It’s Easter(ish) and thus time for the titans of Tragedy to once again descend upon Glasgow City. As ever, they have a local support on each date and up here we had Frank Zappa tribute specialists Pygmy Twylyte.
Now I can name Frank Zappa’s kids (great pub quiz answers), but songs or albums? Not one. Pygmy Twylyte’s seven members crammed onto the Audio stage aimed to change that. Yes, seven: vocals, bass, guitar, keyboard, drums, and two saxophones. Staggeringly, despite this huge mélange of tones, the sound in the venue was good enough that everything came together and I could even hear the bass lines.
The band played a varied set for their forty minutes or so. Opening with “Dirty Love” they gradually found their feet in front of about 40-50 people. By the time they finished “Penguins in Bondage”, they were much more relaxed and managing to move around on stage a lot more (well, the vocalist, guitarist and bassist – everyone else was pretty much pinned down by music stands and the like).
Throughout the set, Pygymy Twylyte’s vocalist used a variety of instruments to complement the songs: tambourine, woodblock, kazoo, a… clacky wooden bell thing with a ball on it. I’m sure it’s got a proper name [Vibraslap – James]. More props appeared during “Montana” – an pygmy horse and genuine zircon encrusted tweezers. Which probably makes sense to someone who lives in the same mental landscape as Zappa.
By the time they finished, the band were playing to well over 100 people and the vast majority were engaged in their shenanigans, singing when pointed do by a madman with a bathroom plunger (I’ve seen stranger things on a Sunday night but not much). So I now know a little more about Frank Zappa: a bit of blues, a bit of prog… and a whole lot of mental.
Katie adds the following about the opening bands in London: Support on the London date of the tour were London duo The ABBA Stripes (ABBA meets the White Stripes) and Bournemouth-based Tenacious G (a tribute to Tenacious D…pun very much intended), both of whom I thoroughly enjoyed and provided a very fitting warm-up for the main event.
The mighty Tragedy hit the stage at 8:30 sharp, launching into a rather heavy version of the 20th Century Fox theme, fitting their latest album which is full of movie-inspired metal covers (we reviewed it recently). With no messing about, they leapt straight into the theme from Fame and the capacity crowd were already behind them. Signature song “Tragedy” with its four-part lead vocals followed and received a massive cheer at the end.
Goes To The Movies featured quite heavily in tonight’s set with “Summer Nights” (a definite highlight for the band and fans), “9 To 5”, “Skyfall” and “Aquarius” also being shoehorned in around older numbers. Band lackey Lance was active all evening, making a nuisance of himself, though added a little theatre to “Summer Nights” with a pair of blow up dolls – one male, one female – acting out the lyrics. It was… different. But still – f*ck off, Lance.
By the time Tragedy had thundered through “Reigning Men” (sic, as per set list), I was utterly sold. I enjoyed them last year, as I always do, but this year’s show was even better. I think there was more music and less of the between-song antics, or at least that the non-song parts were new. A lot of the schtick last year was material I’d seen before.
For the final number, “Hot Stuff”, the lovely ladies in the audience were invited / dragged on stage for a boogie. I’m impressed that Audio’s stage can hold around 25 people fairly comfortably and still let them dance! Props to former Moshville Times scribe Meline, and current reviewer Aidan’s mum who both risked getting blinded by Tragedy’s sparkly outfits (or eaten by The Lord Gibbeth).
Also a shout out to the guy working the door who rushed in mid-set as he thought an audience member was in trouble, as the band acted out that she’d fainted due to their incredible sexiness. Better safe than sorry!
Goes To The Movies is one of Tragedy’s best albums, and this show was the best I’ve seen them for a couple of years. And given the strength of the back catalogue and their previous performances, this is very much high praise.
Glasgow City… decimated!
Photos (London show) by Katie Frost Photography
Pygymy Twylyte: facebook