Archive | April, 2013

Live Review Pere Ubu at Mono, Glasgow

Mono Glasgow

35 years ago Pere Ubu released a truly great album, The Modern Dance and were hailed as one of the leading art rock bands. 2013 sees the release of their 17th studio album, The Lady from Shanghai and the UK tour to promote the album brings the band and FEAST to Mono in Glasgow. Bandleader David Thomas is in playful mood tonight entertaining the audience with a monologue of the bands extensive touring plans which includes ’17 nights at Wembley Arena’!
Half the set tonight is taken from the latest album which Thomas has described as “dance music, fixed.” Indeed there is a four-to-the-floor feel to some of the tracks such as “Thanks” which takes off from Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell” and “Free White”. The set kicks off in a similar manner with “Love Love Love” from arguably one of their best albums, Cloudland. The band have always subverted and played around with the concepts of rock’n’roll and this is evident tonight in the half dozen songs they play from their back catalogue including great renditions of “The Modern Dance” and “Misery Goats”.
Thomas’ unique charisma and satiric wit are intact and he is in rare form throughout, just sounding like he’s having a great old time and it’s good to witness the band again, still magical, cogent and coherent .

Victorian Trout Conspiracy: E.P Launch

VTC ThumbnailI think I’m busy. I mean I got three kids, a full time job, and I write this stuff in between. Don’t worry, I not soul searching its that I just got off the phone with Phil from the Victorian Trout Conspiracy and he’s a busy man. If you haven’t heard of them, you will no doubt be wondering about their name. WTF the VTC?


I prefer to think it has hidden meaning but Phil said the name sort of came to him after walking up Leith Walk. The power of Leith! Born from several Edinburgh bands, the main members Phil Ramsey, Fraser Fulton, Rhuaridh Turner and Calum Mason expanded to the whopping 10 piece they are today. Sometimes they play as a duo, sometimes a five piece, and sometimes the mighty deca-bonus-band-ten-piece. Since March 2012, when they got together, they have so far have played over 150 shows (and still racking em up) all over Scotland including Edinburgh’s HMV Picture House and Glasgow’s QMU, also not forgetting having already had multiple SELL OUT gigs here in their home town of Edinburgh.

After seeing them on a number of occasions, I can definitely say that this has made them a very, very, tight live band. Their gigs are real events and the last one at the Annexe had a free after-show party where all the audience where invited. That’s a band who knows how to look after the fans, give them value for money, and give them a night to remember.


VTC Ticket


Next week on the 2nd they play Edinburgh’s excellent Liquid Rooms. Promoting their new EP (recorded with Feast’s help, fact fans) which was engineered and produced by Jim White, it’s a 4 track that showcases Trouts’ sound; big, bold, catchy, energetic, and full of life. These guys are serious about what they do as the gig also launches their merchandising range. It’s time to buy your VTC t-shirts.

Here is a slice of what’s coming up for the Trouts in May alone:
2nd May Liquid Room, Edinburgh
10th May at Box, Glasgow
17th May, Brixton Hootananny, London
18th May, Mau Mau, London

In the summer they are playing a mammoth 11 festivals from the north of England and throughout Scotland. They have a long term ambition to touring America and with this much drive you feel like anything is possible for the Victorian Trout Conspiracy. Told you they were busy.

Live Review- Furrow, Henry’s Cellar Bar

Henrys LogoThey practice in a caravan in a field apparently. Despite the rural sounding name (and practice room), Shropshire based band Furrows are a long way from the folky, pastoral vibes you might expect from such surroundings. To describe their music I’m going to refer to the talent spotting checklist I had made up especially for the evening:

Number 1- Drummer should thwack the floor tom like he is trying to dispatch a wild hare to the great carrot field in the sky with a single swipe of his drumstick.

Number 2- Drummer should sing as well as playing kit. Actually, ideally should sound like Mark E Smith doing an impression of Karen Carpenter singing ‘Blue Monday’.

Number 3- Must be a duo featuring only bass drums & vocals. Absolutely no six stringed instruments, trumpets or keyboards.

Furrow spookily ticked all of the above boxes.  I also liked the way they often opted not to finish songs together at the same time- very post-modern. All in all a very enjoyable night organised by Song, by Toad, with Glasgow’s North American War also on great form. In Henry’s Cellar Bar North American War’s live sound perhaps inevitably lost a bit of the subtlety of their recordings but instead came across more like a lost treasure from CBGBs.

Live Review – Euan Weddell & Ded Rabbit

Henrys Logo

Sometimes it’s a real honour seeing a live band in a small venue that delivers a great sound and more often that not Henry’s Cellar Bar on Morrison Street is one of those venues. Most of the engineers that work there get a fantastic sound from a wide selection of bands in a venue that is not really designed for live sound. It’s no mean feat.

Arriving late, I caught about four tracks from Euan Weddell, and boy, did I love them. One vocal and electric guitar all delivered in a choppy punk feel. At times I though I was listening to Ivor Cuttler’s long lost son. Euan has a wonderful mix of funny, raw lyrics and music shown mostly clearly on his track “Awkward”. I didn’t know if I should be laughing so much at his lyrics about his inabilty to talk to girls, or if I should just give him a wee pat on the back and tell him it’s all going to be alright when he gets older. His between track banter was just as good as well. Golden.

By the time Ded Rabbit took stage, Henry’s seemed stacked to the rafters and after they struck their first chord you could see why. Most bands would bite there own hands off to have a couple of catchy tunes like these guys. If you add their great stage presence, then you know you are watching a band that could go very far. It’s no wonder that they are playing Sound City @ Liverpool.  There were just so many stand-out tunes  that got the crowd jumping.  “Down and Out” sounds great live – I am looking forward to it being released as their single. Sometimes, everything works together and you could see why the band invited the audience on stage for their last track; everyone was involved in making this a great gig. At the risk of repeating myself – check them out!

POST launch debut album

POST are a band we’ve been following for a while and having heard their contribution to the Mao Disney compilation from label We Can Still Picnic and a great session on 6music’s Marc Riley show, it’s good to be able to mention the launch of their debut album at Nice n Sleazy’s on Friday April 26th. Looking forward to this.

POST album launch