Thursday 29 November 2007

Goonite Club: Arthur and Martha, Monster Bobby, Monday Club, Brontosaurus Chorus - The Buffalo

I was house-sitting earlier this week, they had a DVD player so I was watching the complete Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 16 hours a day. They also seemed to have my Amazon wishlist of books lying round, so I read this book called Tipping Point.
Its like one of these sociological / cultural / psychology for people books. I only got through the first 60 pages, giving some clues about why some cultural phenomenons become runaway successes and others don't.

From what I gather, it usually depends on a dozen or so factors all pulling in the same direction at the same time.

There are three types of people vital in spreading new ideas. The first one mentioned is The Connector, they're charming people who know everyone in many worlds. Not necessarily close friends with everyone, but charming enough to be remembered. Close ties between 'friends' and 'weak ties' between acquaintances. When these guys get it, a bit of news spreads quickly.

I'm not very good as a 'Connector', my charmingness doesn't come easily, despite the worlds I span.

The second person type was 'The Maven', one who collects information and is good at communicating it. These would be the people who discover the cool bands who are to be the next big thing that no one knows about, or who have figured out that Facebook has jumped the shark.

I too am not so good as a Maven, I back the wrong horses.

Sadly I never found out who the third person type was.

Apparently the 'weak tie' friendships are more useful than the strong one, cos there are more of them with a greater span.

First band on are Arthur and Martha, one of them is Alice from Spiral Scratch, when my musical masterplan comes together next year, I'll need them on my side. I think that by bribery, they'll learn to love me, and sort out the damned Spiral Scratch blog. That was the plan anyway.
Arthur and Martha
But before I came out this evening, I checked my last review of of Arthur and Martha, and it turns out I liked them last time, but was sadly too drunk to be coherent.

Tonight though, I am sober.

They are the missing link between Bis and The Younger Younger 28s, and their last song sounded like Idlewild's A Tone.

This one time I saw the Younger Younger 28s at King Tuts in Glasgow, about five people in the crowd, including flatmate Nick, Joanne from Stonehaven and some broad with a notebook. The next week the gig got a rave review in the NME.

The next time I saw them was Freshers week '98 at Strathclyde Uni, I got chatting to the girls in the band, they said they were playing the next night in Edinburgh. So me and Nick duly trekked over and got chatting to them there too. For years I've claimed I snogged the cute one outside The Venue.
Monster Bobby
Monster Bobby on next, here tonight, the records show that me and Fiona thought he was pants last time, mostly due to the crap sound in Tuffnells.

Tonight though, the sound's better the place is a quarter full and there's a girl in the crowd who looks like Beautiful Laura from school.

He's the main driving force behind The Pipettes and a proto-Bill Drummond according to wikipedia. Sounds like a cross between Craig Pulsar and Denim tonight mind.
Monday Club 01
Final act of the night for me are The Monday Club. Three girls, well, the drummer is a bit borderline. But the singing guitar and bass girls sure can holler. Like Polly Jane Harvey reborn as slightly younger. Nice harmony bits and the bass player was really cute.

I'm not sure what it was, but I kept glancing at my watch, wishing they'd finish so I could go home, then I realised that actually I could just go home, no need to wait.

Monday Club 04

Arthur and Martha
Monster Bobby
Monday Club
Brontosaurus Chorus


Saturday 24 November 2007

Fortuna Pop: Bricolage, Falling and Laughing, Wake The President - The Buffalo

50,000 page views,
2,000 unique hits,
100 returning visitors,
But comments numbered only 2.
When I looked up the IP addres
Whois said it was you.

8 police vans and cars storming towards the city centre as I maked my way from Swiss Cottage to Highbury and The Buffalo, very late probably missing the first few bands, Falling and Laughing who it'd be difficult to give an honest opinion of, and Wake the President who've been written about before. In fact I missed three acts, arriving just as Bricolage, from Glasgow, were just setting up.

Who'd have thunk it, their new bass player is none other than Mighty Chris from The Hector Collectors, My Legendary Girlfriend and The Just Joans. the beating heart of Glasgow's sound for the past decade now.

Last time I saw Bricolage play properly was the other year at the Winchester. Weird looking drummer who the girls all liked who I later joined in a photoshoot for some photoy ex-girlfriend far away. Of course, he's no in the band any more and I don't recall what they sound like.

Bricolage 01

So, with every other member of the Hector Collectors having international success, Big Dunc with Dananananaykroyd, Big Gav with Camera Obscura, Paul with The Martial Arts, and Chris with Bricolage and The Just Joans, I can't help but feel that somehow my involvement with The Plimptons handicapped them from joining that glittering array. Thank god that involvement is buried along with my heart four hundred miles away.

Bricolage 02

Guitars played up over their hearts, strangled vocals like XTC and Dogs Die in Hot Cars or even Joe Jackson.

Bricolage 03

Girls dancing in cardigans at the sides of the stage. My favourite people in the crowd who weren't paying attention to the band, were either the people doing high-fives or the blonde girls talking about hair. My love for the cardigan dancers is surpassed by the couple behind me, gently swaying in each other arms.

Bricolage 05

Lead guitar played in the synthesizer style like later era Chilli Peppers.

Slowly figuring out who Fortuna Pop is at gigs. Shame the forum on their website doesn't work.


Falling and Laughing
Wake The President


Saturday 10 November 2007

The Just Joans - Looking Like Rain video

The amazing new video for LNFG favourites, The Just Joans and their song Looking Like Rain

Twee as Fuck: The Bridal Shop, My Sad Captains, Connan and the Mockasins - Buffalo

Twee as Fuck 02

The Bridal Shop


My Sad Captains 06

"He's taking his cardigan off, he means business"

My Sad Captains 03

My Sad Captains 02

Connan and the Mockasins 01

The Bridal Shop
My Sad Captains
Connan and the Mockasins

Monday 5 November 2007

Multiplies, Bubblewrap Holocaust, Mother and the Addicts - Mono

Tonight in Mono, it's all very strange. The faces, the noises, the smells...everything feels like it's 2003 again when Glasgow was the centre of the world and it was inevitable that the better local bands would not only get signed, but follow the Franz Ferdinand route into Hyper Global Mega stardom to boot. The place is packed, but literally everyone here is either in a band or in a relationship with someone in a band...or Paul Jamieson. And everyone is here to see Multiplies. In common with 90% of the assembled throng, we left right after their set and missed out on seeing Mother and the Addicts play what must have been one of the most depressing gigs of all time. Still, they got signed so maybe they didn't care. Would the main attraction have swapped all their cult status and indie cred for that elusive record deal? Answers on a postcard...

First on the bill are a bunch of battle-scarred veterans going by the name of Bubblewrap Holocaust. The skinny frontman is instantly recognisable as the visual arts guy who does the spinning OHP acetates, transforming the anachronistic teaching aid into waves of psychedelic art. Or maybe I was just any case, his band are on top form tonight, with 2 bassists, drums and a keyboard accompanying his Hugh Reedisms with an angular backdrop that bears more than a passing resemblance to The Fall. Gordon from Bangtwister and Macrocosmica mans one of the basses with a dead ringer for the old guy out of The Commitments playing the other and it's a great sound, first time I've heard wah-wah bass and now I want more.

BH were very good but their appeal had started to wane a bit by the time they shuffled off stage, and the excitement in the air became palpable as folk began to stake out their spots in preparation for the 'plies. Eventually they took to the stage, James and Graham in white while David and Stuart were clad in black. Drummer James stood behind his kit with sticks aloft while the other 3 bowed their heads in (presumably) mock reverence as some dramatic choral music played...



...then they started.

Arms flail, chords snap, smiles and nods are exchanged, instruments swapped, and in the middle of it all stands Graham Ronald. Despite only 2 of his 3 organs fully functioning tonight, he is the star of the show, only narrowly failing to be upstaged by the demonic drummer behind him. Graham's parents are just in front of us and seemed to enjoy their son's endeavours (though I suspect they're still hassling him to get "a proper job" even as he protests that he's on tour with Mogwai next week). The show is undoubtedly a success, the fans certainly enjoyed it all.

Multiplies are not your usual self-effacing indie band, most of their songs come across like childish competitions between the 4 guys on stage to see which one can rock out most impressively. For most of the time this is no bad thing, but when they attempt to combine this with vocals from Stuart Memo on a couple of numbers it all comes unstuck a bit. Still, at the close of a short set nobody has had enough, and the band wisely go back to the stage to perform one last song...or is it? They seemed to be having a prety good time up there.

Check out Dananananaykroyd, Remember Remember, Data Panik and TextAdventure for some of the various members' post-Multiplies endeavours. They're all good.

Saturday 3 November 2007

Friday 2 November 2007

The School, The Brunettes, Wake The President, The Deirdres - The Windmill

So, after hellish experiences trying to get home from Brixton in thepast, I drove out all the way there tonight to find a sign on the door saying the show was sold out. So I went in anyway, to the ticket money chap, and asked if it was really sold out.


The place was packed, I shrugged, "oh dear" and got back in my car and drove home.

Well, its a story to tell the grandkids or neice, knowing my lack of luck in the potential spawning world.

Yes petal, instead of seeing The School, The Brunettes, Wake The President and The Deirdres, pleading that I was a respected reviewer and secret pornographer in the hope my notoriety would be my gold card, I went home, listened to The School and The Loves demos and drew porn until I felt bad about myself and guilty about my emotions.

The School
The Brunettes
Wake The President
The Deirdres

Thursday 1 November 2007

Silver Springs, Electric Assembly - The good Ship

Whilst in the chick flick Silence of The Lambs, the villain Buffalo Bill would keep fat chicks n a deep hole, whilst the hero of the piece tried valliantly to stop him from his prison cell, at The Good Ship tonight, its bands they keep in a deep hole, and despite the amplification, it sounds like it.

I'm tempted to throw small dogs at them.


Silver Springs, drssd in bloodied surgeons outfits. Either their particular brand of reverb rock appeals to the older generation or its a friends and family gig, with mums and dads in attendance, the presence of a 10 year old confirms my suspicions.

It was Facebook what broght me here, a handful of folk I vaguely know were chalked up as coming along, but I see none of them.


I started to warm to the Silver Springs as the set progressed, dark instrumental-ish revery flangeiness. Sometimes the vocals were a bit ropey, but there were moments of aceness.

A cover of the Ghostbusters theme near the end won me over, even when it went a bit stadium epic in places.

Eep, this mob are the second band on, I'd missed the first driving slowly and wondering what side of the street the venue was on.

The headline act are taking a while to set up and the DJ sounds like Roddy and Leo, just playing horror movie dialogue clips. I've taken a seat with the other Billy No Mates, and I watch the dressed up people.

This time last year I was dressed as Optimus Prine at a sell-out Plimptons show at the Barfly.


Tall guitarist on stage setting up a flashing pumpkin, Raiph Fiennes indeed. Billy leans over and asks if this is the last band, Aye.


Crikey, black hoodies and skull masks, from the photies it could even be the KLF.

They sounded a bit like Hawkwind crossed with Wintergreen. Usually, aye, but tonight it grates, so after two songs I head home, and leave it to the family.

Electric Assembly
Silver Springs