The Arches, Glasgow, March 11
There was a time when an OFWGKTA alias guaranteed a certain amount of interest in what you did, regardless of whether the music merited it. Tonight, when the music actually does merit it, the interest is practically nil: 30 or so people who seem embarrassed by the thinness oftheir numbers, and spend much of support act Kilo Kish’s set staring at the floor. This is a shame: not only does the Brooklynite vocalist look amazing, but her songs, particularly
the sleazy jam of ‘Crosstown’, are great.
She gives it an admirable go, but you can’t blame her for ending her set 20 minutes earlier than advertised. That should set an ominous precedent for The Internet, but what might have been a disaster ends up being a lot of fun – “An exclusive rehearsal of some sort,” as Sydney Bennett, aka Syd Tha Kyd, bills it. What that entails is a lot of self-deprecation and a little on-the-spot improvisation, made possible by the fact that she and Matt Martians are performing with a full band behind them. On their 2011 debut ‘Purple Naked Ladies’, Bennett’s voice was buried beneath brittle, semi-ambient trip-hop noodlings, but tonight, it’s front and centre in all its lilting, jazz-flecked profanity, and the difference is quite shocking – ‘Cocaine’ doesn’t even sound like the same song. Similarly, other tracks like ‘She DGAF’ and ‘Gurl’ are blessed with a newfound directness and forcefulness that comes from live instrumentation; this may be a looser, less regimentedshow than they’re used to playing, but you can still tell the band are shit-hot.
Bennett – softly spoken, female, gay – may seem an unlikely candidate for Odd Future membership, but she and Martians are making some of the collective’s most interesting music. Soon, you hope, they’ll be playing shows where personally thanking every audience member for coming isa logistical impossibility.