gig reviews - nov/dec 07
4.2.08 - Cardiff Barfly
The Barfly, has never been a favourite venue of mine, however with Slow
Club, a bad situation can always be turned into a positive one. This was the
last gig of the pair's tour. Delivering a great selection of dreamy indie
pop songs with panache and genuinely cool melodies their joint vocals are
catchy and clear. Their music is just gagging for a hot summers day and a
The build up was nothing exciting with the Wave Pictures pulling out it was
all a bit disappointing however The Duo pulled it back leaving me with
lyrics singing in my ears all the way home. Each song was brilliantly
executed with some excellent chair playing and beautiful harmonies.
Delicate, dreamy and honest this pair are endearing and enjoyable. They
appeared tired on stage and technical hiccups did not help lighten their
mood. They seemed glad to leave the stage after a long tour however, seeing
them twice now I would not hesitate to see them again and with a new album
on the way Slow Club are well worth a listen and not about to disappear yet.
The Ting Tings are a funny pair. You want the good
bits? Ok then. The Ting Tings (what the Dickens were they thinking when they
came up with that? They used to be called Dear Eskimo, which is about seven
billion times better a name than The Ting Tings, don’t you agree?), anyway,
this two piece, once in their stride, sounded like Talking Heads, if Talking
Heads had been a no-nonsense pop act and Tina Waymouth had sung... shit,
they’re Tom Tom Club. They’re Girls Aloud as would have been if Tom Tom Club
had produced them. If this review were for Drummer Weekly then Ting Tings
would be band of the week, however, this isn’t and they’re not. Their last
song ‘That’s not my name’ is so fucking irritating it makes you want to push
your fingers inside your ears. ‘They call me Ted, they call my Brian, that’s
not my name, that’s not my name’, who gives a shit. Just tell them they’ve
made a mistake and ignore it. In fact their singer-cum-(awful) guitarist
basically spends most of the set trying to make you hate the Ting Tings.
From her stupid hat to her screechy voice to lyrics such as ‘you play me
like a fruit machine’. Still, that drummer...
Does it Offend you Yeah (or Does it Offend you, Yes? as
grammatical warrior Lynne Truss would have it) are, without doubt, the
bestest best band since... Oh, I don’t know but since a while. Their
guitarist-singer-keyboardist-cow bell hitter-crowd invader-man is the cutest
human being I’ve ever seen on stage. He does the usual ‘Manchester, we’ve
been waiting for this gig, this is the best place we’ve ever played’, and,
call me easily lead, I believe him.
Most bands think that to be iconic you need to pull
pouty faces and look like the crowd are beneath you (ok, they are, but
still....) and that’s just not true. Does Offend... are iconic because they
do just the opposite. They engage the crowd, they want you to be in their
little gang and their music is fantastic. Did any of you purchase the
soundtrack to the film Judgement Night? You know when Sonic Youth and
Cypress Hill collaborated (as did Teenage Fanclub and De La Soul)? Well,
Does it Offend... are better than that. From the first song to the last
Does it Offend... are on form, they could be life changing if you fancy
having your life altered by pounding drums, dirty, really dirty, guitars and
imaginative samples. I love them... I do.
And they have a vocoder... the case for the defence
Joe Lean and the blah, blah and blah are Top Man
employees with instruments. They are, literally, the most objectionable band
in the history of overly-confident, cravat wearing, chop-chop-chop guitar
Loath them, disregard them, weep for them, just,
please, don’t buy their music for the love of God. Fingers crossed they’ll
be back in store sorting the mediums from the smalls any day now, just let’s
home there’s not too many people who’ve lost their first Strokes album and
buy this crap as replacement.
The Cribs... Ah, The Cribs. I’ll be honest, I hate the
Cribs and, as such, I went home. They probably would have been a welcome
reprieve from Joe Lean etc, etc and etc yet so would being mugging, with
punching and kicking and headbutting. Maybe they were breathtaking, maybe
they were revolutionary. That, though, would have meant them sacking
themselves and employing an entirely new band to play entirely different
songs. If that did happen then I apologise, Tasty readers... but it didn’t
though... did it?
Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong
2.2.2007 - Manchester Academy
If Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong put as much effort
into their music as they obviously do picking the rails of H&M, they would
be the kings of indie rock. Unfortunately they don’t. Their ridiculous
Robert Smith turned funeral director style would be more suited to a
cheaper, softer version of My Chemical Romance.
Joe Lean obviously attempts to model his vocal style on
that of Paul Weller; attempts being the appropriate word. But what did I
expect. There recent single “Lonely Buoy” should have warned me off them.
Hearing it live certainly has.
Prince Albert Brighton
What got people into Jazz in the first place
was the melody and Cleckhuddersfax have remembered this, sure there's
madness, electricity and noise but pinning it all down is some cracking
melody coming mainly from the Grizzly Adams of a man filling up the middle
of the stage, hulking over his keyboards reminding me of how a wired
Kerouac banging his random thoughts into his typewriter must have looked…
the melody makes that train of thought come alive and it takes the form of
an orange leotarded* lunatic bouncing round both stage and audience with an
abandon that can only come from having Osama Bin Laden sewn into your
crotch (I was told it was Osama, I wasn't going to stare at this crotch to
find out!) This is what Jazz was its noise, its melody, its anger its
release and it is ace. I will be seeing Cleckhuddersfax again.
Yeborobo are a fight in a primary school
painting class, The Wizzard of Oz played backwards through a ripped speaker,
an epileptic Sun Ra at Mardi Gras and that's where comparisons end. I don't
mean comparisons with Sun Ra, I mean comparisons with anything. Andrew IS
Sun Ra, Sun Ra gone supernova. An eruption of colour from the thick green
knitted trousers to the huge gold and red wig, he is the cheeky, cute kid in
the class that all the mums love and he gets cuter every time you see him.
Russell looks like the kid at school whose big brother was into Iron Maiden,
he plays like he is in Nirvana but he just has to be in Yeborobo. Matt is
the class swot, he is the first to start every song reminding the others how
they go (although WHERE they go is another question). When he leaves school
he will be in Heffner but now he to has to be in Yeborobo. The
percussionist, well, he isn't so much dressed as Iorek Byrnison as dressed
IN Iorek Byrnison looking like he has got the rest of Yeborobo to ambush the
giant polar bear at lunch time while he took a run up and dived in head
first. Sophie is the school teacher conducting the recorder band at parents
evening challenging the mums and dads; "Yes, isn't it lovely?" and if she'd
been my primary school teacher then I would have been first in line to join
that recorder band.
The primary school is where it's at with
Yeborobo. They personify how you imagined being a "pop star" was when you
were eight and first heard about this thing called "The Sex Pistols" and
started daydreaming. Do you remember how happy music made you then and do
you remember why? Yeborobo do and they make me happy!
Word is that they turned down a tour with the
Klaxons because one of them wanted to work on his NOISE side project. Now
that's not the only reason you could give for turning down that tour, but,
inline with everything else Yeborobo do, it's the best I've heard.
* I wanted to use "be-leotarded", spell
checked "leotarded" and WORD suggested "retarded" which would have been
I got there in time to catch a Strokes cover
band. How quaint cover bands are, god bless 'em with their little retro
clothes, their little retro guitars and their little retro haircuts. They
make their money, and some have no other way of making money but I'm afraid
that I'm with Malcolm McLaren when it comes to covers, they are all shit.
Now, a Pipettes cover band I would have put
up with, that would have had a sense of fun to it and brought out some
smiles at the end of a wet January however this Strokes cover band, well,
it's just mediocrity in a nice pair of trousers.
Tonight is a solo mission thanks to
‘friends’ who suggested attending the gig in the first place and then fell
at the final hurdle. Thus, by the time I’ve negotiated the queue to the
guest list and made my way upstairs, there is nothing to be done except kick
back in the union bar with a solitary stiff drink and sit out the lengthy
wait until Pelican take to the stage. To be honest, I am completely
unfamiliar with their work apart from a few random snatches of tracks heard
here and there. Still, what I did hear sounded good – post rock-infused
metal…or metal-infused post rock, take your pick – but it takes me until
nearly the climax of their set to realise that it is them that I am watching
and not Priestbird, the supposed first act for tonight. Christ knows what
happened to them.
One of the reasons for my confusion
is that, for an established band, Pelican don’t really seem to have much of
an image. I imagined them to be four burly, bearded, hoodie-wearing types
but the reality is far more random, with guitarists Trevor de Brauw and
Laurent Schroeder-Lebec (despite extensive internet research I still am none
the wiser as to which is which) in particular looking as though they’re in
completely different bands. I take a look around the hall; there are a lot
of Tool t-shirts on display here tonight, and it suddenly dawns on me that
the chap standing in front of me is middle-aged! We have clearly entered the
arena of thinking man’s metal.
The music itself is comprised of
sludge guitars grinding out a relentless wall of riff-age and noise,
occasionally interspersed with lighter, almost transcendent passages akin to
Explosions in the Sky at their loveliest. It’s these calmer moments that are
the most affecting although my attention rarely wanders throughout, despite
my lack of familiarity with their material. Ok, so I’m hard-pressed to tell
one ‘song’ from another (they’re an instrumental group, by the way) but
nonetheless the band throws itself into its performance and the only real
sour note is drummer Larry Herweg’s stiffness and lack of groove. To be
fair, it’s the end of their tour so fatigue must surely have set in by this
point, but the look on his face indicates that he’s less than happy with
himself. Despite this, I enjoy their set and make a mental note to conduct a
thorough investigation of their recorded output.
If Pelican represent the future of
metal then High on Fire are the complete opposite, a throwback to the Dark
Ages and a bullet in the chamber for those who still condemn the genre as
puerile and adolescent. A trio, they come across like a lobotomised
Motorhead with a gurning, bare-chested Neanderthal on guitar and vocals.
Between bouts of bellowing into the mic he tosses off one nasty, indulgent,
widdly solo after another and looks a bit too pleased with himself for my
liking…that is, when he’s not chugging beer and spitting at the wall. The
front row goes mad for it, naturally, but after three songs I’ve seen more
than enough and take my leave, wondering how on Earth two so very different
bands ended up on tour together.
Imagine it: The Edge writing reviews
for U2s latest ‘treat’, Pete Townsend giving his opinion of the new Who
album in Mojo magazine… never going to happen is it? Well it is now. Ok, ok,
so I only played guitar for ‘Sketches for Albinos’ for one night and yes, I
was one of seven but let’s dismiss the finer details and move on.
Too my shame I have to admit never
hearing Matt Collings’ act before, I only got involved through a friend of a
friend of a friend of a friend. ‘Sketches’ is usually a one man show with
Collings playing all instruments and recreating this live via a laptop (by
the way is it me or are ibooks the new les paul? Every band here had one and
I don’t know if I like it).
So my foray into guitar stardom
starts with a bang when I arrived not only after sound-check but halfway
through the first band’s set… did someone mention rock and roll? After
locating Mr Collings he hands me a tatty bit of paper with some chord
‘shapes’ and explains what’s expected of me. ‘Play any rhythm you want,
don’t go along with anyone else and just enjoy it’, I’m paraphrasing of
course but there was a real sense of do what you want.
Before I got my moment to shine
Spokes, (ibook? – check) who are, apparently, Manchester’s latest post-rock
band, take to the stage. At first I wasn’t convinced. It was the usual three
minutes of mournful, meandering, shoe-gazing stuff in to three minutes of
screeching delay-pedal ridden epicness (is that a word?). Soon though, they
really came into their own using the, all too often side-lined, violinist to
superb effect. With this post-rock thing you can struggle to find a
innovative twist which was my fear for Spokes but they have found something
really exciting (maybe it’s the ibook? Who knows?). If you see their name on
flyer, poster of whatever version of these myspace/facebook offer up, go and
watch Spokes, I’d imagine their going places you may want to go too.
Then it was our turn. A wave of
dread came at me as I got on the stage. This was mainly due to the fact that
I’m appalling on the guitar and also I had next to no clue as to what I was
doing. Matt introduces us as ‘Sketches for Albinos’ (thanks) and then as he
hits that big red GO button on his… that’s right his ibook, we begin. All
seven guitarist strumming raucously, all seven trying desperately to be
heard over the other six trying desperately to be heard.
From the faces laid out before me it
was fairly clear the Matt was the only person in the place confident this
was going to work. The music itself is very much a bizarre landscape which,
I imagine, is down to Collings move to Iceland (where he works in a
kindergarten – brilliant). The guitars are moved in and around the mix often
totally removed and then thrust back up with abandon.
There are moments when it feels like
the music is on a knife edge and may well fall into pit marked ‘pretentious
drivel’ below, but Collings is a bit too talented for that and there are
points when it truly soars. At these points the guitarists, all seven,
really get into the performance rather than trying to spot their own
chuggings in the noise. If I were Collings, and thus not me, I would have
got seven people who’d never even touched a guitar before and seen what they
could have come up with.
The greatest compliment I can pay is
that the next time ‘Sketches…’ play I want to be in the crowd rather than
ham-fisting my guitar.
I would rather not go into the last
band, in fact I won’t even mention them by name. They were awful, they
looked like they’d paid a lot of money to be there (America via Japan) and
their ibook broke down in a way I ain’t never seen a Les Paul do. There is
no way They Who Shall Remain Nameless could or should ever be this bad
again, which is the only positive thing I can muster. I left three songs in
which were two songs more than most and two songs too much for me.
After having released their debut album in 2006, CSS have spent the
majority of their year partaking in monthly tours across UK venues, building
a more than pleasing reputation. Their show at the Dome saw them transfer
from one of Brighton's smallest venues (concorde), to their second grandest.
This obviously hasn't been easy work and on the basis of their performance
(or the lack of it), the band may have finally got bored.
A good 45 minutes into a more-than-strong set, and a shoe was thrown in the
direction of Lovefoxxx from rumour has it, a very drunken fan. With regards
to where it hit her and how much damage it caused her, it's still unknown
but when CSS left the stage and never came back, the glorious moments had
all been forgotten about – replaced by persistent, outraged boos. Hundreds
fled to the box office to get their money back without hesitation, which
seems a little unfair as the band may as well have played a whole set
without an encore. However when you see what the likes of The Horrors and
Panic! At The Disco have had to endure, it's with feeling that the Brazilian
fun-guys may have overreacted a little.
The support acts didn't cause such a fuss with their actions, more with
their music. Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong gave the evening an early
momentum with their soon to be regionally-huge indie hits, lead singer Joe
Lean had impressive stage presence and it was easy to see why the hype has
been flooding in recently.
As for Metronomy, they returned to their hometown with backing dancers to
back-up their head-swooning, electronic monsters of songs. Keeping the crowd
moving about from start to finish, Joseph Mount led his troops to a
well-received set (in particular recent single and closer 'Radio Ladio')
that kept up the pace and prepared all for the snowstorm, Christmas set of
Cansei De Ser Sexy.
They suited the larger-than-life venue that would intimidate many other
bands of their reputation, but they seemed to pull it off. And with that,
they did cause a ruckus and frenzy with their recognizable set - 'Alala' and
'Alcohol' in particular getting the fresh-faced audience bouncing and
mouthing words. Unfortunately for most, they were planning to save the likes
of 'Patins' and 'Let's Make Love…' for the encore that never came…
I happen to know who the owner of the criminal shoe was. She wasn't the
culprit of the throw, but it was evident when she got her shoe back that it
was light as a feather and that the average loudmouthed moron that exits
pubs in Brighton at midnight with a bleeding nose gets hit with a lot more
on your typical Friday night. For what it was though, CSS's set did not make
it necessary for that troop of fans to demand their money back with any
serious intentions. Here's to hoping the band return to Brighton without any
hesitation and without any injured body parts.
The Chemical Brothers released their greatest hits compilation in 2003.
Usually, you'd think that would mean the end of an era of stunning hits and
crowd-pleasing foot-stompers but since then all the duo have done is boost
up the collection with two more than successful albums. And for a dance act
that have been around since 1993, it's astounding how well they've done,
with people still going absolutely insane during their moment of taking the
Warm-up act Simian Mobile Disco were in favour. Playing through the better
moments on 2007's dance-album-of-choice 'Attack Delay Sustain Release', all
in attendance were appreciative. A truly ideal warm-up act, getting the
crowd all fired up for the latter moments of the evening.
The crowd in the Brighton Centre seems to feature a few pill-heads and
the majority of the members are sipping on beer, it would be evident that a
bit of dance music needs a combination of substances to reach its peak of
enjoyment. As a sober feature of the crowd who needs to remember what
actually happened at the gig so they could pen up a review, I couldn't help
but feel out of place. So I looked onwards towards the beautiful visuals and
the eye-bulging lasers and to hell with it, I danced with the others.
Opening with the hit-of-choice from their 21st century discography,
'Galvanize', seemed to come off as the ultimate song to start with. 4000
people reached for the top of the building and let rip with their feet, it
was a united moment and one that maybe only the likes of the Chemical
Brothers can create. Some may deem their standards to have slipped since
this greatest hits release but they haven't sat back and waited for some
more nice letters about how good 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl' was. Nevertheless, the
presence of that hit was always going to be the highlight of the two hours.
The atmosphere changed - even those seated were now running up the stairs
and jumping. These ordinary men who bop up and down a bit and play their
collection to thousands, had arrived.
Keeping a solid momentum afterwards with the likes of 'Out Of Control',
the pompous yet stunning visuals of birds and butterflies were visually
pleasing and when they finally left the stage they took hours ago, those
watching were still dancing. Whatever you do in life, go see a band like the
Chemical Brothers once a year, at least.
This tour was never meant to happen. In the grand
Manics scheme of things, they shouldn’t even exist by now. The plan, when
they formed the band back at the shitty end of the eighties, was to make a
fantastic double album, headline Wembley Stadium and then implode
gloriously, like four little Icaruses above an ocean of expectation. What
Manic Street Preachers were never meant to do was plod on until they were
all nearing their forties, with kids in tow and big screens on either side
of the stage. Such ostentation was for hippies and hypocrites.
Much more prosaically, you could say that nobody
expected a tour like this to happen at the start of 2007. When early
whispers from the music press suggested latest album ‘Send Away The Tigers’
was a career-saving return to form, and the attendant tour in micro-venues
was a huge sweaty success, the money men from Sony whispered in the right
ears that it might be time to cash in. With one unsteady eye on their
recording careers, the Manics agreed. So, dismally, we have the Contractual
Obligation Tour, Winter 2007.
I’d not feel right distorting the truth, though, so let
me just say that I’m extremely glad the Manics toured ‘Send Away The Tigers’
for a second time in twelve months. Not because I adore the album (honestly,
it’s overblown and full of filler) but because Britain needs a band like the
Manics filling arenas right now.
Manic Street Preachers don’t do ostentation, and so the
opening blast of ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ comes supplied with a fair amount of
spit and snot, not least because frontman James Dean Bradfield is suffering
from a nasty flu strain. The newer fans sway along as if they were at a
Westlife showcase, but the ones who really feel it are the ones that count.
The place gets a bit more animated when ‘Autumnsong’ is paraded, complete
with both hateful videos. But that’s it for a long while, and it becomes a
pacy jog through their greatest hits: ‘Everything Must Go’ is shunted aside
by a furious ‘You Love Us’ that surely cracks a few heads and shins in the
concentrated mosh, and the group see fit to wheel out ‘Roses In The
Hospital’ and ‘Slash ‘N’ Burn’ for rare and welcome airings.
The Manics are a tight and fearsome proposition, like
Arsenal when they’ve got Fabregas pulling the strings. They know that their
concerts are not showcases for new material (they leave that for the dreaded
festivals) and so there’s something there for everyone. It’s obvious when
all the ‘Send Away The Tigers’ material on offer is the already-singles.
They don’t want to milk it, and they’re probably sick of the bloody thing.
Show highlights are powerful versions of ‘Indian
Summer’ and ‘1985’ from the lamentable ‘Lifeblood’ LP. This is largely due
to the aforementioned big screens, both of which project home-video images
of the absent Richey Edwards, plus footage of Morrissey, the miner’s strike
and Mrs Thatcher. They bring an added and welcome poignancy to the night,
and the inference is clear: the Manics might be knocking on, but they still
have that youthful fire in their bellies.
There’s not much else to say about the now-ubiquitous
winter tour. James, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore are great songsmiths,
entertaining without being obnoxious, and we get a mixed bag of oldies and
not-so-oldies. But that’s not the reason to be grateful for them having an
evening with tens of thousands of people in a huge venue like the NIA.
It’s this – no other band in Britain is doing what
they’re doing right now. Previously, bands with something to say and a fair
grasp of politics were ten a penny, and it took a special band to rise above
the cream. There was a clear lineage; The Clash, followed by The Smiths,
followed by the Manics themselves. But then it stops. Who comes next? The
Pigeon Detectives? I don’t think so. In fact, when the most insightful
social commentators you can find are the Kaiser Chiefs, you know the state
education system is knackered. That’s why we go and see the Manics, why we
care that they’re still around. Because if they didn’t exist, it would be
necessary to invent them, and nobody wants to do that these days. In these
circumstances, I can’t describe the evening as anything other than
absolutely fucking vital.
26.11.07 - The Slaughtered Lamb, London
The Slaughtered Lamb is a very strange venue, it looks
like some sort of underground cavern, but one which is paradoxically
furnished with plush sofas and fancy light fittings. However, this is a
strange venue which is suited almost perfectly to the music of Ben Garrett,
the eighteen year old Londoner better known as frYars. He has been lumped in
largely with the current London scene of emerging songwriters in their late
teens and early twenties, however, this is unfair. He simply is not a male
Kate Nash, Remi Nicole, or another Jack Peñate, his music does not consist
of musings on mundane everyday life. His version of social commentary deals
with the magical and the twisted. Ultimately, FrYars is a lyrical genius
with the voice of a fifties’ crooner and a sense of humour to rival even the
The set begins with the standout track from the FrYars
EP: ‘Madeline’, the haunting tale of a missing child (written before the
disappearance, might I add) set over sparkling electronic beats which starts
off the first sing-along of the night. In the background are video
projections showing frYars and his backing band playing along to the music
which the lone frYars is playing from his Mac and keyboard onstage. His rich
lyrical imagery weaves magically over the layers of electronic
instrumentation that he has created perfectly. The set leaves the audience
spellbound, songs from the EP proving especially popular in terms of
sparking off sing-alongs. ‘Chocolate’, the tale of two runaways who flee to
London looking for a sex change and of course his latest single, the
brilliantly written ‘the Ides’, are definite crowd pleasers.
Despite his enormous talent he is not arrogant, his
conversations with the crowd are very informal and friendly, he asks our
opinion on a new song in order to attain whether it should be the next
single, and even leaves his set halfway through to go to the toilet! It is a
clichéd thing to say, but he could certainly be the Next Big Thing. Catch
him in informal venues which resemble caverns while you still can. He is
definitely set for great things, deservedly so.
4 1/2 out of 5
click thumbnail to open full size photo in new window
Courtesy Carmel McNamara
22.11.2007 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Bugger it, I arrive 3 songs into Lay Low’s set, into a
Brudenell that has a very, very relaxed atmosphere. Onstage we have all
manner of instrumental delights, with drums, slide guitar, acoustic guitar,
bass, various keyboards and bad haircuts and facial hair on the blokes,
lovely suits mind you. Outside the temperature drops and inside the
Americana folky-blues vibe has quite literally gone to Iceland, mum. Oh,
here’s a banjo, yummy. Anyway, the songs are beautifully delivered, and
sweetly sung by Lovisa, a very shy version of Bjork, both looks wise and
(speaking) vocally. She says “look” properly too – I am officially in love.
The last song they do has 2 mics specifically for finger clicking, such is
the attention to the overall sound. As this tune fades out to end the set,
we receive some sage advice from Lovisa “Adjagas are on next and they are
very good. So, get some beer and wait a bit”. Wise words, future wife, wise
Before Adjagas take the stage, we get a sneak preview
of their setlist, and scratch our heads. What language is that we ponder? 1
song title looks like Swedish, but the rest is unfamiliar – it’s Norwegian
Sami, linguistic fans, which I find out later has bits of Finnish in it
amongst other things and forms the basis of all the songs played tonight.
Backed by drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and trumpet, twin vox Lawra and
Sara deliver traditional folk laden tunes, which also have elements of drone
about them. It’s bloody good, Brian. The drummer octopussly plays toy
glockenspiel and drums and a banjo suddenly appears to much delight. One of
the songs deals with missing home and the lack of light at this time of year
in their homeland and how this lack of light takes the light from their
hearts and makes them think forward to summer, when the problem is reversed.
One nice effect that comes out of this is the sound of a muted trumpet
sounding like a flute, which we get more of as the set progresses. The tempo
perks up and do I detect a hint of distorted guitar and an opportunity to
rock out a bit? Indeed I do and it’s not passed up on. Looped, sampled and
infinitely wibbled trumpet gives way for melodica action and the sound
becomes all like a souped down version of the Clash – not at all unpleasant.
There is some outstanding throat vocalising going on and Sara asks us to
guess which animal is being represented by the current vocalising. With the
Lord on his side, Th’Reverend shouts “Bear”, I say “where?” He say “there”.
He’s right, of course. Such is the dedication and devotion of delivery of
this band that the crowd plays its part by (for the first time in a million
gigs) keeping quiet at all times during songs, and all doors are closed
softly and with great attention to what’s going on onstage. My favourite
moment of the night is when everyone bar Sara stops playing/singing, and she
leaves the stage, stands in the middle of the dancefloor, and sings full
belt. The hair standing on end and goose bumps are very much present and
throughout the Brudey. Wow, and once again, wow. We get a couple of encores,
1 about the frozen tundra and 1 with just Lawra singing. Powerful stuff and
the nagging riffs and instrumentation render the fact that none of us can
speak Sami irrelevant. Probably the gig of the year, high praise indeed.
15.11.07 - Barfly, Cardiff
Tipped to be hot-Indie-news, Make
Model are the latest of Scotland’s musical talents to cause excitement among
folk and indie-lovers alike. Yet, it seemed to be taking its toll on the
six-piece: ‘We’ve been touring for the last three weeks and it’s the longest
we’ve ever been away from home’ exclaimed Lewis, guitarist and vocalist, as
he tuned his guitar. With the audience barely matching the number of band
members, there was a feeling of lethargy. They were clearly uninspired and
not in the mood to contend with the banter and heckling from fans of support
‘The Stanley Band’, to whom vocalist Aimi nervously replied: ‘I don’t
understand, what do you want?’
Aimi seemed to be at a loose end
about what to do between singing and tiptoeing round centre stage in her
luminous red shoes and the occasional shouts in her supporting vocals lacked
enough enthusiasm to be convincing. In comparison, the boys of the band
thrashed their guitars with consistent stamina providing a solid wall of
sound. Ray The Biz Black (don’t ask me!) was in his element, beating out
unique and unfailing drum beats. There were moments where the songs soared
and Make Model really played like they meant it; especially supported by so
many guitars and singers, the sound can be enormous. The vocals fell into a
brilliant bickering harmony and the audience were stomping along. At these
points the audience could catch a glimpse of their vibrancy and they shone
with the endearing naivety of a bunch of Sixth-formers.
Clear highlights, ‘The Was’ and
‘Czech Neck’, were tight and exuded their defining happy-clappy confidence.
Despite the solemn atmosphere, these folksters managed to remain cheerful
and humbly invited us to meet them at the end for some freebies. You can’t
fail to please an audience with free stuff.