live reviews

ROCK Spiritualized Glasgow: Barrowland, Sun 15 Mar *‘kin 'Sometimes have my breakfast right off of a mirror' croons Jason Pierce during a fractured 'Home Of The Brave’. Well, we might have guessed from tonight's performance that Sugar Puffs weren’t his bag.

There’s no banter between songs, in fact there's no ‘between songs' as such. Tracks shade into one another, more like classical movements than pop. This is such difficult, ambitious music that it's hard to believe Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space went to Number One. But it did, and to prove it a flock of fifteen year olds have polished their braces, stuck glitter to their faces and turned up to listen to some of the most gloriously depressed music since Joy Division. School's out for a bummer.

Take 'I Think I'm In Love’. Delicately picked notes and Jason singing like a prozac angel, phase into the gospel-inspired .call-and- response, 'I think I'm in love . . . probably just hungry’ for which Pierce, poignantly, does both parts himself.

Even on fast tracks, Spiritualized are as chirpy as a sparrow with its larynx ripped out. For all the pounding beat and sax-crazed riff of 'Come Together’, for all its positive sentiment, the overall

Spiritualized: Buddha fronting Napalm Death


live reviews MUSIC



Glasgow: King Tut's, Sun 8 Mar rink Carrie are a raucous if not raunchy proposition. Lead singer Steve Ludwin has one of those expressive voices that flits between warbling, quavering urgency and plaintive angst. The band are polished and competent, but the sum total adds up to less than the constituent parts; there's some vital element missing, like a pile of perfect chips with no salt.

The bottom line is that there isn't anything to lift them above the multitude of other soft rock bands around. Zak Foley, previously of transient wonder EMF, plays the same immaculate bass as he did in his prevrous incarnation, but EMF’s ’Unbelievable’ had a spark that’s missing from Carrie’s material, an infectious dance rhythm and bolshy insouoance that burrowed stubbornly into your auditory cortex.

The single ’Molly’ is one of their better numbers, a catchy little ditty you find yourself whistling long after consCious recall is gone. Some of the others are Similarly pleasant (a crushing adjective, but the most apt), but there isn't enough punch or flavour to distinguish them as anything special Just yet.

Some of their material would undoubtably benefit from lyrical renovation. We’re not talking the verbal equivalent of a Pugin, just some feeling. ’Split Up Song’, which they don’t play but which features on their CD, misses the opportunity of capturing any real vitriol or depth of emotion, and ends up sounding half

hearted. ’l always hated your shopping mall music, and my credit cards you abused,’ is hardly the stuff of savage, wounded break up far from a 'Why D'Ya Do lt’ or a ’You Oughta Know’. Numerous bands start life as regular rock outfits but the ones that transcend mediocrity are those talented and innovative enough to explore different areas in addition to

backslapping, Terence Conran-deifying, feelgood schtick as you can get. In that sense, this is a political music, an aural alternative to the safe, populist scrabble for the middle-ground that defines modern Britain. Pierce didn't take part in NME's recent Blair-bashing sesh, but he didn’t have to. 'Cop Shot Cop', sample lyric: ‘there’s a hole in my arm where my money goes’, is the musical equivalent of pissing on the New Labour knees up. It’s not so much a rallying cry as a way of drowning out the shrieks of betrayal in white noise. In space, no one can

effect is alienation. Bathed in blue light, the six still, dark figures on stage seem distant not only from the audience, but from the music itself. Like Buddha fronting Napalm Death, it’s hard to credit such calm people with this noise.

This is especially true of a brutal, pounding ’Electricity' which builds to a maelstrom of high-pitched noise that sounds like a jet taking off. Hard? Spiritualized make My Bloody Valentine look like My Little Pony.

Best of all is the climactic 'Cop Shoot Cop', a nasty

fucked-up blues about as far from Cool Brittania's

hear you scream. (Peter Ross)

ROCK Ganger, El Hombre Trajeado. Speedracer

Edinburgh: Cas Rock, Fri 13 Mar *t‘k

Ganger: doing it hammock style

The very young Speedracer finish their set with the highly dubious histrionics of instrument destruction (albeit with a mini Casio Bontempi organ as the main victim); ending their post-Nirvana guitar thrashings with most of the band looking self-consoously bemused. The exception being their girl power-drummer who seems more pre-occupied with the rose clenched between her teeth.

El Hombre Trajeado deliver a much more self-assured set. Quirky, but with good solid rhythms that twist and turn throughout, this is a lesson in lo-fi easy listening style. Sounding like a heaVier, latter day Orange Juice, it’s carefree and unassuming stuff. Occasional v0ice-over lyrics and some pedantic bass playing are more of a hindrance to the general feel good factor but some great subliminal Korg keyboard sounds compensates. Forthcoming single 'Like Quicksand’ is out on their own Flotsam and Jetsam in May. If you can't wait that long, the ever eclectic Mr. Peel will be broadcasting them in session on Thu 9 Apr.

With recent addition Craig 8, (Sanger have departed slightly from the Krautrock of Fore, their double vinyl album, and on this showing us for the better. Less drones and more off key guitar machinations, Sonic Youth style, are the order of the day. Natasha and Stewart, with a bass each, work off each other well. The appropriately psychotic looking drummer makes sure proceedings rattle along With plenty of clout while Craig’s guitar adds the necessary ambient noise that's the prerequisite for such experiments in sound.

Once again, the lack of any real focus on vocals is a welcome relief from the self-obsessed, introspective rantings of most recent Britpop mongers. Of course, Lo-fi can be Just as self-indulgent in its own right. The odd song could be more effective nearer five minutes than ten, but generally Ganger have enough idiOSyncracies to pull it off. Watch out for their new album, Hammock Sty/e, due out in July on Domino Records. (Fin Wilson)

conventional rock riffs think of the contrasting moods touched by Radiohead, REM, The Verve, Green Day, and even our baby dinosaurs Oasis in their prime. Carrie are stuck in an upbeat surf rock groove. And grooves, like attention spans, wear thin fast. (Leyla Sanai)

Carrie: is this what they mean by a

tight band?

STAR RATINGS * * at it it Unmissable * it- ; it Very ood * a: w Wort a $th 1: * Below average it You‘ve been warped

20 Mar—2 Apr 1998 THE “8745