found their rhythm, generally when they played songs from What The Crow Brings and Oh My God, Charlie Darwin and when the three of them were huddled together like apparitions at the front of the stage, their sound was encapsulated in its most haunting and harmonic form.  Songs such as Ticket Taker, To Ohio, This God Damn House and To The Ghosts Who Write History Books simply trembled in the delicacy of the playing.

A mesmerising cover of the signature Leonard Cohen song Bird on the Wire was a beautiful and fitting way to end a night which started out slowly, but was even slower by the death.


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