Music preview: Williwaw @ Mono Cafe Bar, Glasgow

Published by METRO

Whether it’s pop or rock concerts they’re advertising, gig posters tend to have a way with words. They’re supposed to be designed to target particular demographics, while subtly leaving the door ajar for curious outsiders.

I say ‘tend to’ and ‘supposed to be’, because it’s very rarely you see a musician billed as ‘the finest in amplified ukulele mayhem’. It’s a description that’s appearing next to this artist’s name on promotional literature around town at the moment, and it sounds strange, doesn’t it?

Yes, except this is no ordinary place. He might hail from somewhere an ocean plus another thousand miles away, in Illinois, but there’s something Williwaw has that belongs in Glasgow.

Not literally, of course – he’s not nicked someone’s Discovery pass – but in the sense that in this fair city, there’s always an audience that appreciates artists like him.

By that I mean ones who draw on unique musical influences, experiment with a broad spectrum of sound, produce work that overlaps many sub-genres and are not easily categorised.

If you’re going to push me, I’d say Williwaw is a blend of shoegaze and post-rock, but to try and pin down his style is probably missing the point. His music is supposed to be an enigma, an intriguing fusion of electronic and acoustic sound, which bemuses yet beguiles.

With an amplifier and some complex time signatures, his ukulele can generate a cauldron of noise, but it is also capable of transcending the chaos with a blissful melody. It can be heavy, while also ambient. Basically, no song is at all like the last.

Williwaw is fortunate that such musicians and performers find huge success when they move here, but with the talent and originality he’s unpacking from his suitcase, he’s certainly meeting the requirements of his lease.