It’s easy to take things for granted, or at least, fall back on your personal perceptions.
You just assume Prime Ministers are exploitative ghouls in it for personal gain rather than for the good of the country, you assume VAR in Scotland is going to be as abysmal as the people managing it, and you sometimes overlook the great bands on your doorstep while falling for lesser bands from afar who have much greater press.
It’s not as if Poster Paints are a secret, anyone whose paid a passing glance to Scottish indie music in the past decade will sense there’s talent here. Anyone who has remained up to date with what has been great in the past two years will instantly recognise every person in the live band has a CV as long as Mr Tickle’s arms, but three times as strong!
And even with all that, and the groups’ debut record being met with praise from all quarters, the quality of the night might have taken people aback. That shouldn’t be the case, but again, the band is still on a handful of gigs together and on this evidence, they’ve upped their game since the start of summer.
With the album out, you know many in attendance already had their favourite track. As introductions unfurled, pockets of cheers spiked around the room, no doubt fuelled by relief of the song you want to hear being played, and the general merriment of a Saturday evening.
It’s not as though there was a bad song, or anything which didn’t go down well. Songs like ‘Falling Hard’ and ‘Never Saw It Coming’ sat poppily alongside ‘Into Your Arms’, the Love Position track made famous by The Lemonheads. That’s still a baller of a tune, and the compliment to give from the evening was that it didn’t stand out amongst the original material.
As you’d expect from this sort of evening, there were shout-outs, praise for the multiple helping hands, creating a celebratory feel, marking a significant occasion. Of course, the friendly chat also gives slight pause for breath before launching head first into another number.
The final song of the night, ‘My Song’, could have spun and spiralled on for much longer, and not just to keep the set going. The track had a groove that was locked on, Calum Muir pushing the track on and on. Yes, all things must come to an end, but on this occasion, it was less ‘one more tune’, more ‘keep playing this tune’.
At times, an album launch night is the end of a cycle as opposed to the beginning of something good. Bands pour so much time, effort, money and love into making an album that the release itself can be a goal, or at least a point where people need a break. And in the modern world, you don’t always get the chance to come back after a break, because the world, and attention spans, move on.
The good news is that Poster Paints have a reason to drive on in 2023, with a slot at SXSW on offer. However, the invite is one thing, affording the trip is another, but we can only hope that the promise of such an expedition keeps Poster Paints around for a little longer.
If they don’t or cannot, fair enough, and as each individual member of the band splinters off, there will be no shortage of good music from everyone, but when you have the sum of its parts adding up to this, you can’t blame people for wanting more.
Support on the night was from Glasgow’s ‘sad songs in harmony’ experts, the very excellent Flinch.
Photo credits: Andy Reilly