Mac DeMarco @ Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow, 26 Jun
Tonight we learn that if you approach a Mac DeMarco show with the same laconic, loose-limbed party vibe him and his band do, you're guaranteed a good time
Romeo Taylor is an absolute riot. It's not easy playing a show to a quarter-full bandstand with the baking sun right in your face, but Taylor is unrelentingly energetic and eager to get everyone involved. With his karate chops, growling-cum-shouty delivery and ice-pops, it's like Future Islands meets Peter Kay with a dollop of happy hardcore, all wrapped in a warm, gregarious Coatbridge accent. It's a tough (weird) act for Amyl & the Sniffers to follow, but the Aussie punks keep the energy high with some serious riffage and Amy Taylor's don't-give-a-fuck lyrics/attitude (though reiterating that fact every five minutes seems unnecessary).
Both acts seem perfectly appropriate to open for Mac DeMarco, despite having wildly different styles and sounds, in that they exude the 'anything goes' spontaneity that you now ironically expect to see at a Mac show. The band certainly deliver on that front, joking with each other and the audience throughout, chuffing away on cigs and finding time for a very well-received and seemingly never-ending rendition of Over and Done With by The Proclaimers (led by guitarist Andy White).
The actual planned music sounds great, too, but the carnival atmosphere of the performance makes that seem almost incidental. The big hits like Salad Days and Cooking Up Something Good are sung with enough gusto from the crowd that DeMarco is basically drowned out, while newer or less well-known songs mostly serve as background noise or breathers (apart from a solid showing for Nobody). DeMarco seems to recognise this, practically apologising for playing new stuff, and indulging in a ridiculously overextended jam session towards the end of the performance that lets the crowd have a chat and get more drinks (thankfully livened up by a stage invader looking for a hug).
There are still moments of magic in amidst the chaos, like a gentle, heartfelt rendition of My Old Man (only slightly undercut by DeMarco showing off his handstand skills during the intro) and a wild, rabble-rousing Freaking Out the Neighborhood. Your tolerance for DeMarco and co's goofy banter will ultimately decide how much this show is for you, but approach it with the same laconic, loose-limbed party vibe that they do, and you're guaranteed a good time.