Friday 29 June 2007

Sexy Kids, No Age, Mika Miko - Nice n Sleazy

Missing Sexy Kids ex-Royal We, I bumble into the back of a packed crowd for No Age. Some Winchester folk are here, girls from the original Glasgow Indie Eyespy, folk off of the internet, arty photographer folk and Stew from Beard is here. If Adam's wondering where its at, he's in the wrong place, at Bloc waiting for the Slut of Trust to set up.

On stage there's a chap in a vest stood on a monitor and some guy with a bandana round his neck playing guitar. This is loud chewy guitar, that wraps itself round you and squeezes, so rich and warm. The drums and singing starts. I say singing, there's more shouting involved with a double microphone setup, and not so much drumming, but one handed banging along. Really loud, but really comfortable, there are heads bobbing along.
Even as a support act they had an encore. A noisy building number, with mic-less howling and dying away before exploding again just as I'm my way out for a cigarette.

Mika Miko from Los Angeles (Angeles rhyming with Kellis). Five or six brightly coloured girls, this generations Go-Gos. My favourite was their Belinda Carlisle, bouncing about centre stage with sunglasses, shouting into a red telephone. Also vocals from stage left on regular microphone with sax.

Hey, Rowan's here, I wonder if I can palm off reviewing duty on her.

So, big clunky guitar and punky rock. Sassy too. I've heard the sound before, either run of the mill punk or when I accidentally downloaded their stuff instead of UK chart topper Mika.

They offer a free t-shirt to the first crowd surfer, I'm stood near the back on a stool, wondering if its worth leaping onto the heads of the floorstanders. I haven't been to a crowd surfy gig in years. Everyone used to do it. I remember Paddy tried crowd surfing to Whipping Boy at Manchester Uni in '95 or was it China Drum, either way he ended up on the floor in pain and I was snogging a Rachel.

Some promo folk from Corona are making a fuss at the back, whilst Mika Miko launch into a bass-heavy final song. I can't see the stage, but it sounds like there's plinky plonk keyboards in there.

Squeely excitable shouty stuff.

Nice to see the bands got paid, not sure about venue hire mind.



Roy Moller, Gravity Graced, Kid ID, The AMs - The Box

Not sure who the first chap on stage was, a skiffle cover of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues, apparently he had a cool squinty way of looking at his microphone.

Holly, Nastily and Adam are here, it's The AMs last ever gig or Dominic Diamond's leaving do or something. Let me assure you, it was The AMs that I'm here for, so it comes as a surprise to see Uncle Roy Moller take to the stage next.

Its a home crowd, half decent acoustics in the room, vocals quite strong in the mix. That song with the "wah wah wah" line goes down a treat with my small circle. I think this is the first time Adam's seen him.

He's growing on me greatly, I think I ought to buy an album or something or maybe bring more folk to his gigs.
Ooh, like the WaterRats in London, The Box have CCTV pointed at the stage and plasma screens dotted about the venue. I wonder if plasma is really best for this environment, with burn-in and all that. What's the lifespan of the sets? Longer than the lifespan of the venue?

Maybe the Plimps should take cue from Roy and play gigs all over the shop.

Next up were Gravity Graced - Madchester-Oasis derrived pish. So I head next door.

Not to the acoustic version of Sweet Child O'Mine at O'Neils, but Nuts and Seeds at Sleazys.


Kid ID? Five folk on stage, including a brass section wearing shorts, doubling as backing singers. Messy, shapeless, but conventional music. Not enough ideas, too thinly spread. They play a jam out with the bass from Herbie Hancock's track 'Bring Down The Birds', its not very inspired compared to contempories such as Vertigo Green, The Poppadoms and How To Swim. Hmm, the vocals remind of me How To Swim.

I'll give them credit for looking like they're having fun on stage.

I wonder where Holly and Nastily are, and Dominik Diamond, surely not at the Variety Bar.

I head off to Bloc to try to catch the Sluts of Trust, to no avail why do bands all hit their stages at 1am these days? A text message calls me back to The Box for The Mighty Mighty AMs.
Really, how cute is Marisa? She's like a little pocket sized jar of honey. I love her eyes and her smile and she can play drums better than most comedy rock drumers I've seen this week. I'd ask her if she likes flying kites.

Their songs are genius, a rock cover of Salt n Pepa's Push It, songs they tried to write with Jack Black, he contributes one line, its about cheese, songs about Isobelle Campbell, and people with ginger hair called Suzi, such as Susan Hay.

Its like a parallel universe in here, they troop up their friends bands on stage, Scott from Sergeant, and Glasvegas (grr). Dedicating songs to Little Man Tate.

The bloke from The Last King of Scotland is in the crowd and a few dozen drunk fat people shoving past to get out for a fag, thank god I don't smoke.

Nastily is stood at the front to the left near the door, Adam is stood right in front of Dominik, grinning with his comic bag over his shoulder. Adam's an important part of my story here. Dom Diamond was the chap who did Games Master a generation ago, he went through a wilderness years period, and it was 2002 when I first went to see The Hector Collectors at Stereo with my then insane ex-girlfriend, and the Hectors played their song "Dominik Diamond, I wonder where you are, Dominik Diamond, he writes for the Daily Star", dedicating it on that occasion to Dom who's spirit was nearby. There have been updates to the song ever since. We saw the AMs play at Capitol a few months back, and Adam was exhilarated to hear that Dom still remembered him and that song.

So there he was, right at the front. Dom no longer working for XFM, and quite angry about it too, some would say bitter, especially being an award winning DJ. I understand, I too was made redundant recently. There are debates elsewhere on the internet about what the hell XFM are playing at, that whole thing about axing daytime DJs in order to play internet jukebox radio. Short term populism, its their own death nell.

On stage though, The AMs are great fun, I can't wait to see them again.

Tuesday 26 June 2007

Jo Foster, Ceylan Delikanli, The Hector Collectors, The Bears - The Halt Bar

The Bears, missed them, but I asked Adam if they were any good - "Yeah. If that's not a recommendation, I don't know what is. Contemporaries of The Hector Collectors according to the blurb.

Speaking of which, they're next on stage.

This incarnation is just Iain and Adam with Paul from the Plimptons on drums. Whilst line-up-wise they're a pale shadow of the glory days of when half of indie pop faves Camera Obscura were with them on drums, or the mastermind behind NME faves Dananananaykroyd played bass for them, or even earlier when Paul from The Poppadoms played bass for them, the sound is almost exactly the same as the classic Hector Collector demos that John Peel played at the start of this decade.

Its as shambolic as always, cultural references all a decade out of date, psychopaths on the internet, Oasis-style britpop. Oblique ad libs to the crowd, "This is another song in the world", "In the year 2525 no one will remember this song"
Hector Collectors 2
Ad and Paul both lose their voices towards the end. During the final G, Cm, D medley, it fell apart a few times, word forgetting, string breaking, song forgetting.

Glastonbury was really muddy and tiring, but ultimately alright.

Perhaps some brief explanation, tonight this is Go-ra-ga, a sister promotion to Drive Carefully Records, same sort of people, but ethically run. Now Nuts and Seeds made a similar claim of ethics and would publish their accounts online, door takings and how much each band were paid. It didn't last long and they never seemed to need to pay venue hire or PA hire.

On the other hand, Go-ra-ga is at the Halt bar, where no door entry is charged, it'll be interesting to see how they can back up the ethics claim.

Ceylan Delikanli
and another girl on stage next, as joint headliners, restless audience, they started with too much talking, but when the girls started singing, the audience falls silent. The second girl giggles gratingly through the first song, but Ceylan is flawless. Two girl harmonies and a £12 ukulele.

Paul Smith with new haircut nattering to Adam, who previously had been mistaken for a barman, and white russians requested.

Viking Moses is here, they invite him on stage to help swap around instruments whilst the audience chat amongst themselves.

Music for falling asleep to. I'm not sure who Ceylan's friend is, but she sings nice, less of the ethereal quality of Ceylan, but nice, lilting and melodic.

Songs get better towards the end of the set, with understated, jolly keyboards, loud keypress noises.

Its a bit Glastonbury style folkiness.

Dave and Chris from the Just Joans are here, and Tom Snowball too, now I think about it, Viking Moses sounds a little like Tom Snowball.

Ooh, The Just Joans are playing Twee as Fuck in October, the club night that Uma Thurman runs, its a small small world this green land of indiepop.

Ah, now it all becomes clear, the other girl on stage with Ceylan and Viking Moses was Jo Foster, the headline act. All three of them intermingled, not quite knowing all of each other's songs, but close enough.

So, in summary:-
Jo - Lilting
Ceylan - Ethereal
Hectors - Shambolic
The Bears - Yeah

Clair takes me notebook to contribute her own review...

Ethical, What is ethical?
I'm trying to write something
of substance, but :
A) There is no light
I can't even see wr
(what I'm writing, apparently
+ B) I can't even
Anyway, ...
I have a feeling.
that my breif (brief)
drinken appearance
Okay. Completely forgotten
what I'm saying. But
yes, I am honoured to
be writing in Christopher
David Gilmour's book of
excitement _ perhaps I shall
finish soon. The Bears were
wonderful (yet I'm biased
as I have been to
Amsterdam with one bear
and have... I don't know
Been associated with
Anyway. They were
ace + Hectors were
wonderful. Anyone who
has an objective opinion
of the Hector Collectors
Umnm, I
Anyway. Think
I have a limited
time with you, my

Anyway. Ceyland + Co
were beautifill
That said beautful
Appologis for
the diary abuse

Sunday 24 June 2007

Extreme Animals, Voice Like Bones - Transmission Gallery

Some kind of Nuts and Seeds related night at the Transmission Gallery, which now appears to be above the 13th Note, rather than on the corner with all the chalk graffiti.

Its a big dark and empty room, arty hipster types and, dare I say it, monotypes are in attendance, short girls with tight jeans and those hairstyles, boys with scruffy hair and coloured trousers.

Giles, formerly of Dananananaykroyd, introduces the first act, presumably Voice Like Bones.

The room darkens further and the video projection comes on, a 3 minute mashed loop of arty clips, juxtaposing and colour switching, angels and children deconstruction. The sound comes from a chap with a table loaded with boxes and cables, distortion, reverb, tone and noise generators, and a cymbal wired up to it somehow.

Rather neat bass, you can hear the speakers struggling. Dull throbbing, almost like trains passing, thuds, clunks and whirrs, deafening at points.

Girls with small digital cameras on oversized tripods taking flashless photies of the crowd. One wonders if this is one of those pisstakery art happenings where the performance is in the reaction of the crowd rather than what is happening on stage.

Stew from Beard magazine is here.

Headlining tonight are Extreme Animals, two American chaps very slowly make their way to the stage on pretend zimmerframes. I say stage, its just a lit up area in the middle of the room, between speakers, where a drum kit and a flightcase of electronics have been set up.

Loud fast raucous stuff, backing synths with live drums from 'Dave' and distorted vocals and synth noodles from the other chap.

Having a whale of a time. I can't make out any of the lyrics, but there's lots of moshing and shouting. Twinkly keyboards sound a bit like KLF's cathedral.

They entice the audience nearer withfist fulls of fake money, and when the microphone fails, everythings pretty good humoured with teh wsinger chatting to the crowd about the reasons for them playing tonight, whilst a spare is found.

Comedy dance moves mid-song an as requested by an audience member some dirty dancing in a corner before the final song of the night.

Very likeable people, with nice, enjoyable, but disposable electric music.


Tuesday 19 June 2007

The Loves, Roy Moller, Friends of the Bride, The School - Buffalo Bar

Only caught the last half of The School's last song, they're a The Loves spinoff group, I read somewhere, with eight members, but I count only six tonight. They get compared to the mighty 'Ob on their biog and I can hear the similarities in that last song, tamborine and girl singing, also on stage is a violin and glokenspiel. That song did sound like it came from the mighty 'Ob, Hermit Crabs, California Snow Story stable.

Another Fortuna Pop night at the Buffalo, familiar faces, Paul, Uma Thurman and the usual promotery crowd.

I was late in arriving fro catching up with old friends, should have tried to drag them along tot he show.

Friends of the Bride on next. Rather dapper chaps in suits, drummer with shades, singer with teeth, sounded like the spawn of Bennet and Menswear, with rather nice scooby jazz singingfrom the same parallel universe as Ink Wilson from How To Swim. Cool backing vocals and practised ad lib style asides to the crowd. I think I want to play guitar for The Deep Fried Wolfknuckles like the Friends of the Bride's guitar player.
Friends of the Bride 2
Hmph, the bass was a little too loud and noodly for my tastes.

I nipped out for a fag and came back in time for Roy Moller, I must resist the urge to call him Uncle Roy, but he is becoming a popular act with this website.

The crowd had thinned a little bit , just me and Paul stood at the front and people lurking nearby. Maybe he inspires less rabit enthusiasm than the previous act. There's three of them on stage, Martin on the left, dressed in black wearing shades, with melodica or tamborine as fitting the song and backing vocals. Roy centre stage with his guitar and on the right was 'sports hero' on bass and harmonica.
Roy Moller 1
I'm not sure it it counts as three-part harmonies or just three people singing at the same time. Better sound than last time I saw him at the Cottiers, back then you had to imagine how he would have sounded if the acoustics had been better, here the acoustics were better, but he just didn't sound as urgent or life enriching. Competent, aye, and pretty good, but just didn't seem right compared to the other acts.

Headlining the night was The Loves. I love The Loves, I have done for about eight years, saw them in Glasgow a few months back with the Owsley Sunshine, in Liverpool in 2003 and heard them on John Peel back in 2000, I even wrote them into my second novel. They've been kicking about for a while. Scuzzy bubblegum pop, with a load of distortion, not quite as much as when Pnos was in the band, but I guess times change.

One thing you can rely on them with in Simon Love's Bob Dylan-esque singing, actually I think they used to have a song called John Like Bobby D. He kind of whines nasily, like a child who doesn't enunciate properly. One of my favourite tracks off of their first album is She'll Break Your Heart, on the record its a gooey twinkly song about heartbreak, a warm hug of a security blanket, but these days its more aggressive, with military drumming, a lot of bitterness creeping in maybe. I guess its appropriate, life's like that.

It took a while in the first few songs to get the vocal levels right, Liz Love on keys especially.
The Loves 2
Neat cover of Tainted Love squeezed into the set, and rants about Gloria Jones killing Marc Bolan. They were missing Jenna who does some vocals so from what I gather one of the songs was done by Simon in the style of Mika, a little synth disco, kinda neat, got the crowd moving.

Louder and punkier than the bubblegum pop of old, what would John Peel still make of them?




Sunday 17 June 2007

The Parsonage - Kelvingrove Park and The Left Bank

Dear god, some kind of parochial event at Kelvingrove Park and the surrounding environs. A few years back, Belle and Seb's School's Out thing at the Botanic Gardens was nice.

But here, today, meh. Their MySpace page said The Parsonage were on at three, so at five to I'm pottering along trying to find them. Maybe there was a map and bands timetable that I missed, but I get to the wee portacabin stage they're playing on at five past and manage to catch the last three songs. A Waylon Jenning's cover and Love Will Tear Us Apart. I recognised no one on stage, Ceylan is stood on my right and other people in the crowd are muttering about seeing people they know.

the wind's blowing on a couple of the microphones, so there's a howl behind the voices.

I thought there were a load of people sat on the mats in front of the stage, but no, just a big vacuous space with three or four kids running across.

Someone behind me asks if we're supposed to sing along. Thats kind of the impression they're giving.

Over to Gibson Street for the second Parsonage performance, and Christ, the street is packed with people I vaguely know or recognise, Sean from university, Stoo from Drive Carefully, folk from the 13th Note and Darius in the crowd.

I'm starving and the food is expensive, £4 for a carrot salad. I know all this has to be paid for somehow, but the ingreidents probly cost less than 50p.

There's a girl stood nearby who rides her boke past my car every morning on the way to work, we don't know each other at all. Somewhere across the street I think I can see Bjorn/Eric from Say Dirty, and passing me as I scribble is a girl called Fiona from university.

Some religious singing mob finish on stage, they sounded a bit too Christian for my tastes. Half an hour to set up some mics and The Parsonage take over. Crikey, I count 36 of them, the stage is creaking a little, and the crowd is thickening up.

Something to do with sweetspots, when I'm stood right at the side of the street in which the stage and burger/salad stands have been set up, leading against the front of the Left Bank restaurant, the Parsonage sound really quiet, drowned out by nearby conversations and the noise of eaters, two steps forward and they sound louder, but still unabmplified, the microphones aren't on as far as I can tell. When they'd finished and I walked away down the street, the Stone Roses 'I wanna be Adored' came on the PA and the bass was so heavy and shapeless, just the loud thudding, you couldn't even tell what tune it was.
The Parsonage 3
Their conductrix was stood on a chair about five meters from the rest of the choir, between songs, without a microphone she'd try to explain to the crowd what they were up to and what song would come next, but she was a little quite, and the crowd, I think were growing restless. Dogs barked, kids screamed, and then slowly died down when the next song began.

The Johnny Cash covers were a bit samey, but it was neat to have a homegrown version of Scala performing. Some neat arrangement to the songs, the gospelly ones worked best, I think the wide dynamic range of bloke singing and girls singing over at the back could have been done better. There were flashes of it in some of the songs, like Ring of Fire.


Redword, Ex-Wives, Pappygold - 13th Note

Stumbled into the 'Note around 10pm, after having Bob moan at me for hours in Coopers on the other side of town. "I was there, I know it was okay".
So here, on stage, the band are really loud...

"If yer writing a review, I want in it," says Clair, somewhat threateningly. Sure, here's her myspace profile, website and Livejournal, I hope she reciprocates with links to this site. Seconds later I'm being jumped on by one of the Drive Carefully Records promotery people, muttering something about me writing a bad review.

Ah, fuck this shit.

Adam Plimp has his fingers in his ears as he tries to sell copies of Kharki Shorts, its the final issue of the legendary Glasgow underground comic. And he appears to be drawing the gig. What us this? Some new fashion? All the cool kids doing it now, writing reviews not good enough? Well, I hope some of the pictures end up online, bigger audience and all that.

So, the band, I'm not sure who they are, but they're pretty good. Overwealmingly loud; guitar, bass, drums and barked vocals, a neat tapestry of sounds mixes from the hard rock/metal pallet. Bass player with fluffy angel wings. A poor man's answer to the mighty Dananananaykroyd?

Kind of jarring compared with what Drive Carefully usually have on, whoever booked them seems to be showing contempt for the regulars. It could have been some crazy attempt to keep the punters on their toes, or get a new crowd in. Looks like the band brought a load of their friends along, so its paid off.

Its a kind of deep grinding music, with some bounce to it. Some of the lyrics sounds like Adam's ad libs, "My girlfriend left me for a horse..."

Ooh, free CDs.

Apparently they were the Ex-Wives, but I didn't recognise any of them (pun).

Gill and Stoo play some MP3s, I go for a wander. And vaguely get introduced to someone off of the internet in real life!! For a few brief seconds it was like "Hey!!" "Hey!!" and it was kind of cool, we read each other's blogs from time to time. But alas, thats about as far as it needs to go.

Next on stage is some laptop gentleman, laptop and keyboard, possibly called Pappygold, and for the first songs possibly playing MP3s and a game of Solitair, or judging by the mousepad action, it could be FreeCell.

For the third song, a microphone is involved, could be glitch-pop, fast drums and cathedral sounds.
Pappygold 1
Ceylan say "Yeah, I like it," hmm, double enthusiasm there. She adds "He's interesting and far more enjoyable than the rest" a similar opinion to Adam and Steff, who earlier thought that the first act were better than the second. I almost wish I hadn't missed the first act, Redword, prog laptop stuff apparently. But alas, if I hadn't been in Coopers I'd have been at the Laurison.

So, this girl just tried to get in on the guestlist. I'd taken a seat at the door, next to the money tin and Ceylan with the stamp. She came in, looked awkward and smiled with these dimpley cheeks and stripey top under a baggy glittery jumper, cute nose and smiled again. Ceylan stared back. I think the stand off lasted about twelve minutes of unblinking before the interloper broke off and asked promoter Billy to let her in.

Right, next gig on the Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy callendar is The Parsonage playing in Kelvingrove Park at 3pm today.
I love the Parsonage, never seen them play live though, they're a thirty strong choir who do covers of contemporary hits by artists such as Johnny Cash and Funboy Three, and by a startling coincidence, I went to school with one of them, worked with another of them, happen to be sitting next to another and wrote a review of yet another only two days ago. I had you hooked with the promise Johnny Cash covers.


Friday 15 June 2007

Foxface, Skeleton Bob, Kevin Campbell - Mono

Drunk at the Pulpit, I kind of missed going to the last one, and took great pleasure of reviewing it anyway, is some kind of bands and record playing night, bringing together folk with music they wouldn't usually find, with esquisitly twee flyers.

First on stage is Kevin Campbell. Delicate finger picking, more like a recital than a set from the slide guitar player in Older and Faraway, most of whom happen to be in attendance tonight.

Bob, my companion, he thinks "He's got soul man, I also believe he rapes babies, you can tell by the way he plays guitar."

So there's this girl sat next to us, she appears to be drawing the gig. I think I've heard about her before, its been suggested that one of my cartoonist chums does a similar thing, but charges the promoters a more modest fee for illustrations.

So my friend Bob, we played chicken together as kids, I haven't seen him for ages, now he has only one leg, the other a rather half arsed prosthetic, the Nigerian NHS I guess. I don't really feel comfortable asking about it. It's ben 14 years, how long do these things take to grow back?
My friend Bob's prosthetic foot
Skeleton Bob "Why's he singing like that? Is he American?" No Bob, its just the way he's singing, "He sings better when not singing in American."

Bob wonders if the drummer's boobs bounce when she drums, its hard to tell under that jumper. Nice drumming on the faster numbers, kind of just functional on the slower ones.

Ooh, one of the songs started like it was going to be a Joy Division cover, and then another like Born To Be Wild, before veering off course.

Bob's leg knocks against a table in time to the must, people nearby glance over, muttering to themselves, racists.

Foxface on last "Tired, been around Glasgow too long, they've stopped progressing and should really just stop." There's already one Sons & Daughters out there, do we really need another? For that matter I think they sound just like Foxface too, they need to find another audience, Bob's right, they need to progress somehow.
Fox Face
The wee oscillating, squeeling tone thing at the start of the set, whilst uncalled for, could end up being their saviour if they learn how to use it.

"The singer has just stood up on a table screaming, like a maddenned ostrich, oh no, he's pissing on someone's humus. What an animal, he shouldn't be allowed in a vegan establishment."

And as my companion descending is to potentially libellous claims about what is happening on stage, in a cynical effort to draw the reader's attention to this blog, I feel I should, not so much justify, but pontificate. Whilst I firmly established in my mind, that going to three or four gigs every week is possibly a symptom of a sick mind, especially bearing the quality of the bands and the promoters, and well quality of the review writing, I also feel that you guys, the readers, aren't pulling your weight.

I'm guessing that a number of you readers are actually in the bands that I go to see, or have a hand in running / promoting the gigs. I pay you money, and I tell people about the show afterwards, I try to tell people about it afterwards. I write about the bands, and my feelings the sights, sounds and sensations that you've provided, cos well to be honest no one else is going to. I feel its a bit of a lop sided relationship.

I thrive on people reading this, on seeing how many hits this site gets, just like the bands thrive on seeing a full and eager audience. The way this site gets loads of hits isn't by cultivating a small dedicated band of readers, I'll leave that to community sites, this site gets loads of hits by other people posting links in their websites, blogs and messageboards. Not just one link, but loads of them.

So go forth and reciprocate.

Maybe I'll start actually reviewing the shows if there are people reading.



Wednesday 6 June 2007

Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy - Breaking News

Stuart Murdoch's broken his leg

Just saw him hobbling down the street. My flatmate, who has experience in these matters, reckons he should be resting it.


Franz Ferdinand, The Royal We - The Grand Ole Opry, 5th June 2007

I wasn't that fussed about this gig when it was announced. Franz Ferdinand, they're just sooo two years ago now, I didn't even download their last album FFS. It would've been quite cool to go to a new venue mind. Nah stuff it, seen these guys twice already and I need to save the pennies.

Then it happened. I sit idly surfing on a Sunday morning and hear the spdoink of a new email - more spam, how disappointing. Except that this spam is from TicketWeb, and they have a few tickets released at the last minute for the FF gig! A few credit card fraud scams later (what would I possibly want with an AK-47 in Korea??) and here we are, in a teeny-weeny venue to see the biggest band in Scotland strut their stuff close-up. The drink's cheap too. Result!

First up are The Royal We, a band I was fairly excited about seeing live given their excellent myspace track All the Rage and an acquaintance with Wee Patrick the guitaro-keyboardist. I have to say they were a little bit underwhelming. Very good an' all, excellent tunage and a good stage vibe...I just didn't feel anything listening to the music. My own fault for having that epidural in the Grapes Bar on the way there I and learn.

A swift bottle of Newcy Brown is procured just in time for the 'nand taking to the stage. They rip right into one of the songs off the first album (I think it was Jacqueline, didn't take notes so don't go mad if I'm wrong) and soon as they started playing I realised I would've been a fool to miss this gig. The band are on fire, but health and safety remained unaffected as this was metaphorical fire, the best kind in a gig situation. Alex reminds everyone of just how good a frontman he is as he has the entire crowd eating out of his hand all night, one can only hope that he remembered to wash them when he came back from the obligatory pre-gig skitters. Bob does an admirable impression of a bored gigalo while his fingers glide effortlessly along the fretboard. Paul could probably have filled a plastic pint pot or two with the amount of sweat dripping off him. The other guy was good too.

CHAG-A-DANG! Oh, here it comes - that song. Sounded fucking ace too. Shopping for Blood was superb, augmented by a floppy-haired fella who appeared from backstage and pounded Paul's toms to create thunderously tribal rhythm. A few new songs pepper the set, one with a surprisingly sythesisey feel and another raising the roof during the encore. A rather poorly-received anecdode about partying until 6am in Berlin before giving 'an English goodbye' was the only low point, really. The crowd of 250-odd punters dance the evening away underneath the plastic cactii and confederate flags with gay abandon, and I wonder why more 'indie' bands don't play this place.

After just over an hour of playing like their time-ravaged future selves were dreaming about it in flashback form, FF exit the stage, tossing plectrums and setlists towards the grabby hands at the front. Shit, where did David leave his car's scary out there.

here (in French)


Crap sound, mind

Saturday 2 June 2007

The Haze, The Only Ones - The Garage

The Only Ones, a legendary band, £18 on the door. Their magnum opus Another Girl Another Planet was merely a half-decent track on a cover CD until some girl on the internet mailed me a complete works compilation tape in 2003. I'd forgotten preceisly who'd sent me the tape until relatively recently, the usual problem of identifying online folk in real life. There was a girl at a party talking about The Only Ones reforming for some festivals and a few gigs and how she'd once sent a compilation tape to someone on the internet but forgotten who.

This mutual realisation didn't quite bring us closer together, 400 miles and David Kitchen put pay to that, but it did reveal a datum of kinship.

The tape was full of great great tunes, straddling punk, blues, new wave and psychedelia, The Only Ones deserving of their legendary status.

But what the fuck is happening tonight? The gig has been bumped down from The ABC to a smaller venue, The Garage and right now, before any bands, this place is mostly empty. The doors have been open for twenty minutes and I count 12 paying punters. Mostly old folk and a couple of kids.

The quiet, the space and the time lets my mind drift and I try to chart the last twelve years of my love life in my notebook.

By the time the support act come on the audience has swelled to maybe 150 and still nmroe people are flocking in, dispersing my fears of small crowds. The band are called The Haze, from Glasgow although I've never heard of them. A soaring and throbbing rock band. For the first song the singer usues a megaphone, rendering the lyrics as unintelligible sharp barks, even when he abandons the megaphone I stillc an't make out what he's saying, but they're very jolly.

Mid-song tempo changes, Will Sergeant-esque lead guitar. Neat pounding melodies that drag you in, whoops from the crowd and inbetween song feedback howls and distortion. Hmm, I think they sound a little like The Music.

The place seems mostly full when The Only Ones arrive on stage. Crikey they ook old, forgivable for the 25 years since they last play live (apart from the festivals earlier this summer). Peter Perrett is a gaunt stick insect of a man, big sunglasses, big hair, matchstick thin arms. The rest of the band look great, smug John Perry on lead guitar, like a bald Dave Gilmour, Mike on drums, old but steady.

On bass, there were problems, Alan Mair managed to snap a string two songs intot he set, and there, there was just problems with amps and DIs for the rest of the set, brief moments of the bass drowning out everything else, before coming back on line.

Peter Perrett's voice, what is it? Its liks this creaky whiney thing. He looks like an alien.

Luckily Another Girl Another Planet was perfect, slipped in second from the end. I saw Europe play the Garage the other year and they saved their Final Countdown for the encore to keep the crowd guess, but none of that for the Only Ones.

Shakey old men, who've seen better days, but cracking tunes and nice that they've not dead yet.

Ooh, I saw Stevie from Belle and Sebastian on my way out


Gay Against You - The Old Blue Last

Once more into the breach dear friends, once more. and I'm back in London once again, only forty five quids worth of petrol, drove slowly to push the boundaries of fuel efficiency, when it would have saved the environment so much more if I'd just stayed in bed and sobbed to myself.

There's a strange dream-like quality to the evening, I arrive late at the Old Blue Last, still unsure what that means, but it does neatly fit in with the theme of the word Last which has dogged my muso career since university. I've missed whatever support acts there were and Gay Against You are hitting the stage.

Yup I've driven 406.3 miles to see a Glasgow band. Wee Joe who could be a twelve year old and his friend Lachy.

They make noise and they make a mess. I reckon they're glitch pop, some of their tunes on myspace are nice, but live, they're a different beast, noisier and less structured. Their live performance is a gimmick, they make a mess, with foam, paper, cardboard, chalk, whatever they can get their hands on, strangling theirs elves with mic leads, breaking their own necks leaping off of tables and writhing on the floor.

The crowd here are loving it, lapping it up, diving in and falling over. It'll stick in their heads but for how long, and is this what bands have to do to get noticed?

When they finish I sneak away, long drive home.

Why do I do it?

This whole project Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy, instant gig reviews of gigs no one else writes about, well most of the time, its a failed mission. No spectacular hits, no huge income from google ads, less than $5 last month. Only one guestlist place. No new friends or life altering experience, just noisy disillusionment.

I wish I could be like Gay Against You. But I can't.