Review: The Great Western Festival 2021

13th November, Various Venues, Glasgow

The Great Western Festival took over a slate of venues in Glasgow’s West End with a diverse and exciting bill.

Yard Act opened a capacity Hug & Pint with a sleazy glam-rock stomp and a set that rattled from Talking Heads to the spiky dissonance of an early Rapture. They introduce ‘Peanuts’ as ‘Elton John’s favourite song’, and change the words to include audience members’ names. They close with a big solo, a magic trick and the chunky drums of late-period Fall.

Terra Kin is a more intimate prospect. Hushed, brushy vocals and nylon string guitar using the acoustics of the Mackintosh Church with a layered loop pedal giving them a choral, sepulchral feel.

The twin drummers of corto.alto shake the floor of the GUU, eight players rattling through some dance infused tunes directed by trombonist Liam Shortall. The crowd urging on some blistering solos and virtuosic piano smashing, the biggest cheers of the night are for spectacularly-shirted drummer Peru Eizagirre and multi-octave skronk from Harry Weir on the tenor sax.

Peru and guitarist James Mackenzie are both part of the Noushy 4Tet – trombonist and vocalist Anoushka Nanguy bringing a spiritual take on a few standards. It is on her own material that they shine – the spacey ‘Party In Warsaw’ descending into free atonal madness, the excellently named ‘Monster Truck Tuck Shop’ turning Mackenzie into a hair metal soloist and ‘Seven Pennies’ getting the crowd up off their seats. 

As Arab Strap are packing out the Maryhill Community Halls, up at the Glue Factory is Murkage Dave, a redemptive and vulnerable set with moments of 2000’s UK Garage, bass-heavy bounce and lighters-in-the air ‘sexy r&b’. The crowd singing in unison to ‘Murkage Dave Changed My Life’ a reminder of the communal, transgressive power of live music.


Follow us on Twitter for more interviews, reviews, competitions, and news.


Read the November 2021 issue of SNACK magazine on your tablet, mobile, or pc.

You May Also Like

Interview: Shingai – Too Bold

Zimbabwean-British singer/bassist Shingai Shoniwa is best known as the vibrant frontwoman of genre-defying band ...

Interview: Slow Weather – Clean Living

SNACK met up with Annie Booth and Chris McCrory of Slow Weather to discuss ...

She Drew the Gun

Album Review: She Drew the Gun – Behave Myself

Louisa Roach, the brainchild behind She Drew The Gun, is an outspoken presence, in ...

Get SNACK magazine in your inbox. Free

Keep up to date with all the gigs, events, interviews, and news coming out of lockdown.