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Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, 27 Feb. *‘kt‘k

Shameless residents of kitsch corner and dandy purveyors of sixties surf pop trash, Magicdrive are either going to separate you from your socks or leave you scratching your noggin. Falling head over heals into the former camp, this love sick fool proclaims them the finest band Edinburgh has produced since, ooh, The Rezillo’s. In fact, take those art school pranksters, add a little Wreckless Eric, throw in the Banana Splits and you're halfway to the swoon. Transported by songs that go sha la la and enough grinning to induce lock jaw. Too good to remain a secret for long.

Self-billed as ’the smallest band in the world’, Smaller are old pals of Oasis and come with the obligatory Noel endorsement (which, given the lack of quality control displayed by Gallagher Senior in this department to date, does them no big favours). They come across as Cast-offs, high on work rate, low on imagination, but then something quite extraordinary occurs. Smaller bring the house down. Literally. Such is the ageing grandeur of the venue that the pulsing of the PA causes a small but significant chunk of the ceiling to dislodge, falling a full

forty feet and failing to alter the shape of my beloved’s head by mere whiskers. Very, very scary.

Normal service is resumed only when the hall is temporarily cleared and the sound tested at full volume. Hey, we are cheerin informed, at least it wasn't a chandelier! Your correspondent, suffering post-shock temporary humour loss, smiles not. But the show goes on. Must. That Dunkirk spirit kicks in and by the time

The Longpigs: a frog prince's kiss away from smooch rock greatness

The Longpigs shamble on stage, singer Crispin apologising for the near braining incident, the place is a-buzz. From the relative safety of the balcony, the headliners look like any other gang of skinny boys with guitars. Shed in harsh porn flick red lighting, Crispin introduces the Crowded House-y ‘Far' as 'a song about sex, love, rubber, whips and drugs'. The song is but a frog prince's kiss away from smooch

rock greatness, as are ’Lost Myself’ and 'She Said'. This is the neat, disciplined side of the Longpigs,

their alter ego emerging only during

‘Elvis' explosion that would do Jon Spencer proud. As they depart, it's the voice of Judy Garland singing ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow' that bids us farewell.

Truly the very strangest of evenings. (Rodger Evans)

MCP by arrangement with ITB presents


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Edinburgh: City Art Centre, until Sun 31 May. ** Hr

There is no denying the might of EMI. From those first groovy discs by the Fab Four to current signings such as Blur on EMI spin-off Food label, His Master's Voice has become a familiar sound.

Now, the recording giant is celebrating a hundred years in business and 'the sounds of the century’ With an interactive exhibition, Music 700, that’s been two years in the making and that’s as big as some of its most prominent stars.

Ushered in at ground level by a pouty pair of 3D lips and the sound of The Beatles, Queen and The Spice Girls, we move swiftly on to an area that tells in best interactive fashion precisely what those fab five girls Spice do to our sensitive ears. Buttons are pressed, horns are peeped, lights flash, giant eardrums quiver and soundwaves wave. This is one gig that truly is a family affair.

Those excited by the sight of early record players with funnel-shaped speakers and the sound of the first recordings will be pottering round the next level for hours. Those who can live without knowing how records went from ye olde wax cylinder to flat vinyl disc however, could do well to skim this level and steam on up the stairs to rock 'n' roll heaven.

Here lies the heart of this massive exhibition, with 3D reconstructions of SOs diners, living rooms and the

The Beatles: one of the main attractions

- a seven-minute blues

cinema where teenagers ripped up ; seats after watching Bill Haley‘s 'Rock

Around The Clock' vehicle B/ackboard

Jung/e. We hear the setinds of all from Elvrs to Yehudi Menuhin and Wham,

watch Videos of The Sex Pistols, Gary Glitter, Pink Floyd and Blur, and marvel

at everything EMl's greatest signing,

The Beatles, ever played, wrote and

breathed on.

This truly is a fun exhibition for all ages, With almost too much to see, hear and do in a single VISII. But remember mUSlC lovers, this is 'the sounds of the century‘, as signed by EMI. (Ellie Carr)