Gig review: The Pastels (Mono)

The Pastels
The Pastels

It’s been nearly 30 years since The Pastels unwittingly became part of the self-mythologising C86 movement, famously named after a cassette compilation created by music weekly NME.

Since then the Glasgow band have doggedly remained true to their lo-fi roots - never pandering to the commercial sensibilities which have made millionaires out of other, less talented, bands inspired by their output.

That output comprises five albums of unwavering quality, the latest being this year’s beautiful and delicate ‘Slow Summits’.

It’s that record which last week saw Stephen McRobbie/Pastel and co take to the stage for a rare show at Mono - only their third hometown show since 2007, and their second of 2013.

Opening with instrumental album title track ‘Slow Summits’, the setlist is predominantly made up of new material.

‘Check My Heart’ and ‘Summer Rain’ provide the choicest contemporary cuts, McRobbie’s singular singing contrasting beautifully with drummer Katrina Mitchell’s ethereal vocals - all backed up by Teenage Fanclub’s Gerard Love on bass.

There’s also a smattering of career-spanning offerings to delight the fans, including a heart-stopping run-though of ‘Baby Honey’ from debut album ‘Up For A Bit with The Pastels’ and a crowd-pleasing ‘Classic Line-up’ from ‘Mobile Safari’.

In a world where never-ending tours with photocopied setlists are the norm, it’s a rare joy to see one of pop’s true originals deliver a true one-off performance which will long linger in the memory of those present.