Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Herald hearts Beard

Beard gets a mention in The Herald, Scotland's leading quality newspaper. Thanks Simon!

Mogwai and friends, Tramway, Glasgow

Star rating: ****

THE last-ever Triptych Saturday began by illustrating the key flaw of its successor, the fans-choose-the-bands experiment that will be the Tennent's Mutual. Who - other than Mogwai or the staff of the estimable Beard magazine - would suggest the little-known RememberRemember to open a 10-hour music show? Graeme Ronald's web of loops was a breathtaking reminder of why curating is best left to curators.

The rest of the bill was short on surprises but exquisitely assembled. The only quibble being that the acoustic set from arch-miserablist Malcolm Middleton, while gorgeous, might have been better earlier in the evening. It was also a shame that whoever did the live mix for the borderline-godlike Errors apparently had no idea what they're meant to sound like: hear those slabs of skull-splitting synth? No, us neither - but their upcoming album should be one of the year's best. Frightened Rabbit, meanwhile, just get better and better: Celtic drone-folk (to coin a phrase) with - yes - a drum solo.

Watching Clinic power through their angry staccato stomps, a thought occurred: they should be The Fall. Seriously: next time Mark E Smith sacks his band, he should give them a call - and a much-needed kick up the backside. Still a great band, but one desperate for a sense of direction.

I've been writing about Mogwai for 10 years now and have run out of superlatives. After a decade, one could take them for granted; here, though, in a majestic set bravely dominated by new material (all awesome, some transcendent) they were simply monumental. As one of Tennent's rivals might put it: probably the best rock band in the world.

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