Glasgow Barrowland 16/11/13
Tonight’s proceedings were billed as costume or smart attire mandatory. Although not compulsory almost everyone made the effort and on entering the Barrows it can only be described as a Saturday night masquerade disco ball.
Members of the band are walking around, mingling and dancing along with the sold out crowd with large fiberglass heads on happily getting pictures taken. If you've seen the excellent Anton Corbijn video of Reflektor who'll know why. A gimmick I first witnessed at U2's famous Zoo T.V tour early 90's. The atmosphere is already electric. There's no support, just classic alternative tunes blasting out in to the Legendary venue.
A large curtain with the Reflektors written on it covers the stage. We get teased with the lights going on and off. The tunes are flowing, Ska, Reggae,Dub and Tings including Clash - Rock da Kasbah, the audience sing and dance along. It's 8.30 and suddenly we hear “Excuse me, you said 9 pm” the band rush round the stage getting on coats, Win rushes on mimicking that they had gone on too early. The 10-piece stronghold including Haiti Percussionists are in place. Normal Person is up first, the fan's sing along. The new album has only been out weeks but the crowd know every word. Not expected so early but Wake Up is next. The crowd don't need to be told. The whole place jumps in the air, narrowly avoiding head-butting the mirror-balls above. It's a stand up hair on the neck moment.
The absolutely captivating Regine Chassagne ( and Wife of Win ) is up on the mic for Haiti, she swoons, sways and sings beautifully, while alternating between Maracas, keys, bongos and Mellotron. Win wears a multitude of masks; one that makes him look scarily like the Scarecrow from Batman, and a fiberglass head. He works into the crowd, pulling out one lucky fan who after smooching with the man then stage dives in to the audience. Tonight doesn't feel like a gig, more a Jamaican style party with a calypso vibe, especially on Flashbulb Eyes which also has a cosmic dub feel.
It's never over is all funky disco followed by new single Afterlife with it's New Order feel. Win is now blindfolded while saying “This is our favorite room in the world to play “ It is my venue of choice in Scotland. All members swap and change between guitars and keys, charismatic, adding extra visual treats.
We Exist is introduced as a Micheal Jackson song with it's Beat It bass intro. A cover of The Ramones - Today your Love, Tomorrow the World follows. The second real highlight for me is the set finisher Here Comes the Night Time which just tears the roof off with it's full on carnival onslaught. Looking round everyone is smiling, dancing like it's the last night on earth as Confetti showers us all.
The band are back for a short encore of the excellent album title track Reflektor and the stunning Neighbourhood#3 ( power out ) from their debut Funeral, which still sounds fantastic live. This being the second night for the band I don' t know how the venue is still standing. Lucky for me I was here the first time Arcade Fire played here, a gig that still sits in my top 10, after tonight's performance with it's unique and stylish show/party this may well make it in to the list as well. What a treat to see a band trying something different not just to entertain us but themselves. The Reflektors I would say are a band you must see live before they morph back in to their day job's as Arcade fire.
The party then continues on as Pulp's Steve Mackey plays a B2B set with The Reflektors Scarecrow (Win in full head gear )
You Already Know
It's never Over
Joan of Arc
Today your Love, Tomorrow the World
Here Comes the Night Time