Nightmoves @ Nice'n'Sleazy

WHAT happened at Barrowland on Monday was officially, by anyone's standards, a big deal.

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  • Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig
    Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig
  • Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig
  • Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig
  • Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig
  • Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig
  • Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig
  • Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig
  • Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig
  • Clubbers at Nice'n'Sleazy after the Neutral Milk Hotel gig

The American lo-fi kings Neutral Milk Hotel, led by reclusive singer-songwriter Jeff Magnum, stopped in at the venerable old dancehall on the Glasgow leg of their reunion tour.

Now, to say that this band are adored in indie circles is like saying royalists are quite into Princess Diana.

They are beloved.

Primarily it's because they're amazing, but they've been out of the spotlight since Magnum withdrew from public life in 1998, after the success of the band's second album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.

The love was in the room before the band even took to the stage; when they did, the positive vibes were overwhelming.

NMH are one of those rare bands that don't really sound like anyone else: they're fuzzy and loud, but they play acoustic guitars, trombones and accordions.

On stage, they look like a disparate gang of weirdos: Scott Spillane, with his huge white beard, resembled an multi-instrumentalist wizard, while bassist Julian Koster spun round on the spot for just about the whole gig.

Jeff Mangum looked like a hermit, his face obscured by his beard and cap, but his rich croon had the adoring crowd in raptures.

When something of this magnitude happens in Glasgow, there's really only one place to go and digest it all.

Afterwards, Sleazy's was rammed. Everyone was talking about Neutral Milk Hotel: the weird noises Spillane managed to extract from a saw, the communal joy at hearing songs like Oh Comely played live, the overall strength of the band's beard game.

There are few venues where that sense of community is so strong, but the Barras and Sleazy's are two of them.

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