• The Welsh (and some Americans) invade Triptych

    29. Apr. 2007, 5:41

    Sat 28 Apr – Gruff Rhys, Boom Bip, Espers, Euros Childs

    First off I have to say the Tramway is a nice wee venue and it's a shame it doesn't get used for gigs more often outside of Triptych.

    Moving onto the music the opener Boom Bip peddled the sort of music I tend not to enjoy. Plus they sported some horrible clothing!

    I'd be trying to hide my face if I was caught looking like that too! Their music washed over me, hardly piquing my interest apart from the odd funky undertones which got me tapping my feet.

    Next up was Euros Childs, the first of the Welsh acts of the night. He put on a great show and immediately after the gig I bought his album (from the lad himself who was taking plaudits and selling his own merchandise) Bore Da and I'm looking forward to giving it a listen. Nice happy pop music that also has me determined to finally get round to checking out his old band Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.

    Following the long haired Welsh scamp were American psychedelic folk band Espers. As my profile will attest their a band who I've been listening to a fair bit recently, which makes it all the harder to say that I found their performance rather disappointing. It wasn't a promising start when they opened with my least favourite song (Widow's Weed) and unfortunately that set the tone for the performance. They weren't bad it's just they seem like they are the type of band best enjoyed in the comfort of your own home and who aren't really ever going to be the best live band. The lead vocalist didn't shine as much as I expected her to, although Cruel Storm was absolutely awesome. However, other than that the main highlight was when the guitarist broke his guitar strap (which he claimed had been given to him by a nun) and got a bit emotional over it.

    The star of the night was undoubtedly Gruff Rhys, ably assisted by Lisa Jen of 9bach. Entering to a mock air safety regulation skit they sat down on the lovely set (whose supposed 3D properties Gruff himself admitted to be a tad disappointed in) and launched into songs from both Candylion and Yr Atal Genhedlaeth.

    Highlights of the set included Candylion, an awesome multilayered version of Gwn Mi Wn in which Gruff whirled what can only be described as a "long orange thing" above his head, a rendition of Gyrru, Gyrru, Gyrru which sped up as it went along and the crowning glory of the set, a superbly acted out Skylon!

    The presentation and the music were both excellent and my Youtube videos (first time I've taken vids at a gig as I've got a nice new camera) will no doubt utterly fail to do it justice.

    I thoroughly recommend taking a flight on Candylion airways - their pledge of "on-board melodic therapy" was definetely fulfilled.
  • Arcade Fire + Barrowlands - All Kinds of Awesome

    12. Mär. 2007, 0:07

    Sun 11 Mar – The Arcade Fire, Patrick Wolf, Electrelane

    Cursory mention of the support. Patrick Wolf is ginger. Very ginger. Also very strange. That said he was an entertaining support act. Not someone whose albums I'd ever buy but I wouldn't mind seeing him live. Plus he had one of those cool things Bill Bailey always plays that you put you're hand over and it makes noises. Poor description for such an awesome instrument but there you go. The violin player and double bassist in his band were great though.

    Before mentioning the Arcade Fire a quick mention must be made of the Barrowlands. The venue is legendary in Glasgow and tonight is one of those special nights when you realise why. It may be creaking at the edges but fill that place with the denziens of Glasgow and it takes on a new lease of life.

    On to the Arcade Fire then. The early set comprised mostly of tracks from new album Neon Bible, opening with the sublime reworked version of No Cars Go.

    Some of my other personal favourites from their second album were played, including The Well and the Lighthouse and (Antichrist Television Blues).

    There was even a rare airing for Cold Wind, apparantly the first time they'd played the song in a couple of years.

    However what really got the crowd by the balls and didn't let it go was the moment when the tracks from Funeral came to the fore. A rip roaring Neighbourhood #3 (power out) seamlessly led into Rebellion (Lies).

    By now this review is probably starting to sound like a bit of a play by play. Essentially then they played this great song and I jumped about like an eejit and sang at the top of my (albiet awful) voice. I could try and describe it better but I'd just exhause my list of superlatives so there's hardly much point!

    After a rapturous applause they came back out to play a couple more songs. Still the Barrowlands cried out for more and it wasn't long before the band returned for a second encore rounding off a brilliant night with the ever popular Wake Up.

    No doubt everyone who went to their gig has their own little highlights but there is surely no doubt among those attending that it was another piece of superb Barrowlands magic which was all down to a bunch of talented Canadians with a plethora of instruments and a bunch of amazing songs.

  • Hot Chick Playing Guitar

    28. Feb. 2007, 14:44

    But before we get to that I have to say support acts are so cliched nowadays. Just for once I'd love them to leave out the obligatory "We're on Myspace, check us out at blah, blah, blah" thing. I'd be much more impressed if they said they had their own website or assumed that if we liked them enough we'd have the common sense to search for them on Myspace anyway. Unsuprisingly Shuffle have a Myspace. That's about all they've got going for them though so I'm not wasting any more words on them.

    Charlotte Hatherley, on the other hand, does have a lot going for her, not least the fact she's a very fine looking lady leading to several cries of "I love you" from a young lad to the left of me and some thinly veiled ogling from some middle aged blokes to my right! Having played for so long in Ash she's certainly learnt a thing or two from Tim Wheeler about writing a catchy pop rock tune. She's got more than that though, as some of the new tracks from forthcoming album The Deep Blue show.

    My only criticism was that her voice was a bit drowned out by the guitar meaning that some of the impact of the new songs was last, but I assume this wont be a problem on the album. It hardly mattered anyway with songs as catchy as new tune Again and old favourite Bastardo.
  • Good ol' rock

    17. Feb. 2007, 23:23

    Went to the Cathouse to see The Hold Steady.

    The first support act The New York Fund were OK, playing some decent country tinged rock.

    They were followed by The Checks, who could go on to great things if they just ditched their vocalist. At the very least they could tell him that wearing one leather glove makes you look like a right twat.

    The Hold Steady were superb, I love their brand of bar rock. Plus the singer's recounting of the story of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of landmines, "or not being blown up by them" was hilarious. The stuff from their new album were definately the highlights, particularly Chips Ahoy and Hot Soft Light. Their older stuff, which I hadn't heard before, sounded pretty awesome so I might well try and track down their other albums if they get released in the UK.
  • I wasn't going to use this but . . .

    20. Jan. 2007, 11:20

    I reckon it will be good to keep track of the gigs that I've been to this year.

    My first gig of the year was last night and it's set a good precedent for this year.

    First up were Swedish group Loney Dear. The singer occasionally sounded a bit awkward in the quiter moments but they were a decent enough opening act. Didn't quite match up to the other awesome bands that have come out of Sweden recently though.

    Next up were the Little Ones, perhaps the main reason I went to the gig. They didn't disappoint, a tad slow to get going but once they hit their stride they were great. Good to see that they have even more fantastic pop under their belt than just their debut EP. If there's any justice they'll reach the same kind of level of popularity as the likes of The Shins.

    However the best band of the night were undoubtably headliners The Boy Least Likely To. One of the yardsticks by which I judge live performances is their ability to put a big stupid grin on my face and TBLT did that constantly. All gigs should be this fun, I haven't danced like a twat as much as that in a while! They played nearly all of songs from The Best Party Ever and proved they have more insanely happy pop to offer with a great new song. I'd never thought I'd think this but their cover of George Michael's Faith was absolutely superb as well - with lead singer Jof Owen barely able to stop himself giggling as he hammed it up with giant pauses before the chorus. They also showed a refreshing attitude to the encore; saying "This is where most bands leave the stage and make you clap. We're not going to do that, so this is the encore. You can still clap if you want though!" They crowned it all off with a superb Be Gentle With Me that had everyone (including the Little Ones, who had by then joined the crowd) dancing like nutters.

    Also a big shout out to the bunch of New Zealand nutters who invaded the stage. I don't know what was with the pretending to be French though!