Giant Drag, Broadcast, Glasgow
When Annie Hardy makes an on stage reference to her band being cursed, she is not kidding. It has been an arduous journey for the Giant Drag singer to return to these shores, several years after her first visit. That trip was on the back of the excellent Hearts & Unicorns album and came with substantial buzz surrounding Hardy and drummer Micah Calabrese.
He has since departed, while various issues with health and money delayed a second album until this year, and this tour is a farewell jaunt rather than full-blown resurrection. That is a shame, for both new and old songs displayed the singer's ear for a tune. The majority relied on fuzzy guitars, mixed with Hardy's stoner-pop vocals and there was substantially sleazy riffs on the glam-rock tinged Do It, a grinding version of YFLMD and a grunge-heavy High Friends In Places that was near feral.
On such displays of power it was not obvious Hardy had started playing with her two backing band members only last week, although various lapses, confusion over how to start one number and some amp difficulty brought that point emphatically home. This was not a gig for anyone wanting slick, error-free renditions, but for those who enjoy gigs teetering nervously on the edge of chaos.
Hardy was her usual self, rambling on various topics and giving enough to indicate an emotionally fragile but wittily caustic individual, giving a lewd introduction to an enjoyably fuzzed-up cover of Chris Isaak's Wicked Game. Yet a mid-set trio of acoustic songs, that tapped into an unexpected blues and country reservoir, fitted Hardy's yell superbly.
She is still a compelling talent.