Live: Thoughts Thunk. Human Don't Be Angry, Cargo.

Human Don't Be Angry came to represent a minor triumph of the most unassuming variety, and indeed tonight's a rather subdued affair for Shoreditch. You can hear the soles of Malcolm Middleton's trainers squelch as they stick to and unstick from this stage persistently splattered in viscous stuff. Whisky or the odd drop of Wallace IPA perhaps and despite the LP only being outed later on last month, over the wearying of said period it has already matured to a fine vintage.

A slight reluctance to gargle his gruff brogue down the mic accompanies an anticipated onstage reticence and somewhat traumatically album standout First Person Singular, Present Tense is scratched out after several false starts. "Someone's bin playin' about wi' me laptop", he gently contends as his MacBook wonderfully epitomises the recalcitrance of technology. In keeping with his mellowing in mind, music and projected demeanour for this particular project however, Middleton continues with profuse calm as he and his aptly voiceless troupe instead emit a languorous Jaded. Midway through he secretes a scintillant of a smile, seemingly genuinely at ease with his substantially more jocund actuality.

Thus the sounds excreted from his Strat oscillate serenely between taut Phil Manley-ish whipped, lashed and condensed stabs and slides (opener The Missing Plutonium), and a more slackened-tied, poolside Chris Rea aesthetic (H.D.B.A. Theme) and ultimately if the instrumental may have connotations of a negative variety; of the engendering of aloofness via the medium of nonchalance then Middleton has engineered a quite brilliant modus operandi. For he reengages intrigue through the expulsion of the sometime superfluousness of lyrics witty, snide or otherwise and with impetus firmly thrust upon these wordless works for reasons multitudinous, any Mogwai comparison is fortified like an exceptional scotch left to fester in some fusty cellar for what we mere mortals may deem an eternity. All topend bass flurries and preprogrammed plinks, After The Pleasuredome is a squirmy essential enhanced by a pastiche Bondian sense of suspense. 1985 meanwhile replicates the successes of the more serotonin-inspired moments of the Glaswegians' barnstorming Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will of yesteryear.

Yet it's when he confronts his inhibitions and sings that any first night anxieties are banished to the obscured back of the room: whether it be the congruously clunky Dreamer that serves as both a nod to Middleton's past and to Scottish patriotism (its "Da-da-da-da-da-da" chorus quasi-redolent of The Proclaimers' one and only memorable number), or the gushing affectation of Monologue: River, or the protracted Asklipiio which, tonight rendered a tender post-rock behemoth, proves his pièce de résistance the boy with the Arab Strap flight case is best when breaking loose and bound to scotch those pesky preconceptions of crippling miserablism. Happiness abound at this one on this dim and dank May day and a fine reason to dispel any desire "to find a decent hole to sink into and rot away in."