ROCK Gomez Glasgow: The Garage, Mon 26 Oct xx a
It was less than a year ago that Gomez first set foot on stage before a paying crowd, playing support to Embrace in this very venue. In between then and now, of course, they’ve released a rumbly down-home album, Bring It On, which has won the five-piece a Mercury Award. This time round they've managed to sell out The Garage twice over - tonight being the second of two nights here — and it doesn’t require a huge stretch of the imagination to place them on stage at the Barrowland within the next couple of years; unless, that is, they collapse under the burden of overgenerous publicity and expectation which has been so quickly heaped upon them.
For around one-third of tonight’s show, Gomez are very, very good. The opening ’Get Miles’ almost verges on being great. Whether it’s down to the fairly expensive-looking, modestly imaginative accompany- ing light show plowing through the dense Marlboro haze, an impressively pristine sound mix, or — more probably — the fact that they’ve grown together as a
Gomez: a game of two halfs
band, the song's powerful voodoo-lite crawl has filled out, aided by an increase in the confidence of Ben Ottewell’s vaguely Eddie Vederesque phlegm-throat growl.
All good moments come in the early part of the night, when Gomez’s two greatest attributes - Ottewell's voice and the skewed, from-out-of-nowhere instrumental eccentricities of percussion fusing with tequila~drunk blues guitar picking — are given free reign. By the end of the show, though, there have been far too many extended, under-inspired guitar passages, far less raga than simple drags.
The set ends with the lame-to-begin-with ’Whippin’ Piccadilly' — sung by the least-arresting of the three vocalists and sounding more than ever like somebody's kid sister doing banal comedy lyrics to Chuck Berry’s mighty ‘Promised Land’ on a nylon string guitar. Gomez encore with another jokey, nothing-happening slow- beat instrumental and a version of The Doors’ ’Soul Kitchen’, during which they could be any one of a few hundred student-union bands. That said, for almost 30 minutes they made you believe, and this is still a hell of a thing to have accomplished. Wait and see.
founder members of Faust, there's some 30 years of communication between these three -- the two newer members of the collective play around and fit into their framework People come to see Faust knowmg what to expect — the showers of sparks, the flares and smoke and grinding eduipment In other hands — vague memories of the Plasmatics —< all this COUld be gimmicky in the extreme, but wrth Faust so clearly men at work, born in a land rebuilding itself out of dirt ~ it's part of the whole, an organic
HATSTAND Faust Glasgow: 13th Note Club, Wed 28 Oct
Werner Dierrnaier - 'Zappi’ to his friends is a big man To be more prerise, ’.Illll‘i(] on the stairs leading up from the brutalist basement of the 13th Note and gasping inild luanulS Of what is - at least comparativer ~ fresh air, Diermaier is a big, damp man.
Faust have been playing for ~ well, how long has it been? Forever? No time at all7 ~ say around an hour and a half, and Diermaier, the percussive
50 THE lIST S 1‘) Nov l‘l‘)8
Faust: sheet metal music workers
heart and visual locus of what nevertheless clearly remains a collaborative undertaking is exhausted By this stage of the night when Faust played during the 1997 Edinburgh Festival, lean-Herve Peron, bass-player, was actually massaging life back into Diermaier’s complaining, mutinous arms, seizing up as he nonetheless continued pounding at his drums and sheets of metal, cruCified, almost, upon the sOund he Was creating
Peron, Diermaier and the pleasantly professorial Joachim Irmler, who lurks in the far corner doing things, are
fact, not a graft-on.
So when they, banally, smash a TV — an anachronistic critique.7 probably not, but a good bang — it feels like an obscure element of ritual Hearing the nOise of Faust — a huge, raw, roaring nOise exactly framed and iomted by meticUIOus rhythm and pushed along to a meme end i- is like gazing at the sky almost melodies, hints of other details rise and fall, the way the clouds take on shapes. A more exact analogy would be gazing into a fire, seeing images born and dying in there
On the stairs Diermaier looks up 'I'm wet,’ he says 'I need to dry me ' (Damien Love)
ROCK Page and Plant Glasgow: SECC, Mon 2 Nov **‘k*
Just as Led Zeppelin defined a stage in rock music, there is always one moment in any given concert that defines the overall experience. At an Iggy Pop concert it might be the moment where Iggy gets his whanger out. At a Celine Dion concert, it might be the moment when Dion sings whatever that song from the Titanic is called.
At this Page and Plant gig, the entire thing comes into focus at the moment when Jimmy Page beckons to a roadie and the crowd falls quiet as the guitar tech unveils Page’s twin-necked guitar. Page straps on the beast amid a reverential silence, glances over at Robert Plant, who is looking on approvingly, and then the two of them launch into a roof-raising, rollicking version of ’Gallow’s Pole'.
Why have one set of strings when you can have two? Why do things half- heartedly when you can go the whole rock hog and then some? Back in their heyday, Led Zeppelin were famous for living harder and playing louder than any of their contemporaries. They may not be quite so sprightly now but it's heartening to see that they haven't lost their appetite for going that one step further or indeed having one more guitar neck than is strictly necessary.
Page and Plant’s version of classic hard rock isn't topping the charts at the moment but it's good to be reminded of times when drums could only be described as thundering, guitars specialised in screaming and concerts offered the rare opportunity to see a squeezebox player headbanging.
Plant, obviously, still looks and sounds suitably heroic and while the onstage fan doubtless helps him keep cool, it has the added bonus of making his mane leap about in a dramatic manner. Page’s guitar solos are no less agile althOugh by the tenth minute of one particularly energetic bout of fretwork my fillings had started to ache as if I’d bitten on Silver foil.
Minor whines apart, it's difficult to imagine anyone else who could do it all with quite as much conViction or even half the energy. (Jonathan Trew)
Page and Plant: holding back the years
STAR RATINGS »» * ii a: it Unmissable w is x 1k Very good it it * Worth a shot at 1k Below average * You've been warned