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The Pastels, Barbara Morgenstern, Mapstation, Buck 65, Fourtet, Future Pilot AKA, Manitoba, Murcof, Leaf, Eyoe & Teenage Fanclub/BMX Bandits, Lament @ Tron Theatre, Glasgow, 27th April

by anna battista

Gigs can be a big disappointment: you pay lots of money and you might end up having to go through agonising supporting acts before getting to the real reason why you went to the gig, the headliners, who might as well disappoint you. Fortunately, this is not the case with tonight's gig, part of the Tritptych Festival 2003.

Glasgow's Tron Theatre has been divided for the occasion into three main parts: in the foyer Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake and BMX Bandits' Duglas T. Stewart are DJing; in the bar there is a crazy atmosphere, with a line up that includes Tony Morley, Murcof, Buck 65, Manitoba and Four Tet; in the main room The Pastels are the first band to play (and the last one as well - they have to play two sets since there are too many people tonight).

Tonight The Pastels play most of the soundtrack for David Mackenzie's film The Last Great Wilderness, but their enlarged band (9 elements) includes also Barbara Morgestern and Mapstation, both adding electronic layers of sound to The Pastels' melodies for a surprising and unique set. They conclude the set with the ethereal "Hallelujah" a cover by Japanese band Star.

Future Pilot AKA arrive shortly after on the stage, playing a mix of Indian rhythms and pop, with Vinita singing in Punjabi on "First Moon". Highlight of their set is the Pilot dragging Duglas BMX Bandit on the stage and improvising while Duglas sings BMX Bandits' hit "Serious Drugs". The Pilot and his band are real fun and Vinita adds an aura of holiness to the whole set when she sings a prayer without any instruments accompanying her.

A short film, Lament by Graham Eatough featuring music by Japanese maverick Maher Shalal Hash Baz provides a good interval between bands and after it Mapstation AKA Stefan Schneider (of To Rococo Rot fame) hypnotises the audience with his experimental techno beats. A video is projected in the background while Stefan is playing, one image quickly following another, and people in the audience are truly tripping the lights fantastic while he's on. Meanwhile in the other room, Manitoba are driving the audience crazy: nobody is standing still, everybody is dancing even in the remotest corners of the cramped bar. Back in the main room, very aptly, Barbara Morgenstern follows Mapstation and after solving a couple of problems with her Apple laptop, she launches in a relentless electronic set. The Tron is filled by an incredible energy tonight: as soon as one artist finishes playing you rush to another room to see what's happening there, passing through the foyer where you are swept by more music courtesy of Domino DJs. It's a brilliant and endless mini-festival with only one flaw: it left us asking for more.

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