Live Review: Molotov Jukebox

 KING TUT’S – 28/11

Still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (or bearded, in the case of some band members) after playing only the second show of their album preview tour the night before, tropical “gyp-pop” 6-piece Molotov Jukebox took to the stage of a bustling King Tut’s for a night of drinking, dancing and general debauchery.

Adorned with a flower crown and her accordion, frontwoman Nat Tena – best known for her roles as Tonks in the Harry Potter films and Osha in Game of Thrones – looked genuinely delighted to be in Glasgow, having said before that Tuts “epitomises the warmth and fun of the city as a whole”.

Before the first song is even in full swing, people are moving, quickly escalating from simple civilised head bobbing to full-on rhythmic Balkan lunging. It’s not surprising, given that the band sound like what dancing feels like, with first-time and long-term listeners alike both contributing to the tremor of the floorboards beneath them. Introducing one of their new songs, Natalia describes its sound as akin to “a heard of dyspraxic cats learning golf, to music”. Golf, however, feels a bit too conservative for this metaphor – Morris dancing, or maybe cheese rolling would have been more appropriate.

Having played an abundance of festivals in the past few years, there’s a feeling that the band’s sound has been at least partially tailored to large scale, open air audiences, for afternoons where you’re both warm from the summer sun and a few too many tepid cans of cider. Compressed into a room the size of King Tuts though, the band managed to make what could have easily been a festival set sound like a much more intimate affair, making a cold Glasgow evening feel a little more like a Brazilian carnival.

Topping off the evening with a contest for ‘best dancer’ and ‘best dressed’, crowning their victors by lobbing sweets at their heads, Molotov Jukebox managed to put their own tropical twist on the phrase ‘ya dancer’, and delivered a much needed explosion of colour to an otherwise grey Glaswegian night.

[Hannah Burke –@hannahcburke_]

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