gig reviews -may 05
17.4.05, Nottingham Rock City
At one time Idlewild were
expected to become the next huge British act to take the world by storm but
for some unknown reason that job ended up in the hands of Coldplay. It has
now been 3 years since Idlewild’s last album “The Remote Part” and during
that time they seem to have become the forgotten heroes of British music.
But thankfully 2005 is the year when they return to once again light up our
Tonight the venue is
absolutely rammed with fans that still remember the band’s louder and faster
days while the rest are those people who have recently fallen in love with
the new musical direction, which Idlewild have been praised for following.
With a back catalogue of four
quality albums to fall back on Mr.Woomble and company have a wealth of tunes
to delight us with. Tonight sees a huge chunk of the classic album “100
Broken Window” being played for our entertainment with the likes of “Wooden
Ideas” and “Roseability” sounding especially exciting and fresh as they did
when they first hit our radios all those years ago. There’s also enough
tracks played from each album to satisfy every member of the audience
whether they enjoy the hard-hitting “A Modern way of Letting Go” more or the
beautifully reflective “American English”.
There are also plenty of
tunes from new album “Warnings/Promises” on display with upcoming single “I
Understand it” demonstrating how the band may have grown and developed
musically but still managed not to lose touch with their fan base. Each new
song fits perfectly in with the rest of the set, which is truly exceptional.
On tonight’s performance there is no reason why Idlewild cannot go on to
even bigger and better things. If they have slipped your mind it’s about
time you reminded yourself how first-class this band really are.
1.3.05 - The Forum, Kentish Town
Ever since the Pixies started the reformation trend early last year it seems
everybody's at it. Even the original line-up of Dinosaur Jr will be back on
stage together this summer - who'd of thunk it? However, not even Boston's
finest can hold a candle to Slint in the unlikely reunion stakes, a band few
could claim to have heard of, let alone have seen play live during their
heyday. Yet here I am, 14 years after their demise, alongside several
hundred devotees, clutching a ticket in my sweaty paw and wondering what on
earth to expect.
strange kind of tension tonight that I've never previously experienced at a
gig, and this sensation only intensifies as the band silently slope onstage
and pause for what seems like an age before lurching into a thunderous "For
Dinner...", a song that defines the term "ominous". From there on in we're
treated to a selection from both of the bands' albums, and - let me tell you
- you don't know the meaning of the word "precision" until you've heard the
entirety of "Spiderland" played note-perfect: this is one well-rehearsed
band. In which case, are the lengthy gaps between songs simply a case of
clever theatrics rather just plain rustiness? The crowd certainly isn't sure
- one frustrated punter even goes so far as to shout out "Play something!"
as we stand there in the dark waiting for the next song. The band don't
respond - in fact there is no audience interaction whatsoever apart from a
gruff "Thanks" now and again from singer Brian McMahan. This was always a
group shrouded in mystery and a decade and a half later nothing has changed.
As "Good Morning Captain" comes crashing to a halt and the last dying shards
of feedback echo around the room, I can't shake the feeling that tonight
raised as more questions than it answered. Still, I'm glad I had the
opportunity to be there.
+ Kill Yourself + Brown Owl
The Fenton, Leeds
John Dwyer is a clearly a man possessed. With his band, the Coachwhips, he
snarls and rasps, struts and ghurns all at a colossal pace. Accompanied by
keyboardist Val Tronic and drummer Mat Hartman they manage to create short
urgent garage blues songs that are a bit like being continually pummelled in
the face…but by someone you really love. There set is frantic with the music
roaring from a column of crappy amps on the room’s floor by which the three
play. Songs never really last more than a couple of minutes opting rather
for sort high intensity blasts. As this goes on Dwyer sucks his mic into his
mouth and growls along whilst leaning, pushing and generally cajoling the
audience. Beer it thrown, equipment is destroyed (both by the band) and we
are shown that a punk spirit does still reside in the music world.
up for them before hand we’d had the privilege of both Brown Owl and Kill
Yourself. Tight guitars and music you want to dance to but can’t due to odd
timer signatures are the order of the day. Brown Owl remain one of my
favourite local live acts and their mathy rock never fails to remind me why.
was also a genuine pleasure to see Kill Yourself as well whom, since Giles’
move to Scotland, have been sadly largely absent from Leeds live scene. They
show us though that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder as the
music clangs and pulses along sort of occupying the ground between Jesus
Lizard and Shellac, although of late their music really has begun to find a
sound very much their own. An exhausting and certainly exhilarating night of
music, exactly how it should be.