The Trashcan Sinatras reached their 30th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, the Scottish indie-pop group have gone on a US tour in just about as low-key a way as possible, as a (semi-)acoustic trio. The core trio of singer Francis Reader and guitarists Paul Livingston and John Douglas announced plans to play their entire catalog over the course of the tour, treating fans not only to the hits but to many rarities and obscure tracks that they don’t regularly play live. The band started their tour here, playing the first night at a sold-out (and completely packed) Jammin’ Java.
Since the Trashcans like to take their time between releases and therefore haven’t been the most prolific band in the world (they’ve released a total of six studio albums so far), the task they’ve set for themselves might be a bit less daunting for them than it would be for some artists of their vintage. But their entire catalog still comes out to over a hundred songs, many of which they haven’t played or likely even thought much about in years, making it an impressive feat regardless.
They opened the evening with “Easy Read” from their second album, 1993’s I’ve Seen Everything, which they followed with one of their most popular tracks, “All the Dark Horses” from 2004’s Weightlifting. “Freetime” (also from Weightlifting) was followed by “Best Days on Earth” from their most recent release, 2016’s Wild Pendulum. The rest of the evening followed this trend of jumping back and forth through time, from fan favorites to rarely-heard B-sides (including “Who’s He?” which Reader noted they get many requests for but have been “afeared” to play live), and the stripped-back format highlighted the writing talents of the band.
After a long (one hour and ten minute) first set, which Reader noted “was us trying to do 45 minutes,” the band took a break and returned for a full second set itself over 54 minutes long. Suggestions from the audience that the band should play all night were followed by the band actually playing “All Night” from Wild Pendulum (if this was intentional, it was done so subtly that many in the audience probably weren’t aware that it happened). The second set contained many of their best-known songs, including “Weightlifiting” (from, again, the album of the same title), “Only Tongue Can Tell” and from their 1990 debut Cake, and “Hayfever” from I’ve Seen Everything. Although Reader handled the bulk of the vocals for most of the night, Livingston and Douglas each took a turn, Livingston on “The Perfect Reminder” and Douglas on “Earlies,” both from I’ve Seen Everything. The group closed out the evening with their first single, “Obscurity Knocks.”