(Sandy) Alex G @ St Luke's, Glasgow, 9 Feb
Alex G and co mix sincere emotion with improvised hijinks, eventually bringing it all crashing down at St Luke's
The effortless way in which (Sandy) Alex G and his band jump between 'old Mac DeMarco' levels of improvised fuckery, moments of beautiful sincerity and a predeliction for grandiose shredding is what keeps things interesting at a packed St Luke's tonight.
After frontloading the set with a selection of his most well-known songs (Gretel, Southern Sky, Hope and Bobby are the opening four), the performance occasionally drifts into hazy noodling or fairly rote (but perfectly nice) new material. Brick provides a welcome adrenaline boost – it's introduced as a "well known song by a Scottish band" – with its egregiously intense industrial stylings, starting a legitimate mosh pit where there was once just swooning.
House of Sugar ends the main set on a high before the encore displays all facets of the Alex G experience. He takes several requests from the audience, never shying away from the suggestions (even the one he claims: “I suck at this one”). He plays Be Kind alone with just an acoustic guitar, making for one of the sweetest moments of the night and showing the depth of his catalogue. Guilty allows him to get loose with some jazzy piano and his “woo!” echo effect, two things he takes great pleasure in throughout the night.
Snot is the final song of the night and leads to a raucous breakdown. The whole band give it their all, so much so that Alex actually takes a tumble through the drum kit (possibly a bit pissed), knocking over the floor tom and landing in drummer Tom Kelly's lap. That doesn't stop either of them, however, as Kelly manages to continue unabated, just narrowly avoiding smashing Alex's face while he struggles back to his feet (never once halting his guitarwork, though). It's a hilarious end to the gig, emphasising both the showmanship and freewheeling sense of fun you're likely to encounter at an (Sandy) Alex G show.