The Glasgow-based artist delivers a sweaty set full of heart and warmth.
Martin Creed started the set for the launch of the album ‘Thoughts Line Up’ bang on 9.30pm. The glittering Moth Club was packed out – a perfect setting for the contemporary artists’ performance.
From the off the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. Creed, looking dapper in his bow-tied cravat, with his grey mane tied back, regaled the full room with curious anecdotes, “I had a party in my head. It was annoying because I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t leave because it was a party in my head. “
The audience were treated to background information on the origins of some of the songs. ‘Princess Taxi Girl’ was written for a friend at her wedding. Creed wasn’t sure what to write about, but he knew that she hates walking. ”She’s a friend, she’s a girl, she’s a woman, she’s a bride. But. She’s not a walker, she’s not a walker, she’s not a walker, she’s not a walker. She’s a princess and she’s a taxi girl.”
‘Left is the Direction of Love’ was preceded by a cry of “This one’s for Jeremy Corbyn!” which elicited an eruption of enthusiastic applause.
The other more political songs from the album, ‘Border Control’ and ‘Let Them In’ were performed back-to-back – one for the migrants and one for people who have had to deal with crossing borders. These songs added to the overwhelmingly genial and generous mood of the evening.
It emerged that ‘(You Put Your) Hand in my Hand’ is about Creed’s love for guitarist Anouchka Grose all muddled up with his adoration for his dog. “They’re all mixed up in my mind!” The speedy lyrics, up and down synth and harmonising vocals conveyed this confusion of limbs and people perfectly, “You put my head in the clouds. You put the clouds in my head!”
Creed’s band added to the maelstrom of ideas thoughts, ideas and emotion throughout the night. The seemingly simplistic was played to near studio level – this is made possible by the lo-fi nature of the recording, but does not take away from the skill of the instrumentalists and singers. The backing vocalist’s pure tones counterpointed Creed’s soft Glaswegian timbre beautifully.
As the set drew to a close Creed and his band were forced to play on, treating the crowd to a calypso number and a slow love ballad. Creed lost himself in this last number, arching back and rocking out with his round-backed Spanish guitar.
He thanked the audience profusely, applauding them and giving a double thumbs-up, “Whatever that symbol means”
As the audience dispersed from the steamy room, mutterings of “It’s like a sweaty teenage gig” could be heard. And indeed, the warmth and jostle did add to the nostalgic tropical vibe of the evening. Creed and his band delivered a heartfelt and emotionally magnanimous evening to an open-hearted crowd who were ready to embrace these sentiments.
‘Thoughts Lined Up’ is out now via Telephone Records.
This Martin Creed article was written by Fraisia Dunn , a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Stephen Butchard. Photo credit Daniel Barnard – danielbarnard.com