Live Review – The Spook School, Chorusgirl, Joyce Delaney

Nice N’ Sleazy’s- 6/12

Sleazy’s hosts a Sunday night of angry but hopeful weirdo pop-punk.

Joyce Delaney are like a scrappier, angrier Girlpool. Glasgow acoustic fave Chrissy Barnacle has teamed up with pal Nyla to sing about pain, sex, and lack thereof. They are pretty under-rehearsed but pull it off alongside their onstage patter and good-cop-bad-cop routine. The misanthropic ‘Do I Even Like People’, about rejecting potential partners of all genders, is particularly brilliant. By the looks of things they’re still seeking a drummer, so maybe hit them up if you want to join an intersectional feminist punk girl gang.

ChorusGirl are a four-piece from London, on the label that can do no wrong, Fortuna POP! Singer and guitarist Silvi Wersing has vocals reminiscent of Karen O. They play noise-pop with jangly guitars and fast drums over the top of dark lyrics. The sound is loud and dreamy, like the soundtrack to a surfing weekend away from the city. A solid live act for fans of Wolf Alice and Breeders.

The Spook School, based in Edinburgh, are leading the DIY queer punk scene in Scotland right now. Tonight they play tracks from their wonderful new album Try to be Hopeful, plus some favourites from debut record Dress Up, including ‘I’ll Be Honest’. The sing-along opportunities are plenty, with choruses like “I’ll be honest with you for the first time/’Cause you’re probably too drunk to even remember” and “I am bigger than a hexadecimal” from ‘Binary’. The Sunday night crowd isn’t huge, but the dedicated fan-base is full of enthusiastic dancers. Drummer Niall McCamley goes taps-aff before the end of the first song, and chats throughout about his love of the late Cilla Black. Nye Todd also offers insights into songs with understated wisdom. Fitting with their album’s title, The Spook School’s show brings hope and giggly energy to the disillusioned youths they attract. They strike an ideal balance between politics and fun, which we could all try a bit harder to do.

P.S. The lilac “Burn Masculinity with The Spook School” cartoon t-shirt is the best band merch this reviewer has spent beer money on in a long time. Add it to next year’s Christmas list. 

[Ellen MacAskill – @edjmacaskill]

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