Spinning Coin hail from from Glasgow, and are currently on a UK tour to promote the release of debut album Permo. This gig was the third night of the tour, where they brought their eclectic mix of jangly guitar and vocal harmony laden anthems to relatively new Southampton venue Heartbreakers.
That word ‘eclectic’ seems to sum this band up, both in image and sound. To look at, they all could be playing in different bands; ‘bookended’ by the two most interesting-looking members: the keyboard player on one side, noticeable just as much for her Russian hat and dancing as for her keyboard playing, and the bass player on the other looking dapper with smart shirt and trousers, this wide variety of styles seems to sum up their diverse musical output too.
One of the most interesting things about the band is how the two main songwriters both share vocal vocal duties, and they both have disparate vocal styles: one more subtle, sweet and melodic, gifting the music a beauty against an oft jagged edge; the other more guttural and raw, which accords them a more energetic, ‘punky’ and immediate sound.
On one song, my favourite I have to admit, the smartly dressed bass player stepped forward and took over on lead vocal duties; he says sweetly into the mic: “What a lovely time it’s been”, just before they launch into an almost full-on punk song, evoking comparisons to The Ramones et al. This further exemplifies the divergent sound that this band offers.
The band are all obviously accomplished musicians which helps give them a tight cohesion to their sound, despite the varied musical jamboree; the drums are sparse and soft when needed and punchy and accented by busy fills when necessary too; the bass playing is always tight and driving; there’s some tasteful lead guitar too – make no mistake: these guys know how to play.
My only real criticism, and the reason I’ve failed to mention any song names in this review, is because there was little, if any, audience interaction and introduction to songs, or even song titles. And that, to me, is a real shame, because I think it helps the audience to connect to a band and this could have really helped make this gig something more memorable.
But having said that, there is a lot of interesting things going on in this band, and a lot to like; if they had worked the ‘crowd’ (well, small but attentive group of music lovers) I’m sure they would have converted some more to their flock.
Their album Permo is released on 10 November; there is an official album launch gig at Mono in Glasgow on 17 November. Definitely catch them live if you can: a diverse mix of subtle beauty and noisy distortion punctuated by sublime harmonies awaits you!
Review: Mike Vaughan / Photos: Ant Penny