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International Teachers of Pop – Glasgow Broadcast 16th of February

For most teachers in Glasgow, Saturday is one of the most important nights of the week (battling with Friday for that title) and the last evening of fun and merriment before the dread of Sunday brings them back down to earth. Therefore, Saturday is usually a night off but for the International Teachers of Pop, Saturday was a night on.

It was naff at times but it never felt out of place. Disco isn’t a place for coolness or the best chat, it’s a remedy for the too cool for school brigade and a chance to let your hair down. You only have to look at the crowd reaction to see the set struck a chord. In a room full of people who were old enough to know better, there was a full take up on the dancefloor, which is how it should be on a Saturday evening.

A lot of people complain about Broadcast, citing poor sight lines as a reason to dismiss the venue. As a shorter gig-goer, I’ve never expected to have an unencumbered view of the stage, so as long as the sound is of a good standard and the performance is great, there’s nothing to worry about. This is usually the case in Broadcast and was certainly the case with ITOP.

With some bands, a high profile cover sees the gig take off but not here. That’s not to say the cover of Another Brick In The Wall fell flat, far from it, but it didn’t scale any greater heights than the band’s original songs. That is not a bad accomplishment when you consider the album had only been out for a week. Then again, the original songs tap into various sounds of previous genres, immediately taking you back to your glory days or to a random selection of BBC4 Top of the Pop re-runs.

Understandably, the singles received the warmest welcome with Age of The Train feeling like a throwback, even though it was only released last summer! It has been a long few months since then, and that’s why good pop music that lets you shut elements of your life out, even for a few hours, will always be important.

You get the feeling that those who are buying into the band are going all in, there’s momentum surrounding them, as you’d expect with the release of a solid album and tour…and there’s a bubble around their social media presence which is creating its own buzz and excitement. Whether the ITOP is a band with longevity remains to be seen, but it’s working very well right now. The music may be familiar but the sounds and mood are very much now and necessary for the present day.

There is an old saying that runs, “Those who can, do, those who can’t, teach” but if the education process is this fun and pleasant, they should continue to do so for as long as possible.

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