It is a cold November evening in Glasgow, but the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) on Sauchiehall Street is warm and welcoming.

Tonight’s music – the so-called Silent Bells tour – has been arranged by Richard Knox of Gizeh Records and showcases three of the label’s acts, Farewell Poetry, Sleepingdog and Conquering Animal Sound.

The gig takes place in an intimate room on the first floor. It’s set out with around fifty theatre style seats which fill up quickly, but the latecomers have no compunction about sitting on the floor – it’s that kind of gig.

The first band to take the stage is Farewell Poetry, a five-piece band of Parisian musicians whose music sits somewhere between the glacial majesty of Sigur Ros and the softer, trance-like sound of the Orb circa 1991. The dream-like quality of their music caused me to draw parallels with a contemporary Pink Floyd – Farewell Poetry’s sound is exactly the what one might expect to hear at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream. The band was musically inventive and fascinating. I was surprised to see, for instance, that the opening track began with a bowed electric guitar. Vocalist Jayne Amara Ross has a wonderfully breathy voice and recites lyrics with true passion and feeling.

During their set Farewell Poetry had their own films playing on a screen behind them (the films are made by the band). I personally found the films to be pretentious, self-indulgent and adolescent in their portrayal of the filmmaker’s cliché of sex and death. In my view the music was of a sufficiently high standard that it would stand up well on its own without being dragged down by the torpid films.

Sleepingdog, who are from Belgium came next, and really blew me away. Comprising a viola player, a guitarist and the group's one permanent member, lead singer/pianist Chantal Acda, the band played a beautifully understated set made up of tracks from their album, 'With Our Heads in the Clouds and Our Hearts in the Fields'. Opening both the set and the album was the beautiful 'The Untitled Ballad of You and Me', a terrific song which highlights both Acda’s gift for melody and the haunting wonder of her voice. After the gig, I bought Sleepingdog’s album and it is a beautiful collection of blissed out, musical magic.

Unfortunately I had to run for my train home after Sleepingdog’s set, and consequently I didn’t get to see Conquering Animal Sound. The two bands I did see, however, were fantastic and suggest a deep vein of talent on the Gizeh label. I would love to see this becoming a regular tour – in fact, it’s such a good idea that I would love to see other labels doing something similar. I will be certainly be keeping an eye on Gizeh in the future.











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