Tag Archives: o2 ABC Glasgow

Mac DeMarco @ 02 ABC, Glasgow – 7/9/2015

Written by Liam Dickson / Photographs © Jordan Thomson, 2015, Feast.
Mac DeMarco 1
McBriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco, or ‘Mac’ DeMarco to you or I, is experiencing a rocket in popularity – his gig at the O2 ABC in Glasgow, 7/9/2015, was a sell-out show with more fans stood outside desperately trying to blag a spare ticket. As his name spreads like wildfire through small sects of the music consuming public the adoration held for him by such listeners is only solidifying, apparent in the small army of copycats wearing full length dungarees, flannel shirts, trucker caps or all of the above (not quite a counter-fashion movement, but it’s not a stretch of the imagination).
Waiting for the doors of the O2 ABC to open, the excitement is tangible… Someone causes a flurry of strained necks when they claim to see Aussie psyche-vendors Tame Impala sauntering down Sauchiehall Street – another anxious bystander claims to have spied Mac and his band chowing down in the window of the Thai restaurant over the road and, right enough, backing guitarist Andrew Charles White runs out from the restaurant then round the back of the venue as a fan chases after for a selfie and maybe a cheeky free ticket! One dungaree donning girl gets turned away by the bouncers before collapsing to the floor in silent tears – passers-by look up at the sign reading ‘Mac DeMarco @ 7pm’ then walk on bemused by such a strong display of emotion for a name they’ve never even heard of. The Mac Army have taken the goofy Canadian so strongly to heart – a recent ill-informed Tweet from Londoners Fat White Family threatening to ‘join Isis’ if Mac continues to make music only caused his fans to stand even stauncher on the side of the nice guys as people grow ever weary of the same old dime-a-dozen mouthpieces that tend to front bands (there’s a reason Liam Gallagher has seemingly vanished from the face of modern music!)
Up the stairs and through the double doors the mini-Macs wait patient but fidgety amongst a small ocean of reasonably priced merch shirts with funny biro doodles on the front and tour dates on the back, tonight’s listing mysteriously not present. The support act was… interesting! A German artist called Dinner stands solo on stage with nothing but a mic, a backing tape and some kind of rag to work with (which he drapes over his head as he violently lurches from side to side like he’s got a stomach ache). Half new romantic, half industrial techno – really – Dinner does get cheers from the audience that contradict the confused, wide-eyed faces looking around as if saying “You’re seeing this too, right?!” … a questionable choice until you consider the tongue-in-cheek, whimsical humour as synonymous with Mac as his twangy guitar picking.Mac DeMarco 2
We saw this light heartedness first hand when Mac breaks a string one bouncer of a song into the set, before nonchalantly informing the crowd “Yeah, I need to change a string, but I’ll leave you in the capable hands of my band”, sitting cross-legged on the floor as they launched into an impromptu cover of Red Hot Chilli Peppers “Under The Bridge” – some in the crowd thought it was a muck about until the chorus came in and got a rather decent singalong.
Mac DeMarco can offer to his fans what no other musician can – himself! His music and his character are one and the same, and equally loveable. Restless feet, straight-faced banter, a couple of hit-and-miss attempts at crowd surfing and screaming vocal tics genuinely had people in stitches. “Everyone give a big hand to our sound guy… you know, we only ever talk from this far away. We’ve never actually met face to face”.
There is no lull in his set, every song bringing a venue wide pogo, boogie or arms round the shoulder shout-along. “Okay, let’s keep it moving. We know you like to rock, Glasgow, so that’s what we’re gonna do!” Most if not all songs from his new LP ‘Another One’ get an airing, met with as much enthusiasm as his back catalogue despite being little over a month old. The ode to his favourite brand of ciggies ‘Viceroy’ looks set to be the anthem for a new generation – “Oh baby I’ll smoke you ‘til I’m dying!” we sing, ironically, until our lungs hurt.
As the set draws to a close you believe Mac is the kind of guy who wants his fans to just give each other a big hug and get along with one another – before he comes back onstage to screeching feedback then launching into a breakneck cover of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ and starting a mega-mosh – I jump in then get hit square in the eyes by a flying pint of cider. Mac’s critics may poke holes in the similarity in sound between his tunes but here he proves he can nail any style he wants when the mood takes him. Everyone in the place is left panting for breath and soaked through with sweat, the crowd and the band having given it all they could. The gig was truly unique – the intimate tunes weirdly juxtaposed with the carnage ensuing in the mid-sized venue – and considering his last visit to Glasgow occurred two years ago at Nice ’n’ Sleazy who knows where he’ll be playing in another two if he keeps his foot on the pedal.