Saturday, October 27, 2007

Arcade Fire - Live at Glasgow SECC

The Arcade Fire are a popular band. They have soundtracked many bus journeys for me over the past few years. They managed to pack the SECC tonight with a crowd that ranged in age from 12 to 70 (there was a white-haired old granny dancing in the crowd beside me. As a doctor I would guestimate her age at 68).

The support bands were ok. First support band, Whitelight, were an Arcade Fire clone but that is not a bad thing. I bought their EP which I plan to listen to. Second band Clinic were nothing special. I saw them about 10 years ago at the Barrowlands and they were shite. Today they were inoffensive. My mate is a fan but I couldn't see the attraction.

The stage set for Arcade Fire was impressive. They had a large church organ at the back of the stage and numerous video screens showing footage of preachers mixed with live stuff of the band. At different times up to 10 musicians were playing. Drums were tossed around and one member of the band seems to wish that he was a stunt man as opposed to a musician.

The set was a good mix of both albums with a few oddities thrown in. My personal favourite was the organ-driven version of Kiss Off, one of my favourite Violent Femmes tunes. I hope to find a proper recorded version of that somewhere.

I left the SECC happy. It would have been nice if it was louder but it was ok. I can't wait to hear new music by the Arcade Fire.

The Boredoms - live at the Glasgow Arches

The Boredoms have been going since 1986. They are one of the most famous noise rock bands in Japan. The Flaming lips played tribute to them on their 'yoshimi battles the pink robots' album. They started out as a hardcore noise punk band before evolving into something a bit more experimantal. I own a couple of the CDs and I think 'vision creation newsun' is probably as good a place to start as any.

Back to the point. When I saw that the Boredoms were playing in Glasgow I ran out to buy tickets.

The support act was another underground noise rock legend; Michael Gira, former frontman of The Swans. He was playing some acoustic songs which were intense but otherwise unexciting. Nick Cave does it better.

I didn't know what to expect from the Boredoms tonight. You never can really. I couldn't see the stage too well at the start but some I believe that some non-musical machine was used to create noise. Sparks flew and weird humming noises were heard. After that there was a drumming frenzy which sounded rather good.

They had a strange percussion instrument on stage. It looked like the fret-boards from several guitars stuck to a central pick up. This was played by one member of the band hitting each fret-board with a drum stick. I suspect that each guitar neck was tuned to a different open chord allowing music to be made. I loved this idea.

They played for about 90 minutes. Bits of it sounded like tribal dance music and bits of it sounded like guitar based noise rock. Some bits just sounded like a Japanese guy with dreadlocks screaming but overall it was fun and I'm glad that I was there. I won't forget the experience and I think I would like to repeat it.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

More songwriting

Just did a bit more songwriting today. More rocky than usual. I played bass and wrote the words/did the singing. We just basically jammed the tune out over a drum machine. The song is called 'you can't gargle sand' and comes from an offensive joke. It will appear on myspace on the 'drphunk and the remnants of punani' page if we finish it soon.

Acoustic Ladyland - live at Glasgow King Tut's

I was surprised that this gig was not sold out. 'Skinny Grin' and 'Last Chance Disco' have been two of my favourite CDs of the past year. I've seen Polar Bear and Fulborn Treversham (alternative identities for the Acoustic Ladyland folk) but I've never managed to see the main event.

The support bands were pish. Indeed, the first support was one of the pishest bands I have seen in a long time. The second band was redeemed slightly by an attractive female guitarist but I can't really imagine myself humming one of their tunes.

Acoustic Ladyland were great but I wish they were louder. Saxaphone player/singer Pete Wareham sang all the songs which are often sung by other vocalists on the albums. He gives a sort of Madness/Clash vibe to their sound. 'Cuts & lies' and 'Paris' sounded a bit different but still energetic. The music was loose and shambolic in a good way.

I wanna see them again and I want more new CDs by them soon. I just wish they were louder.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Talking slowly

With advancing old age I now find that I am generally more direct than I was as a young lad. I am worried that I am sometimes a bit blunt.

For that reason I am shocked that some people still claim to have not really got the message.