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Haight Ashbury; reviews live King Tut's, Glasgow January 14.

THERE was a real West Coast vibe in the sound of Haight Ashbury. Not just the obvious 60s influence of bands like The Mamas And Papas but the more Northern lo-fi boy/girl dynamics of late 80s/early 90s indie types such as Beat Happening and Bratmobile.

Opener Sophomore set the tone, with the trio cranking out a minimal, lo-fi pop racket. Twin vocalists Kirsty and Jennifer's harmonies impressed, with the pair mixing angelic tones and bratty attitude over a chiming guitar part from multi-instrumentalist Scott, who played almost everything he could get his hands on during the set.

New song And I... was built around a droning, Mary Chain-style psychedelic rumble, with blissful vocals dropping off to leave the guitarist clanging away on his own before bursting back in.

Some of the best moments came when the band's Country influences came to the fore. 3 Little Birds was delivered in minimal fashion, with just the thump from stand-up drummer Jennifer's sparse kit and a mournful banjo melody that recalled the desolate folk of William Elliot Whitmore, while Blow Your Mind layered a powerful Country vocal melody over irresistible folk-pop.

As much as the mellow stylings of the hippie era are an influence, there was a real punk rock thing going on as well in the girl group style of bands like The Raincoats and Huggy Bear.

Freeman Town and Moondogs were both dripping with attitude and acerbic lyrics, with fuzzed-up guitars and Velvet Underground style tubthumping adding a serious edge to the glorious melodies.

A well-deserved encore saw them pull out the best track, the brilliant Favourite Song, a mix of bubblegum pop and feedback-drenched noise that echoed The Vaselines at their best. Like every song that preceded it, it was something really special.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Jan 18, 2013
Previous Article:Chris Devotion; reviews live And The Expectations King Tuts, Glasgow, January 11.
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