Song Noir ****

Performed by Pumajaw

Red Lecture Theatre @ Summerhall

Pumajaw are singer Pinkie Maclure and John Wills formerly of Loop. They’ve been making music together since the turn of the century and this show, complete with film noir influenced visuals, draws on their own material interspersed with some well chosen cover versions.

The opening songs including a great Nat King Cole cover (I’d Rather Have The Blues Than What I’ve Got) are awash with programming and tremolo infused guitar. Pumajaw call it retro-futuristic: imagine being stuck in a lift operated by David Lynch with Portishead for piped music and you’re about half-way there. Maclure’s voice certainly recalls Beth Gibbons at times but has warmth, and the atmosphere benefits from her breathy introductions. Your Arms, Your Doors – their own composition – has an infectious, insistent rhythm and veers more in the direction of electro-pop.

The highlight is Pumajaw’s inspired take on the Peter Gunn theme with Maclure taking Mancini’s riff while Wells conducts a mash-up of what could be Dazed & Confused era Jimmy Page v The Prodigy. An atmospheric take on Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) closes a show that succeeds despite the relatively early start and the less than ideal 1980’s lecture hall setting.

 

Submitted by Michael Moloney

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