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PHOSPHORESCENT – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, April 21 2008

Posted: April 23rd, 2008, by Alex McChesney

“Pride”, Phosphorescent’s most recent recorded work, isn’t buried under thick swathes of overproduction, but there is a certain? wooziness to it.? The mournful country-tinged songs are complimented rather than smothered by this, but in the cramped and sweaty confines of the Captain’s Rest, overlooked by the slightly sinister waxwork of the eponymous Captain himself, the atmosphere is very different.? The crowd are sympathetic enough, but I’m sure any musician would like to keep a little more distance between themselves and a Glasgow audience given the chance, no matter how confident they may be feeling about their abilities or the goodwill present.?? Stripped of any backing save that which he builds himself with a loop pedal, the quality of Matthew Houk’s songs and the fragile ache of his voice are laid bare, and prove themselves, thankfully, up to the task.? Much of “Pride” is just as effective in this simpler format, his guitar and vocals loops providing texture when necessary.? Words tumble and fall over one another, lines accomodating far too many syllables than they rightfully should be able to, TARDIS-like, suggesting an off-the-cuff ramble that’s also effortlessly poetic.? He even manages to find some beauty in mawkish Dire Straits number “Close To Me”.

I used to live just along the road from the Captain’s Rest.? I never went inside until tonight.? It appeared to be your typical Glasgow “old man’s” pub, and I must admit that the nautical theme didn’t exactly appeal.? I was surprised when I heard that Phosphorescent were playing there, but this appears not to be a random aberration but the first of many forthcoming shows at the ‘Rest.? Certainly Phosphorescent were a welcome and appropriate debut act for this tiniest of venues that could actually become a favourite if the quality of booking remains as high.

Alex McChesney

Alex was brought up by a family of stupid looking monkeys after being lost in the deep jungles of Paisley. Teaching him all their secret conga skills (as well as how to throw barrels at plumbers), Alex was able to leave for the bright lights of Glasgow where adventure struck him and he needed all his conga skills to save the world and earn the hand of a lovely Texan princess. He now keeps a low profile alphabeticising his record collection and making sock monkeys in the likenesses of his long lost family.


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