Glasgow 13th Note

Not for [a]Wheat[/a] the wanton thrill of audience interaction.

Not for [a]Wheat[/a] the wanton thrill of audience interaction. Or even eye-contact. They care little for the mechanics of performance – the tiny details that separate Us from Them.

Instead, the US alt-pop shamblers whisper among themselves – more a casual clutch of gas-pump attendants than a, ahem, ‘rock band’. All of which could be construed as a tad pretentious – particularly as

their oeuvre frequently flirts with post-rock’s cerebral muse. But nothing, in fact, could be further from the truth.

[a]Wheat[/a]’s shuffling reticence allows their music to be heard in its natural habitat – stripped to its gossamer underwear and allowed to roam its own sweetly peculiar terrain. Interestingly, despite the drifting, [a]Yo La Tengo[/a]-ish drone that underpins the bulk of tonight’s set, songs such as ‘Don’t I Hold You’ and ‘Slow Fade’ are revealed as spiritual successors to such AOR-dealers as Steely Dan and even, at times, the Blue Nile.

It’s all quietly, coyly beautiful, with the burnished, REM-ish romance of opener ‘Off The Pedestal’ proving a surprisingly FM-friendly highlight. Wheat may not win prizes for their communication skills. But their music – understated yet perfectly realised – speaks volumes.