Venue. Edinburgh. 10 June.
So. clockwise from the left. we have: a bassist who sports an identical haircut to Billy Idol in early Generation X days. and surprises the uninitiated by underpinning The Senseless'I‘hings' hardcore attack with stabbing funk riffs; a drummer who could. ifhe so desired. moonlight with Birdland; the bastard son ofTodd Rundgren and J. Mascis on guitar; and Marc Keds. a singer rhythm guitarist who sings normally enough but has a speaking voice which suggests a tank of helium is never far away.
In Japan. they once appeared on a TV show with an audience offifteen million. Here. they bob
about above a respectable i but hardly capacity crowd ofviolently pulsating
; Ned's. l’oppies and. of
T-shirts. playing raw. fast and very loud indeed. They make the kind of noise that 1 would rarely listen to in my own living room these days. but totally justifies the existence of small rock clubs all by itself. They tour a lot. and you can understand why. The
feed off the energy of playing live. putting it back into their performance and bouncing it back and forth with the audience. During the third song. I says smoke rising from the guitarist. Logic told me that the source was a cigarette.or a crippled dry ice machine. but it looked perfectly appropriate that they should seem about to combust at any moment. They even have the great taste to play The Rutles' '1 Feel ( iood' for an encore. See them. lI you haven‘t already. (Alastair Mabbott)
38'1‘he List 14— 27June 1W]
King Tut’s, Glasgow, 7 June.
‘After an almighty split with his comrades of old, Lol Tolhurst formed Presence to carry on where he left off with The Cure,’ declared the flyer sitting by the table. Odd, then, on this blue moonlit evening, to see a squadron of pigs lumber across the
lirmament ‘Memphis Belle'-style and , see Tolhurst strike out in another
direction. If expectations of The Cure Mark ll were high, then there must have been
j some disappointmentwith Presence, . butthat’s doubtful. Don‘t be mistaken,
lrontman Gary Biddles manages to wail mournfully in the approved fashion,
and Tolhurst’s writing is just as strong ’ and strident, but Presence don't
deserve to have the ‘ex-Cure’ albatross hung around their necks just yet. Theirs is a vein much, dare I say it, heavier.
Twin keyboards (Tolhurst is joined by Chris Youdell) take the band’s whole complexion a little bit furtherthan usual, with Bob Steen's guitars giving a dirty edge not a million miles from
The Swans at times. Yet the Cure connection is further convoluted with
. Roberto Soave of Shelleyan Orphan on
bass- a fascinating mixture of styles.
Materially, both the ill-fated ‘ln Wonder' and ‘All I See’ are immediately recognised with the locals willing to listen to unfamiliar songs with just as much gusto. Thankfully, oafish shouts for The Cure are at a . minimum and Biddles survives without damage. ‘Wishing’ ups the ante on the dance floor whilst Presence end their set with a stunning number called (I believe) ‘On A Higher Plane', cementing the tenuous Zeppelin moniker with a muscular ‘Kashmir’ backbeat. Ouite refreshing.
No, The Cure needn‘t be afraid of Presence coming along and stealing their thunder, that furrow seems to be well ploughed. Tolhurst is probably too wiley a characterto try to re-live past glories. Still, if Presence cannot find themselves an audience with The Cure’s following, there’s bound to be plenty of other people who’ll take them on board. (Alan McCrorie)
Basin Street, Edinburgh. 7 June.
Three cheers for Basin Street, standing proud and smokey whilst the rest of Edinburgh disengages itself from the notion of the ‘undiscovered‘ band, the ‘intimale' gig. And three cheers lorThe Joyriders’ post-Buzzcocks power chords. It's good fast rock with no minorcomplications (and few minor chords, music lovers), forceful of spirit but never lacking a grin and a nod towards Eddie and the Hot Rods— wisely ignoring the half-assed Manc influences which the support act, Jailhouse, had earnestly grafted atop their own worthy pop volleys. No bandwagons here, though. A
‘ predictably nifty ex-Cateran bassist
pumps intelligent runs around a tightly knit beat, whilst an axe-wielding lrontman, looking alarmingly like
Noddy Holder in an ill-advised
pearly-king cap, delivers astuter and
r with gusto. Few song titles are j announced because rock-rifferama like I this needs no particular names.
1 (Paulw. Hullah)
Detractors might protest that all the Riders’ songs sound the same, and they would have a point, but that's also called ‘style‘ by those fond of consistency. (The Cateran‘s problem was inconsistency; lessons have been learned).
Like the Buzzcocks (again) and mid-period Clash, whom they resemble for energy and wit, the Joyriders offer bits of adolescent angst revisited, chunks of experience unromanticised but strikingly applicable to a snakebitten Friday night posse too young to remember ‘Orgasm Addict‘ but willing to pretend awhile. All in all, a top pub gig from a band with the potential, if they so wish, to move on to larger platforms right now. Whatever, they seemed to enjoy this evening as much as the punters, and that's what it should be about. Nice, too, to see a shirtless drummer wearing a pot-belly and proud of it. Kinda makes you feel at home. Hey, things are looking up at Basin Street.
if B \ LLY
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