A Certain Ratio are a band who, over their 42 years together (Yup – they formed in 1977) have been hugely influential, yet critically underrated. They have been cited as huge inspirations for everyone from Talking Heads, The Rapture and even comedians The Mighty Boosh.
The music they create has well and truly stood the test of time with their own brand of multi-layered dub, funk and post-punk anthems gracing soundtracks, clubs and grungy basement dives alike. It would seem there is no forum unsuitable to the A Certain Ratio Sound.
Idling on stage just after 9pm the band launch into, ‘Winter Hill’ a thundering 10 minute marathon of scuzzy guitar and tumultuous drums, which see’s Donald Johnson and Martin Moscop swap over drums and guitar mid song – hinting at the kind of musicianship that can only be garnered over decades of practice.
1981 single ‘Do the Du’ is up next and it’s not hard to make reference to labels mates Joy Division, with Jezz Kerr’s detached and nonchalant echoing vocals interlaced with a funk laden guitar riffs. The band have been on stage for 12 minutes and the whole room is dancing.
The bands cover version of Talking Heads track ‘Houses in Motion’ is a glorious cacophony of funk and punk together. Adding to the mix of instruments, cowbells, bongo’s and referee whistles (don’t believe me? – check YouTube) which all seem to bounce around King Tut’s sweaty walls.
Followed next and to the motley crew of young mods and ageing hipsters delight is ‘Lucinda’ and ‘Milky Way’ which has everyone shuffling about in pure delight.
‘Won’t Stop Loving You’ is an upbeat ditty that perfectly encapsulates singer Denise Johnson’s vocal range perfectly. The band are well and truly into their groove and you can tell that even after all this time they still enjoy playing to a live crowd. As the song ends and seemingly brings with it the end of tonight’s show, frontman Jezz Kerr huffs, “Surely that’s not all we’ve got?”
After a short reprieve the band come back on stage and smash out ‘Good Together’. As soon as the first opening chords of 80’s dancefloor anthem ‘Shack Up’ are heard the audience erupt into rapturous applause and the wild dancing begins.
Closing noise beast ‘Si Firmo O Girdo’ is reminiscent of a football World Cup anthem and that’s not just because the referee’s whistle is frantically blown throughout… With a wild rhythmic section and drums being bounded at breakneck speed it’s the perfect set closer that leave the crowd happily dancing out into the frost bitten streets of Glasgow, with only the funk warming their bones.