ROCK Mansun Glasgow: Barrowland, Sat 3 Oct at ir ir ‘k
Apparently, Mansun have gone prog rock. A concept album in two parts, Doctor Who reciting a monologue over a classical arrangement (a prog dead giveaway), Marillion/Moody Blues-style sleeve, few songs under five minutes . . . it seems the evidence is irrefutable.
So where‘s the medieval stage set, the gargantuan keyboards, the silver capes, the inflatable pigs, the circus performers and the bonzer light show? There's only the usual strobe light warning and a basic banner draped behind the (modestly-proportioned) drum riser with four ex-student types in front of it, tearing through their set like greased lightning. Friends, this is not Spinal Tap, this is punk rock. Gothic punk actually, with a side order of New Wave.
The kids respond to this heady concoction with all due respect — half-full plastic glasses arc through the air splattering the oblivious moshpit, who crowdsurf like there's no future. Someone makes it onto the stage — a rare-ish Barrowland feat - and briefly flaps about ineffectually. The stewards look thoroughly pissed off at such frisky-antics and it’s all fantastically adolescent.
Mansun launch into a vicious rendition of album track
Mansun: like Pink Floyd never happened
’Shotgun' and it's like Pink Floyd never happened. Then guitarist Chad blows their cover by indulging in a ridiculous wank of a guitar solo. It’s round about this time you realise that singer Paul Draper, liberated of his guitar for a few numbers, has been dancing like Simon Le Bon. And it's all brilliant.
Owing to the Mansun habit of releasing a new single as often as other bands change their underwear, there's a formidable selection of hits for a band who have only just released their second album. ’Stripper Vicar’ is poptastic, 'Wide Open Space’ shows Radiohead how to do epic, ‘The Chad Who Loved Me' pre-empts Robbie Williams' 'Millennium' with its sumptuous John Barry- influenced scale and 'Take It Easy Chicken', the early single that almost made it acceptable to still be wearing Reni hats in 1996, coasts along on a tidal wave of a riff. Even the most giddy, over-the-top tracks from Six sound direct and no-nonsense when played live.
Crowning it all is Paul Draper's sheer lungpower, the only constant element in a show with enough scope to keep the slightest hint of boredom at bay. In the past, Mansun's continual changes of image were practically schizophrenic; now they’ve turned this variety into a musical way of life. What have they got? They’ve got the lot. (Whitney Plains)
' 4.. 5...»? .M
Jesus Lizard: 'grimy, grundy grey under-shorts, frayed and thready and stuffed full of spasming mackerel'
a pair of industrial rubber gloves, Yow starts the concert, as ever, by leaVing the stage and being passed hand to hand among the crowd. Soon he makes a line for the mix-ng desk at the back of a surprisingly sparsely populated Garage, lifts the sound guy’s tray of sandwiches and heads back in the direction from whence he came. He’s lost from sight for a while — such a little fellow.
The band grind on — to be preCise, DaVid Sim’s bass grinds and dominates, almost like really early Joy DiVision, hammering the groove; the qurtar, meanwhile, punctuates, nags Bread
and meat and salad fill the air above
The Jesus Lizard
Glasgow: The Garage, Thu I Oct
'k‘k 1hr ﬁr
And then there's the Jesus Lizard. To describe the Lizard as being a whole other kettle of fish is a beginning, but it doesn’t really get it. If we’re going to get into thinking of the Lizard in terms of any kind of fish-containing vessel, better to imagine a pair of grimy, grundy grey under-shorts, frayed and
48 THE LIST 8—22 Oct 1998
thready and stuffed full of spasming mackerel, secretly sported by a Wild- haired, wiry old pensioner. That good. Alternatively, imagine if Boomhauer from King Of The Hill started a punk band. That weird. That funny.
The Lizard come from Chicago, but it's the dusty vastness of frontman David Yow’s Texas upbringing that informs their music — such a violently claustrophobic sound could only come as the result of having known empty expanses of space. Worryineg wearing
Yow spends a lot of time on the audience's hands, tipSide down, still Singing, his pOinty boots wavrng above. The Lizard erect an arena of noise, songs bleed into one another — there's little to say about individual tracks, except that it’s during 'Blockbuster' that Yow removes his boots and his pants and fiddles. Naked and sweating, he informs us he learned a new phrase for ’sissy’ today — "Big Girl’s Blouse”. He likes that. (Damien Love)
, i 1'. g, 1's
ROCK Rocket From The Crypt/Bis
Glasgow: Garage, Sun 4 Oct ****
Two bands, both saddled with a cartoon image based on a kind of pop na'i’veté which threatens to totally engulf the music. Bis cast themselves as literal innocents abroad in a jaded biz, while Rocket From The Crypt strive for the fresh exuberance of rock 'n’ roll’s Year Zero.
Bis’s Teen-C ephemera were previously overwhelming but, tonight, there are no pink kirbies and the vibe is more Sister Sledge than Huggy Bear. ‘We are the sexy Bis nation,’ announces John Disco and, incredibly, it's not all that ridiculous a thing to say. An I'm-gorgeous-shag-me disco s0und has overwhelmed the tinny punk of yore, never more so than on forthcoming single ’Eurodisco’ which is, believe it or not, Mr Motivator meets Fugazi. Bis may yet be the greatest dancers.
Mind you, they’ll face stiff competition from RFTC. Again, a powerful image — Gene Vincent as tequila-crazed pump attendant - has taken away from the tunes, but tonight, against a backdrop of snarling tiger heads, Rocket really earn their stripes.
.The name is apt. This quiffed-up San Diego six-piece are a great fireball of energy exploding out of a dead genre, combining rockabilly and hardcore punk to Surprisingly funky effect, filling the sound with great dirty blasts of sax and trumpet.
In Speedo, RFTC have a latter-day rock ’n’ roll showman. ’Ladeez ’n’ gennulmen,’ he asks. ’Aryureddy tusurrenaturocknrollrightnow?’ Hell, yes, say the crowd and go apeshit to tighter-than-The-King’s-keks versions of 'Young Livers’, 'Dick On A Dog’ and ’On A Rope’.
Attempts at a ballad and a freeform bass-led thing are less successful. RFTC are a one-trick pony, sure, but it’s a damn good trick and they should stick at rt. Anyone who can put EIVis, The Misfits, The Ramones and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in a blender and end up With such a cool sound should thank Jesus on high that he blessed poor American boys with such talents. As the tiger might say, they're gr-r-r-r-eatl (Peter ROSS)
Rocket From The Crypt: tighter than the King's keks, apparently.
STAR RATINGS w w. )k k a: Unmissable * * it * Very good it 3k * Worth a shot 1k 1% Below average it You‘ve been warned