Butcher Boy - Berkeley Suite, Glasgow, Fri 10 Feb, part of the Glasgow Short Film Festival
Profound and nostalgic home movie soundtrack session
The intimate basement bar that constitutes the Berkeley Suite, with its original 60s dancehall décor and faded ‘groovy’ vibes, mirrors the classy, nostalgic theme offered by this evening of film and music. Local eight-piece Butcher Boy frame a screen which shows home movies taken by bassist Robert Spark’s father, Alexander Ogilvie, during the 60s and 70s. The evening skates on just the right side of twee, any overt sentimentality forgiven by the fact that the instrumental versions of songs from their back catalogue bring the pictures to life in an entirely relatable way. One moment evocative strings accompany faded family Christmases, before abruptly giving way to a thrumming bongo announcing a sailing holiday – the air of reminiscence unashamedly revelling in the hazy, selective way we often remember childhood.
The band don’t shy from nostalgia, but if you remove the washed-out videos and add vocals, Butcher Boy (whose profile took a boost when their 2009 album React Or Die was voted one of The Times’ top 100 albums of the 2000s) become a group whose fondness for days gone by gives their present day work a sense of universality. John Blain Hunt has a fantastic turn of phrase and the ability to capture life as everyone knows it in a timeless manner, with profound indie-pop that’s hard to forget.