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Washington Irving and Olympic Swimmers, Oran Mor, Glasgow

On paper, Washington Irving and Olympic Swimmers should make an excellent gigging duo, yet in practice this was a slightly awkward partnership.

Olympic Swimmers were up first, and there was a rousing nature to Father Said's rocky conclusion, while their indie pop side was sharp on Knots, a terrific set closer.

In-between, though, there was material that tended towards the fragile. In a venue where half the crowd were eagerly braying to each other at high volume, these songs never achieved the intimate feel they needed, partly the audience's fault, but partly an issue with a less than forceful performance, too.

Washington Irving proved more strident. The fivesome have been off radar recently, but this was an impressive comeback. Their folksier moments seemed less pronounced early on, with the band blasting through Holy Company's spaghetti-western tone and the hand-clap charged rock'n'roll of Wandering Wits.

There was a sound that was easily danceable, yet nicely noisy when required. Best of all was when they returned to folk and the instrumental Bealach An Righ, essentially a pumped-up and guitar-heavy jig, displayed a band growing before your eyes.


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