As the prospect of leaving London becomes ever more of a reality, one of the things I’ll likely miss most is living but a three minute walk from the superb The Luminaire. The Luminaire is a small (250-capacity) venue run by people with an obvious love for music and right-on ideas about what makes for a quality gig-going experience (make sure the performers are as comfortable & happy as possible, provide an ace PA & soundman, and warn those inconsiderate pricks who insist on nattering all through a band’s performance that they should shut the fuck up or go continue their inane conversation somewhere else). I’ve enjoyed so many great shows in the 28 months of Lumi‘s life thus far: Scout Niblett, Alasdair Roberts, Future Of The Left, Epic45, Jason Molina, TODD, Part Chimp, Piano Magic, Malcolm Middleton, ISAN, Bracken, Infants, John Et Jehn… It has deservedly won both TimeOut London‘s “Venue Of The Year” and MusicWeek‘s “UK Live Venue Of The Year”. On Thursday 28 June Sons And Daughters chose The Luminaire as the setting for a low-key gig to debut some of their just-recorded new songs.

The NarcoAgent finds the female Scots accent rather beguiling, and was first taken with Adele Bethel’s voice on hearing Arab Strap‘s post-coital tale “Afterwards”. On tour with Arab Strap in 2001, Adele co-opted Arab Strap live band drummer David Gow and friend Ailidh Lennon (who is incidentally the cover star of Arab Strap’s “Mad For Sadness” live album) to form Sons And Daughters, later adding guitarist/vocalist Scott Paterson (who had been solo gigging around Glasgow under the name March Of Dimes). The Sons And Daughters sound mixes up Scottish folk, American country, torch songs and rockabilly, all shot through with the energy & ferocity of punk – a sinister night-time meeting between Telstar Ponies and The Cramps in a dark, rain-sodden Glasgow back-alley.

The band open with “Dance Me In”, Adele urging the crowd to dance “because it’s Thursday night”. On stage she is a whirling dervish, with the bequiffed & sparkly-shirted Paterson looking very much like a young Johnny Cash, his deceptively deep voice and the intensity of his performance only adding to the likeness. “The Nest” is the first new song to be unveiled, and it is followed by two more which will appear on the forthcoming album (for the moment codenamed “WAGs In Space”) – the second of which Adele introduces as their “anti-Ted Hughes song”. Next up is “The War On Love Song”, the result of the collaboration between Sons And Daughters and author A. L. Kennedy as part of Chemikal Underground’s “Ballads Of The Book” project (which marries contemporary Scottish writers & poets with contemporary Scottish musicians).
More new songs are interspersed with older material from “The Repulsion Box“, such as “Taste The Last Girl” and “Red Receiver”, as well as first single “Johnny Cash”. Of the songs I’m familiar with, “Hunt” is the highlight – opening with a squall of noise, it has an infectious stomping beat and features some superb guitar-playing from Paterson. The new material all goes down a treat and certainly has me slavishly anticipating the new album.

Here is a live acoustic version of “Dance Me In”, taken from the band’s “Sessions@AOL” EP. The entire EP is available as an exclusive from iTunes.

Sons And Daughters – Dance Me In (live acoustic)

Check out some photos of the show on Flickr here (courtesy of Sparkle Jen) and here (courtesy of faithmonsoon).

You can listen to Sons And Daughters (and view videos) on their website here. Sons And Daughters releases can be purchased directly from their label Domino.