• Paris, Glasgow

    19. Apr. 2009, 22:18

    Sun 19 Apr – Earth, Stebmo

    Don't know why, but that wasn't what I was expecting. It was a lot better. For some reason I thought it was going to be sludgey slabs of noise drifting around, and louder. I'd gone coz Earth have been in my conscious for about 15 years since working in a notorious indie record store in London but it wasn't til about 2 years ago I pick up a recording - Hex on vinyl. Which I've subsequently failed to listen to much. Doesn't help that it's not my other half's sorta thing. Though having said that, the gig made me think of Codeine, shifted down an octave or two and getting sorta Ry Cooder in a reworking of the Paris, Texas soundtrack. Definite some Gastr Del Sol and Tortoise moments too. Post-Doom? Something she might go for. Something I do. And so I'll be listening to them more - possibly with Wim Wenders film playing with the sound down.

    On that subject - why not a seated venue? This isn't dance about music. They'd suit somewhere like the Union Chapel if playing London (could I suggest touring with Low?). But how about the Tron Theatre or The Arches if in Glasgow again? With some suitable back projections ... like Paris, Texas?
  • World shut your mouth

    8. Nov. 2008, 18:03

    Thu 6 Nov – To Rococo Rot, Laki Mera, Ned Collette Band

    How is it that a trio of teutonic individuals playing electronica with such sensibly parted hair can make such warm music? Yet the Germans do it again and again. Obviously there's Can but then a whole bunch of Morr artists too. Is this some Germanic joke? Some humour that we fail to understand? A calculated bamboozalling of those Brits stereotypical expectations? But then there's the Hoff .... ?

    So To Rococo Rot play what is apparently their first appearance in Glasgow in 4 years and deliver what is a instrumental meeting of Krautrock, Dub and electronica - in other words exactly what we'd turned up to hear. Well I say what "we'd turned up to hear" but actually a significant proportion of the audience actually seemed to have turned up to talk through the majority of the gig. Which meant two things; I had to move nearer to the front and they should have turned the volume up such that those talking would have to go upstairs where there was ample bar space. Shame really, coz the band were on good form and as it was mostly new material I'm looking forward to it's imminent release when I can listen to it without constant innane natter in my ear. My newest explanation for such behaviour is that it must be some sort of posing - they don't really want to see the band but feel for appearances sake they must turn up and so end up talking at other like minded people about other gigs they've also attended and talked all the way through for the sake of their musical credentials. A sad past time and costly.
  • All quiet on the western front

    3. Nov. 2008, 0:44

    Sun 2 Nov – Shellac, Aidan Moffatt

    Found it odd that this was Shellac's first Glasgow visit, though maybe I can claim that the fact that I moved to the city after 14 years of faithfully attending their London gigs could have something to do with it? I think I might be taking too much credit ...

    ... but a subdued introduction it was - despite Bob's opening gambit of "Hello cunts" (did I mishear?). Not on Shellac's behalf. As is often the case, and more so in larger venues, sometimes the sound can take it's time to adjust to the space but pretty soon Albini's guitar grated at just the right angle, Bob's bass clunked in your gut and Todd's impression of Animal out of the Muppets produced vicious thuds and tinkling cymbals in all the right places. They produced their usual loose tightness, messing about with tunes, lyrics and rhythms, introducing some unfamilar material which was either new or covers mixed with old favourites such as Wingwalker, Crow, My Black Ass, Prayer to God, End of Radio, In A Minute, Boycott ... though no Il Porno Star I am sad to say. There was the traditional question and answer session conducted by Bob, who dealt with the Why Not Edinburgh question with appropriate dismissal, though no input from Todd which is a bit disappointing as he usually has something entertainingly surreal to say, and Albini did some of his audience baiting but also complimented the venue and Glasgow's architecture.

    No, the subdued nature of the gig was the audience. As Bob observed before they started the set, the audience was unnaturally quiet. And even once warmed up, most at best were happy to nod along or tap their toes ... especially the younger ones. Now maybe it's a London thing, but I'm used to Shellac gigs packed to bursting point and while not the most manic mosh pits in Christendom, an animated audience. Maybe it was just that Shellac'd left it this long to get to Glasgow so the populous feels a bit lukewarm towards them? Or was it just awe? I just hope that if/when they return, the audience are better prepared and it's not left down to oldsters like me to bring some life to proceedings by jumping around and jerking like fools ... coz who knows how much longer we'll be able to keep it up? As 40 approaches I might have to start conducting myself with a bit more dignity ... but probably not.
  • Whit Week Malarkey

    10. Okt. 2008, 15:04

    Wed 1 Oct – Half Man Half Biscuit

    First visit proper to Edinburgh and first gig there. Not seen HMHB for a few years due to a combination of bad venue choices (I hate the Shepherd's Bush Empire) and bad mental health. However, everything seems to be working properly, though Nigel has surely lost some weight? Getting trim to join Team Saxobank and led the Schleks over the alpine passes ahead of Armstrong?

    Won't give a run down of set list, as can never remember them all, plus you'll find other reviewers labouriously recounting such details on the HMHB website. Highlights though for me were National Shite Day, Everything's Gone AOR and, in accord with the missus, Took Problem Chimp To The Ideal Home Show. The compulsory cover tonight was the Velvet's Sunday Morning. But that's all a bit beside the point anyway, coz the thing is that HMHB's gigs and recorded output are always of such a consistently high standard, especially when compared with recording artists of similar or greater longevity. Some might argue, and as Nigel may concede as evidenced in the lyrics of Lord Hereford's Knob, that that is because all HMHB's output sounds the same - but even a cursory (word of the day) glance through their back catalogue disproves this. Instead, I'd posit that it is because their music is not a career, although ironically just because of this it has become such a thing. Their irregular gigging and releases. Nigel's "own bed, own bog" policy. Their independence. Lacklustre comtempt for the fashions or trappings of the music industry. This, plus their sound and sardonic popular culture referencing lyrics, in fact make them both more punk and more folk than any other band I can think of - and what was punk other than a resurgence of the irreverent spirit of folk in the flaccid body of rock music? I don't claim this as any great relevation - it has been directly said by Andy Kershaw and in the actions and devotion to HMHB of Peel. But as someone so succintly put it down the front in the middle of this gig, as if in a moment of epiphany, "Half Man Half Biscuit are just the best band!"
  • Sun Sea and Suffering

    21. Jul. 2008, 22:56

    Sat 19 Jul – Wet Sounds: Nurse With Wound

    I forgot. I haven't been in a swimming pool in 21 years and the prospect of actually doing so became less and less appealing. So I didn't. Probably not helped by a particularly bad day of my usual seasonal malaise. Also discovered that I like gigs because they are dark and you can't see the other attendees in a state of undress - explains my aversion to festivals too.

    So was a bit pointless for me really. More enjoyable was the Minutemen doc at the Rio the night before.

    I remember when all this were squats ...

    Cut my loses and went and ate at Green Papaya and had a rather nice bottle of Rioja.
  • The Funeral List

    17. Mai. 2008, 13:51

    It's an old fave thread but gonna make my funeral/wake music list here, just in case someone needs to find it and doesn't have to dig throught the forums to find it, and death being the uncertain certainty it is never know when it might be needed ... it's a list of songs that I think are either appropriate for the occasion or are might be particularly apt in their personal relevance (BTW - the funeral/wake is to be in the style of Bob's in My Own Private Idaho, but wanna cremation, big pyre)

    Going Underground
    Dancing On Your Grave
    You Should All Be Murdered
    You Can't Always Get What You Want
    Sympathy For The Devil
    Not A God
    A Song for Douglas (After He's Dead)
    Nothing Much to Lose
    Faith (live)
    Last Snowstorm of the Year
    the dead flag blues
    Freak Scene
    One With the Freaks
    Don't turn the Light on
    Prayer to God
    Walkin' With Jesus
    Who'll Fall?
    The Mercy Seat
    Into The Light
    Nothing To Be Done
    Urban Guerilla
    Fanciable Headcase
    Black Angel's Death Song
    Funeral Music For Perez Prado
    The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes
    I Suck
    A One God Universe
    You're Wondering Now
    You're Gonna Miss Me
    Another Day
    He's on Fire
    The Great Parade
    Tina This Is Matthew Stone
    Black Celebration
    A Better Friend
    Ring of Fire
    It's Not Alright
    Indie-Pop Ain't Noise Pollution
    This Thing Between Us Is a Rickety Bridge of Impossible Crossing/B ...
    Stitching Time
    The Mercy Seat
    That's All There Is
    Imperfect List
    This Is Where You End
    Only Losers Take The Bus
    Dead Sound
    There's No Love Between Us
    Fuck This... I'm Leaving
    Car Wash Hair (The Bee's Chasing Me) Full Pull
    These Things
    The Government Administrator

    (CD of all tracks to be given out to all attendees - if any)
  • Th' Faith Healers - 93 Feet East

    21. Apr. 2006, 2:19

    Thu 20 Apr – Th' Faith Healers, The Early Years

    Was that good?!? My ears are ringing and that doesn't happen often nowadays. So yeah, better tell you about it...

    For those of you who don't know, Th' Faith Healers were a late 80's/early 90's band, part of what was known in the music press of the time as the Camden Lurch scene with Silverfish. They started off playing places like the Sausage Machine, which was actually in Hampstead rather than Camden but its all in the London Borough of Camden, which sort of gave birth to the Too Pure label - PJ Harvey, Stereolaband later on Hefner, amongst others. I always said Th' Healers were the inheritors of Loop's legacy of noise, especially as I think they claimed that they're cover of Mother Sky was nothing to do with Can but was because of Loop's own cover. I did once tell a know nothing music journo to fuck off when he tried to say that both Th' Healers and Silverfish were following in Nirvana's footsteps - they pre-date Nirvana's breakthrough and have more to do with a British noise tradition that was active at the time in the likes of the aforementioned Loop, Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain and many others. A bigger influence, directly or indirectly, than Sub Pop artists was "Krautrock" - Can and neu particularly - which gave them a very rhythmic sound, what sometimes gets called "motoric" (listen to Mother Sky as a good example), which was then combined with noise and irreverent lyrics - titles like Slag or Not A God - and of course Roxanne's voice. Scottish accents are great for vemon ;)

    My first conscience memory of hearing them was when I was in hospital having my appendix out. I couldn't sleep as usual, especially as they fucked up my antibiotics, and so went to the lounge during the night and the video to Gorgeous Blue Flower In My Garden was on. I instantly loved them and since then they've remained one of my favourite bands. Ever. When their first album Lido was released I remember being at Rough Trade in Covent Garden as they opened the new release box - it came with a Th' Healers sweet which I've probably still got somewhere. Their gigs were always joyess, noisey and shambolic, and I'd happily jump around with everybody else with my long hair then dreads, and big boots.

    So they called it a day in 1994 after only two albums and Tom went off to form Quickspace. However, if you've read my last journal entry you'll know that I discovered that they'd released their Peel Sessions yesterday and then picked up Time Out to see that they were playing tonight! A one off UK reunion show and just down the road! Fucking fantastic!

    So yeah, the gig. Got there about 9ish, and the place wasn't too full. Saw the running times on the way in and saw I'd get a support act and then Th' Healers at 9.45pm Found a nice spot by the bar and got a beer and waited. The support (2nd, I'd missed the first) came on called The Early Years - they were great! In the same sorta ballpark but less punky and more psychedelically - lots of effects, noisey and motoric rhythms that got you nodding. I'll be looking for their releases and further performances. As they played the place started filling up and when they came off I moved towards the front.

    I don't think I'd really realised how much I was looking forward to this but as I stripped down to my t-shirt and tied my hoodie round my waist in the traditional style as they got ready to play I was already bouncing on the balls of my feet. Then they started playing - This Time I think, I get muddled about the track order because I was too busy grinning - and I straight away I was dancing! Now this might be usual for some but I'm used to going to sit down gigs or standing at the sides tapping my foot and nodding my head nowadays, too self-conscious to do anything like dance but tonight I was jerking around and lurching about straight away - so were loads of other people and there couldn't have been anyone under 30 in the audience (work it out). And I didn't stop. Not until they finished the encore, other than to take pictures that is (see the link on my profile to take you to my pictures). If you were there, I was the one dancing like a fool down the front with the hair and glasses, as illustrated top left, with a brown Hefner t-shirt on. And because it was a pensioner crowd , everybody knew the rules and no-one was a pain in the arse (hope I wasn't !), just like at Half Man Half Biscuitgigs. We slammed about but in a nice way and only into those others who were doing the same.

    And what about the music? I didn't think it was loud enough at first and maybe they turned it up or maybe I stopped caring. But they played great. Tight enough, not Shellac tight, but also loose enough to be the shambling band we all loved. A few false starts but that's par for the course. Tom would launch into the riff of something like Reptile Smile and the others would follow, only occasionally seeming to forget which track they were playing next. Don't think I can give you a full set list but other than those already mentioned they played Gorgeous Blue Flower, Spin 1/2, Hippy Hole, Love Song, Easy Being You, Heart Fog and encored with Mother Sky, all of which left me very happy and sweaty.

    So then I grabbed a screen printed gig poster and blue vinyl 7" promo of Oh Baby and My Loser (a US pressing), bantered with the cabbies, cursed that I'd not brought a bag with me as I'd not anticpated bringing anything more home with me than I'd taken out, got my bike walked up Brick Lane until I found a carrier bag and then cycled home.

    The end.