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Owen Ashworth mumbles lyrics into the microphone, letting the stand hold it close to his mouth while he half-mutters and plays with the large array of dials and buttons sprawled out before him. He wastes no time, ending songs as soon as the message has been passed along, even if often times his words have become inaudible among the mumbling and noise.
While setting up his peddles and rhythm makers between songs, often switching wires here and there Ashworth happily announces that the gig, if he may say so himself, is going incredibly well. He admits he's not a fan of soundchecks, because often the music will sound completely different when an audience is involved. So he complimented us, because "whatever your bodies are doing, they're doing it right". And he was right, it did sound right. It was the first time, that I remember anyway, the sound being so clear at Sneaky's. Sure, Ashworth was hard to understand at times, but that felt like it was more part of his act rather than a glitch in the setup.
He's casual in between songs, talking to the crowd, explaining meanings, and telling us about what he has been up to. It's been much publicised that Ashworth will be retiring the Casiotone For The Painfully Alone moniker after this tour is over, so that he can focus his talents on other projects. He has said that he'll still be making music, so fear not ye sad masses. It seems like the man just wants to move on from being associated with incredibly sad music.
And for the first time I've been there, I saw an encore at Sneaky Pete's. Now if you've been, that is a really weird thing to happen, because the venue has no backstage area. The artists are forced into the crowd after performing - Ashworth had blazed a trail to the merch stand - and if they want to come back on stage, they have to force their way through the crowd again, who throughout this time, have no real idea of where to look or shout. At the stage? At the man himself? At the backstage area? Awkwardly in the middle?
The opener, My Tiny Robots splashed us with a couple (five?, really it wasn't many) songs from their forthcoming LP. Upbeat and danceable, they garnered in a couple of whoops and cheers from the crowd, while they bassed us in the face with little guitar diddles and catchy lyrics that make one's head pop from left to right almost uncontrollably. They sound a lot less pop-oriented on their myspace page, but on stage they suddenly the drums and bass are much more prominent. It looks like they're actively touring Scotland over the next two weekends as their album is set to launch on Monday, so go and check them out!