Search This Blog

Friday, 31 January 2014

Filthy Boy - Broadcast - 28/01/14 (Glasgow)

I sometimes suspect that I may be one of the last of a dying breed.
Someone who has an addiction that is out of step with the modern world.

I - like others of my age - am a music addict.

I still finger my way through vinyl in the record stores that are hanging on by the skin of their teeth, crouch to the floor in charity shops and rake through boxes to the sound of my knees popping, and with a nod to the ever changing technological world I also download and scour places like ebay and discogs to feed the little man inside me who screams incessantly for more music.

Unlike others of my kin I don’t just indulge in nostalgia trips from the privacy of my own home though.

I also feel the need to feed the beast with regular trips to pokey little venues and large concert halls to plug myself into the real deal that is live music.

When I do that it’s like mainlining the good shit.

It’s not without its risks though.
Often I have no way of knowing what the quality will be like.

If a week or two goes by and I haven’t seen a live band or artist performing I get a bit jittery, and it is then that I start looking at listing sites and snatching at names that I then youtube, or try and find on facebook, so that I can get a hint of what they are doing and gauge whether they will tide me over until the next forward planned gig outing.

Often I will find something that seems interesting, but it isn’t until the first chord is struck that I will know if I’ve hit the motherload or not.

It is only then that I will be able to tell if I will get the rush, or just a weak facsimile of it.   

It was during a recent bout of this withdrawal that I stumbled across Filthy Boy, a south London band who were to play in Broadcast in Glasgow.
With a few promotional videos digested I was open to braving the weather the next night to see if I could transform a dark and wet Tuesday night into something that would deliver a warm glow of satisfaction.

Prior to the headliners of the evening there were two support acts who could be time killers or pleasant surprises depending on what they were going to do.

The first band to play went under the name of Blanco, and were drafted in last minute and surprisingly managed to bring a solid enough support with them.

They are a young band going through the transitional period of leaving behind the crawling stage and beginning to take solid steps towards securing their own identity, or in other words moving away from being just another band indistinguishable from so many others and growing into their own sound.  
The material that they introduced as being new and will feature on a forthcoming ep is quite literally streets ahead of the older indie rock styled songs that were also in their set.
Each of them are looking to take the mod/beat freak sound into the present, and unlike acts like the Strypes or Jake Bugg they aren’t making an attempt to emulate a sound, but to instead use the past as an influence rather than a template.
Once the ep is out it’s going to be interesting to see what they will build from that foundation.
If the night was to have ended as they finished their set then I wouldn’t have been disappointed as they had delivered enough to feed the beast.

Next was L'éléphant.

My finger has obviously slipped off the pulse over the winter months as this band already have a bit of a buzz about them, and a well-deserved one to, and yet until this night I knew absolutely nothing about them.
I will be rectifying that though.
Rooted in a certain sound that can only come from Glasgow they appear to have been nurtured on everything from Belle and Sebastian to Sons and Daughters with all points in between being given some worthy attention to.
Think of them as a band that have dipped into the melting pot of the last twenty years and managed to meld everything that had a quality stamp on it together to create something that they could call their own.   
I wouldn’t be surprised if they begin to garner some column inches in the mainstream music press sooner rather than later.
In fact I will be more surprised if they don’t.

No matter how good Blanco and L'éléphant were it was Filthy Boy who were more my poison.

There’s an aggressive nature to them, the gang mentality of swaggering confidence that comes from knowing you are good.
Straight off the bat it’s hard not to jump to realizing how Libertines sounding they are like live, but there is one glaring difference and that is that they are better.
Much better.
Better musicians, better songwriters and a painting from a much larger palette of influences.

There’s some darker Leonard Cohen/Nick Cave brushstrokes that help shade out what they are doing and then running alongside that there is what sounds like a manc influence a la The Smiths/Courteeners that helps take everything in directions that left foots the listener, and then if that wasn’t enough there’s also a welcomed layering of Morricone sounding guitar work that adds yet another dimension to the material.
Filthy Boy are really dealing in the unexpected and just as you think that you may have settled on one thing they are off and running in another direction with the final destination always being an attractive one.
I went to the gig with the expectation that I would get a quick fix and ended up with a 12” album and couple of 7” singles that will allow me to revisit the night whenever I want.

This was my first random hit and run gig of the year and it delivered far more than I expected.

I may be the last of a dying breed, but with gigs like this tucked away I’m going to die with a smile on my face.


  1. Can't agree with you more, mate. The Broadcast gig was the second time I've seen Filthy Boy. I picked up the album before last year's Stag & Dagger and haven't stopped listening to it since. Lyrically more than dark...actually sleazy...and musically textured and never failing to be interesting. Really looking forward to what they do next.

  2. A fantastic debut, and I've been paying it daily since the gig.
    Every time I put it on it's revealing a little more.
    Great package as well. Gatefold sleeve, red vinyl and poster for a tenner.