The tone is set early on in a packed CCA, as support act The Shacks dish out alternative 70s psychedelic rock with more than a smattering of style to an already near-capacity crowd. It’s not always the case that support bands enjoy the same amount of attention as the main event, but judging by the number of bodies in attendance and the raucous reception that greets the closing song from this two-piece (fleshed out to a four-piece for the live gig), The Shacks will have a second home here in Glasgow for years to come.
The appreciative noises are ratcheted up a few decibels for the entrance of headliners Khruangbin, who without further ado dip straight into the dreamy, desultory funky jazz rock that characterises their oeuvre. Serving up new material from latest release Con Todo El Mundo from the get-go, the Thai-influenced three-piece showcase several new threads of inspiration as well – not least Middle Eastern and Caribbean sounds and ostinatos. Maria Tambien and Lady and Man are particularly well received early on in the set, as is August 10 with its soothing oohs and calming aahs.
There is still plenty of time to revisit the bigger fish on their first fry as well though, with Two Fish and an Elephant and White Gloves drawing particular appreciation from the masses. With music this laid-back and the bare minimum of crowd interaction, it’s a testament to Khruangbin’s stage presence (and the famous enthusiasm of the Glasgow gig-goer) that there’s a palpable state of energy throughout. Despite sharing barely a word with each other and only a handful more with the room, the trio onstage do have excellent chemistry that serves to heighten the atmosphere onstage.
Drummer DJ Johnson’s apparent disinterest in proceedings (undone by a “Whoo!” at the show’s climax of which Rick Flair would’ve surely been proud) gels well with bassist Laura Lee’s clear delight, while Mark Speer treads the line between aloofness and emotion brilliantly. With the other two musicians basically acting as human metronomes in the creation of Khruangbin’s melodies, Speer’s proficiency on guitar and his cooler-than-Colgate stage demeanour combine to deliver an intoxicating performance which adds extra buzz and chill to an already incredibly easy-going sound.
One minor criticism might be that Khruangbin have made themselves so uniquely distinctive (there’s really no one quite like them dishing out such worldly funky rock) that individual tracks become somewhat lost in the overarching fugue. Rather a gig of disparate songs, it can seem more like one colossal jam session – but if anything, that’s a critique of their music, not their performance. Judging by the reception they’ve deservedly won in CCA tonight, it’s not even a criticism at all.