Live review: Matt Pryor, Allison Weiss, Benny Monteux at Stereo, 18/2/14

February-18,-2014---NCJ_8734-3Tuesday night in Glasgow – or party night as the main support act refers to it onstage – and Stereo is host to an acoustic extravaganza, with all three acts choosing to perform without a band to support them.

They might not have had a backing band, but what they do have is a mega fan on stage, by that I mean a large electric fan on stage that would keep them cool for the duration of their performances.

First up tonight is Benny Mouteux, who is the local support act of the night.

Surprising I suppose, is the fact that when he opens his mouth, out comes a braw Edinburgh accent instead of a smooth, French one, which his name had made me anticipate.

Although not thrown by this, the performance is bare, as most acoustic sets are, showing just a taster of what he has to offer.

It’s no doubt that he has been influenced by singers like headliner Matt Pryor, as his songs are a nice blend of folk and rock, resembling a more American sound than Scottish, or French, for that matter.

Allison Weiss, only touring for the second time in the UK, is a hit.

She has a certain charm about her that brings in a small majority audience, even if she does have to encourage them nearer to her.

She describes her songs as being about “feelings,” so ensured that the audience should “prepare to feel”.

Although playing a selection of songs about unrequited love and feelings of hopelessness, Weiss manages to keep her charm about her, even prompting an acoustic guitar solo where she writhes onto the floor.

The songs’ contents might be sad, but she is able to deliver them in such a way that is full of emotion, at some points belting out her songs with a vehemence that is sort of breathtaking.

At other times, she can pick softly at her guitar and have the song speak for itself, while accompanying it with some soft vocals.

She also plays a new song, titled ‘The Fall,’ which is to be on her upcoming EP, which is not as of yet finished, but looks to be released at the end of spring.

February-18,-2014---NCJ_8911

The headliner of the night then comes on, and the atmosphere feels a little awkward.

There are no more than 100 people in the room, not enough to fully upstart the Tuesday night party.

Several times throughout the performance, Pryor asks those in front of him if they are having a good time, as if hoping to calm an anxiety at the turn out.

But those in attendance do see something very special.

The best-received songs, of course, are The Get Up Kids songs that ignite nostalgia in whoever had turned up.

That’s not to say that his solo material was not well received.

He plays a song, ‘Kinda Go To Pieces’, from his most recent album, Wrist Slitter.

The concept of the record actually came from not wanting to write another “wrist slitter album”, but instead is about calling yourself out on your unhappiness and telling yourself that it isn’t that bad.

The night all in all, is strange, not comfortable enough to be a totally enjoyable intimate, acoustic band night.

Pryor does a great job despite the turn out, saying at the end of the night that he apologises for fucking with the crowd to much, but then retorting that it was just too damn easy.

He follows it up with “you know I love you, right?” He must have done, because the encore consists of ‘I’m a Loner Dottie, A Rebel’ and then a beautiful rendition of ‘I’ll Catch You’.

There is no doubt that this man is a legend in the emo music scene and who ever missed him tonight, missed out big time.

More photos

Words: Alisa Wylie
Photos: Neil Jarvie

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