Drugstore cowboys: The Chemical Brothers


Barrowlands, Glasgow, 25 Hot Not many concerts are as intense or as feverishly hot as this. Not many concerts are as mind-shreddineg magnificent as this either.

0n record The Chemical Brothers merely rock, albeit in superlative fashion. Their organic/synthetic combination of sound and noise are neutered by the demands of the disc, their multi-dimensional attack relatively tame compared to the awesome power and majesty they generate live.

Indeed, it seemed to me that with recent Ilumber One ‘Setting Sun’ they’d lost something: the drive to

(‘\l|’ l’rcscnls

( \ll’ l'rt‘st‘ltls




MacRobert Arts Centre Tues 12 Nov

01786 461081


The Pavilion Theatre Thurs 14 Nov

0141 332 1846


create something as timeless as the Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ (after all, it has the same heat doesn’t it?) and Iloel Gallagher’s dreary vocaltsing had proved too much. Tonight they crushed such doubts under an avalanche of percussive, melodic, and rhythmic strength that left us gasping. It seemed their near- seismic power was at times almost immeasurable: the frenzy of ripped-up, pumped-up psychedelic beats was relentless, the detonation of their vicious loops of fury were scientifically precise in their application. Their bass lines (as on the bowling, distorted almost beyond- recognition live version of ‘Setting Sun’) appeared to erupt from the floor and the ceiling at the same. Aided by brain-mashing visuals suitably pure but effective images of chemicals and evil-looking larvae flashing in time with the demolishing beats - the whole experience of the Chemicals live is overwhelming.

The Chemical Brothers gain this immense, punishing power from the culture clash, from the energy released by the collision of the old rock orthodoxies and the new dance imperatives. The sheer acidic futurism of, say, ‘Chemical Beats’ (tonight a kicking, brutal, endless dancing regime) can co-exist among more funky old-school hip-hop derivations of ‘Leave Ilome’ because they share the same spirit. And that spirit screams ‘Be Here Ilow’ at maximum volume, and the music that it drives is as addictive as it is satisfying. (James Edward)



STIRLING MacRobert Arts Centre

15th November i '1 ' . 01786 461081


The Cut/muse. Glasgow. Sun 20.

What is it with Creation bands and sonic makeovers? Boo Radleys woke up to pop; Lesley Silverfish came over ' all trip hop; Primal Scream became the Stones.

The smart money says Alan McGee locks his acts in the recording studio with nothing but spacecakes and a copy of [’0] Sounds. What else can account for the transformation of l8 Wheeler from third-rate Bandwagonesque jumpers to a group who sound like The Beach Boys if Brian Wilson had been into sci-ti soundtracks'.’

Rumours of a new dance direction are greatly exaggerated (the grooviest thing about them is the intro tape). although numbers like ‘Crabs‘ and ‘Grease‘ have a kind of joyous space-pop abandon that raises the spirits without making you want to do the funky gibbon. At times. l8 Wheeler aim for the hypnotic. epic sweep that My Bloody Valentine do so well. But they don't really pull it

off and the songs end up sounding too big for these four apologetic-looking blokes in regulation Brit-clobber.

Headliners .-\udioweb are much more thrilling. Coming on like the sort of nuttcrs for whom the phrase ‘mad fer it' could have been tailor-made. the Manchest-ah mob belt out awesome British funk/rap like rabid ramraiders.

Audioweb are blessed with a frontman who looks. acts and sounds like Shaun Ryder and Kermit rolled into one. He even promises ice lollies all round if he gets to play the new single on 'lbp ()j' The I’m/is. The record in question. ‘Sleeper' (the sound of Channel 4 basketball). slam-dunks groovily around the venue. building around an addictive guitar riff and dubby bass. They wind tip proceedings with a swaggerng cover of The ('Iash's ‘Bankrobber‘ which sends the old punks home with a smile on their faces.

If Audioweb keep playing blinders like tonight you can bet it won't be long before we see them perform their loony tunes on ‘tlte nation‘s favourite pop show". Make mine a lemonade sparkle. (l’eter Ross)

‘Mad fer tt’: Audioweb

aueen ’5 Hall, Edinburgh, 24 September He wants so vein poppineg bad to be mysterious, does Gene’s Martin Bossiter. But to paraphrase that patron saint of music journalism, Winston Churchill, our Martin is no more than a cheeky conundrum dressed up as a riddle masquerading as an enigma. lnscrutable he ain’t. Still, he looks good and mean in his Paul Smith suit and the crowd are in a froth before a note is struck.

‘I don’t know why you’re all cheering,’ vouchsafes the Tintin bequiffed singer. Join the . . . on second thoughts, club members only, Marty. But enough of the unpleasantries. It’s the first night of Gene’s tour and the vast majority of folk here are gigging for it. The songs are mostly of the spanking new variety, tasters for the forthcoming second lP, though much resembling the spanked-out old variety.

flew single ‘Fighting Fit’ causes a predictable mosh pit hullabaloo, ‘The Accidental’ passes for a funeral march without the laughs, and ‘left Ilanded’ is ‘The Queen Is Bead’ minus the poetry or verve of Morrissey and Man. A wlseacre next to me offers The Blue Nile by way of reference point which saves any further yawnful mention of

Transparent: Gene’s Martin Bossiter

The Smiths.

A highlight? Mr Bossiter downing his mike mid-number for a comfort cuddle with select members of the front row. Ever so sweet, and inducing a modicum of regret for an immensely satisfying if morbid cartoon fantasy

' involving the singer, the masking

taped X-marks-the-spot centre stage and a pressing appointment with a falling piano. Then he goes and promises the next song will make us weep pails and, irony or no irony, the guilt evaporates, my imagination desperately dialling Wylie Coyote for the number of Acme Products. (Rodger Evans)

50 The List l-l4 Nov I996