Every revolutionary gig, every moment of music that goes down as social history, probably happened in the basement or back room of a pub somewhere: some unassuming black-painted function suite with a PA in the corner has hosted most of the great ‘were you there moments’ of the rock back pages.
That the second night of an ongoing monthly residency featuring some (or maybe all, given how many people are on stage at points) of Glasgow’s amazing jazz community is packing out a capacity Rum Shack on a mid-month Thursday is a testament to just how exciting these gigs are.
Two hour-long sets with a focus on getting people dancing, with the first hour a fairly straight run down of some solid tunes with influences from 90s acid jazz and echo dek reggae, get Govanhill moving, no doubt helped by the plentiful samples of free rum.
The key lies in doubling the sax and vocals, dropping out the musicians to allow for Gregory Coleman-worthy drum breaks, and showing off the skills of a tight bunch of musicians who clearly enjoy each other’s playing.
The second set is where it all gets a bit wild, MCs TK and Ace piling on to the stage with an improvised freakout and rolling line up that swaps drummers, pulls members of Astrosnax out of the crowd seemingly at random, and turns the whole venue into a writhing, pounding mass of dancers packing the room and hollering to every sax line and scat break.
They close with a UK Garage medley of ‘Flowers’ by Sweet Female Attitude and the classic ‘Gotta Get Thru This’, which inspires a mass singalong from a crowd that couldn’t have been long out of primary school when Daniel Bedingfield was last in the charts.
The tendrils of a really exciting scene are creeping out of this night, the ever-overlapping group of musicians talking about the Rum Shack as a ‘second home’ and selling these nights out far enough in advance for the organisers to be warning people not to DM them if they miss out. This has the makings of one of those back rooms of a bar that we’ll be talking about in years to come.
The next Glitch 41 is Thursday 12th May at The Rum Shack
All photo credits: Andy Laing