live reviews


Jamiroquai Glasgow: SECC, Thu l7 May Even before Jamiroquai take to the stage, the crowd are cheering songs they recognise; but there's no support act. There isn't even a DJ. Instead, the crowd are clapping and dancing to adverts played on the video screens beside the stage. As Flat Eric does his special dance'for the nth time, and a pretty lady swigs from a bottle of mineral water, the people inside the SECC begin to look more like a self- selected demographic subset than an audience. That doesn’t change when the lights go down and the band launch into a string of hits. Jay Kay and his band know that, since I am a certain type of 18-25 year old, with a built-in predilection for fast, sequencer-perfect drum breaks, virtuoso bass runs and brash horns, all they have to do is arrange their disco-funk tropes in the correct order and I will start to nod my head and stomp my feet. And that is the problem. Jamiroquai have got the funk in that they understand its workings perfectly - but they haven’t got the funk in the true hard-workin’, sweat 'n’ sex sense of the term.

Admittedly, the smell of money is wafted aside occasionally, particularly during the French filter- house of 'Supersonic’ or the glam power chords of ‘Black Capricorn Day', both from the new album. But

after the dirty synths and breakneck scratch patterns fade, we are back in knee-jerk territory. The crowd react on cue, cheering an exhortation to light a joint, a call for the crucifixion of Slobodan Milosevic and the intro to Virtual Insanity with the same indiscriminate glee. By the time the lights come up it has become clear that

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I It Weird and wonderful: Wilco

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"'i .3 it tlrl,’ "Ac ‘, '.(‘ \ gym I“: Is; ’Ht.

4.11,; kind of face trial s:if;'iests barely- it:strarned psythzisss .nderriewnli a layer of s\.-.~eetness and light There's a

xeaious glint in his eyes, ,rii- ltli? rest of the hand, as they tear into 'i'm Always ln Loxe', fr-im the recent album Srirnriierteiit'i it starts off S(ltlll(}ll‘.(} like the Velx‘r-t Liri;ier';rotintl's 'Waiting For The lslan' t)(:?l‘i(} taken to task hy a lackadaisical Evan Dando, but all of a sudden it dexelops riiusc‘les of its own, and fora leis: glorious minutes the (fuelling harmonies and crunching guitars sound like a st‘hti’lhoy garage hand desecratirig the Beach Boys in a

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Sold out brother: Jay Kay

Jamiroquai are a funk package'designed to shift units to a funk market: cuddly-but-cool Jay Kay has a special dance just like Flat Eric, and he‘s drinking from a bottle of mineral water just like the pretty lady. All of a sudden I feel thirsty, and in need of a new pair of jeans . . . (Jack Mottram)

moment of beautifully youthful irreverence This isn't to say that Wilco are a hunch of sharribling amateurs striking it lucky, ll()‘.‘.’(—?‘.’Gf They’re one of a handful of hands that every critic decides is 'ciriematic', and while most (if their contemporaries in this grouping are no more \.'.rorthy of the epithet than is the average TV show,

Wilco tic-serve it in the cracked frailty :

of Jeff T‘.‘.’(?(3d‘,"8 ennui~soaked, cciiintry- hoy-in-the-hig-(‘ity voice there's real

feeling, and in the lazy Sunday :

morning lament of 'Califorriia Stars' there's a breadth of scope and emotion that Bruce Springsteen would be proud to call his own On 'Shot In The Arm' they almost sciund like Bob Dylan tackling a sleepy-eyed but confrontatiraial Beck, and Tweedy's ‘c’i’jrltt-" has a new intensity, a yearning and hungry edge that lifts it above the almost-brutal guitars as the Song speeds up towards its car-crash of a concIuSion

What makes Wilco speCial is their simultaneOus love and disregard for history, this is a band for whom the past 30 years of American rock seem like little more than a lengthy warm-up act iLeon McDermottl

live reviews MUSIC

Macrocosmica Edinburgh: Cas Rock

Brendan O'Hare doesn't so mut h wear Macrocosmica on his sleeve as on his shirt pocket, sewn, or perhaps felt-tip penned He spends much time on his knees, dragging out chargrilled chords or threatening his tonsils With scorching howls, proving that today's punksters can raise merry hell With ironed collars and buttoned-down mayhem The trio may not look like they COuld lOok a bat in the eye, never mind chew into its forehead, but they can burn up the stage in a way Suggesting this cOuld he Bis if they listened to UFO They also have mom between-tune banter than your average (as Rocker r 'This is a song called something And its about stuff ' That kind of thing iBrian Donaldson) Camera Obscura Glasgow: Maryhill Community Centre Tiger‘mr/k is on the PA, fringes are getting in eyes and the kids are ready to rock As long as it doesn’t keep them up too late, or bring on any of their allergies Camera Obscura's qusy vocals, hOy/girl harmonies and twaiigly melodies recall giiieter Delgados moments, and also (Jld‘.‘. inevitable comparisons ‘.‘.'|lll Belle And Sebastian, with whom they share drurrimer Richard Colhurn Awkward at first, they gain confidence as their set progresses, livelier songs like 'Eastwood', 'Swnnrning Pool' and ’Anti-Western' have an energy and verve that Suggests they could ‘slllllr‘ they'd relax and have more fun Till then, the Shy Si ottisli Indie Band formula - a gently chugging rliytl m, .i tambourine, a paper thin not al meandering timidly in and out of liy awaits a harder kick up the arse than this (Hannah MtGilll

Bespoke Edinburgh: The Bongo Club .Wanky, dramatic rniiso antics fir im a small local hand usually look, well, wanky, but Bespoke have the attitude and talent to pull them off Their promoter introduces them somewhat extravagantly as 'what Pink Floyd would have sounded like if they’d listened to Portishead', after a build-up like that, the relatively small audieiir e expect great things, and we're not disappointed

They rock, swmg, groove and schrnooze their way through the set with the confidence and enthusiasm of the truly talented, bringing in nflueiices as diverse as jazz, rock, ambient and reggae The lead vocals of Tricia Thorn are as ric h and smooth as hot fudge sauce, and yes, Portishead do spring to mind, particularly when she sings the spellbinding title track from their debut alhurn, 'Used To Be' On the strength of tonight's performance, it's the big time for these guys and no mistake (Kirsty Knaggs)

STAR RATINGS I i ,2 9r 2‘: ‘13 3‘: Unmissable i at.” Verygood ' iii fir x- Worth a shot w it Below average I w You've been warned' l

24 Jun-8 Jul T999 THE lIST 41