Tune-Yards / Muscles of Joy @ Òran Mór, 11 July
Muscles of Joy’s art-folk melange isn’t one for dipping into half-heartedly: for best results, immersion is recommended. This puts them at a disadvantage tonight, with their theatrical grooves only gradually accruing the attention they deserve; once hooked, however, their appeal is gravitationally strong.
Likewise the headliner: the inimitable, the captivating, the slightly dotty but ever-charismatic Merrill Garbus, aka Tune-Yards. Her last Glasgow show was pretty much perfect; tonight marginally less so by comparison, but a nano step below flawless is fine by us. Fans of second album w h o k i l l are spoiled rotten, with all but one of its tracks trotted out for Òran Mór’s delectation tonight: Gangsta is particularly electrifying, in part thanks to the two-man sax section, who flesh out key numbers throughout the set, but mostly down to their ringleader’s dextrously wild vocals.
Further props are levied at Killa’s playful sorta-rap and the righteous My Country, while Real Live Flesh is a timely reminder of debut Bird-Brains’ more dialled-down attractions. There’s no new material to report – a shame, since a taste of the in-progress third album would have introduced a welcome note of the unexpected – but hollering along to Bizness fully suffices in the meantime.