Friday, August 04, 2006

Arthur Lee RIP

Another music great gone. I had the privilege of seeing Arthur and Love in 2002, tearing through 7&7 Is with rare passion and hunger. Forever Changes and the first side of Da Capo are really as good as it gets - beautiful, visionary, dark and romantic. Thank you for the music Arthur and may you rest in peace.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hey You Get Off My Pavement - The Aftermath

Well, that was a fun day! Glasgow's grooviest little music festival took place at Mono on Sunday and a splendid time was had by all. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, the sun shone and the bands rocked. A fuller review shall appear in Beard #6, but here are a few of my highlights for the time being. Thanks to James for the photos. You can view his full set here.

Bar manager and compere Paul Ranter jokingly explains, by way of an introduction, that the Royal We are only playing cos two of them work at Mono. A scenester supergroup they may be, but any charges of nepotism are dispelled upon hearing their eccentric pop racket. Their rough live tracks on their Myspace page do no justice to the joyous and exciting live act they’ve become in the space of a few shows. In their cheerily herky-jerk guitar and synth interplay they nod a stylishly coiffed head to Devo and the B-52s, while their violin and disco-glam grooves recall Pulp. There’s tremendous fun to be had, but as one of their originals segues seamlessly into an urgent thrash through Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, a more urgent, passionate side is revealed. Cutting a striking figure with her thatch of raven hair and Ian Curtis raincoat, singer Jihae lets rip an earth-shattering scream and it’s all over. Walking away exhilarated I can only conclude that the Royal We are the best new band in Glasgow.

Mighty noiseniks Park Attack deliver the loudest set of the day, scaring passing punters with their demented no-wave din. As Lorna Gilfedder lays down a polyrhythmic thud, Rob Churn howls, screeches menacing non-sequitars and hacks a churning, down-tuned racket from his guitar. New member Jamie Grier adds feeback loops, primitive electronics and even a touch of Lightning Bolt bass tapping. You know it’s good baby.

I've never quite been convinced by Uncle John & Whitelock on record. Live, it's another matter: raw, apocalyptic rockabilly dredged up from the silty waters of the Clyde, if that makes any sense. Jacob Lovett declames from the stage like a fire and brimstone preacher, twisting and jerking the microphone stand with his raised arm. Booglarizin'!

As for the highlight of the day: it could only be ya ya Herman Dune. While Andre couldn't make it along, their sister Lisa was along for the ride, as well as drummer Neman and percussion and cornet playing dude Turner. An utter joy from start to finish, the Dune played the finest songs from Not On Top (although not the title track itself), some wonderful newbies from the forthcoming album, and to close, Suburbs With You. Lisa recreated Julie Doiron's vocal contributions from Not On Top and brought her own sweet presence to others. David Ivar unleashed a wild, vibrato laden falsetto, like Joan Baez high on Pernod. In front of us a little girl played with her dad's friend's pony tail. We had fun pulling silly faces. It only made the set more delightful. Yay for Herman Dune. And yay for this festival, surely the first of many.