The Red Paintings – Broadcast, Glasgow – 21/06/17

Beyond the fancy costumes and left-wing, passive-aggressive vegan rants lies a finely tuned band who take on parody but let loose with ease to provide a roomful of gig-goers with an experience to remember.

I hadn’t heard much of Australia’s orchestral sci-fi rock outfit The Red Paintings before Wednesday evening’s set in Glasgow, but since then I’ve updated my go-to Spotify playlist with more than a handful from their back catalogue.

Originally formed in 1999, the band has been through numerous lineup changes, mostly down to the impulsive nature of the band itself. Having session musicians stand in on drums, bass and any other position required to allow them to tour around the likes of Europe seems to be the norm – and it works!

Their set was filled with surprises and a continual change of pace throughout made it all the more enjoyable. Frontman Trash McSweeney stopping halfway through the first song to get more volume through his vocal monitor should’ve been a sign that this gig was going to be as unpredictable as a ScotRail timetable. However, from there on they ploughed through a ten-track list, taking short breaks to interact with the small band of folk who ventured out on a fairly warm and miserable Wednesday night to see them.

It was clear that the arduous tour had taken its toll on the band, Trash in particular, as he continually had to check the single setlist that was stuck to the floor behind a drummer who was perched in the broom cupboard towards the rear of the Broadcast stage. If you’ve ever been in the venue, you’ll know what I mean. I digress.

With a varied setlist that seemed to take a bunch of songs from their most recent releases it never felt stale. The band were, for the majority of the set, bursting around the small stage wreaking havoc on those brave enough to stand up front. A pretty sweet rendition of their ‘Mad World’ cover helped lift the crowd and paved the way for a couple of singles ‘Wasps’ and the eight minute epic ‘The Revolution Is Never Coming’.

The Red Paintings made a show out of almost nothing on Wednesday and I highly commend the effort they put in to get through it. I for one will be shouting about them for a while and I hope that you can get the chance to see them upon their return. See you there.

Photos: Alan K. Gray at akgphotos

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