LOCAL LIVE Cyﬁnder a Glasgow: 13th Note Cafe, 28 Jun.
Cylinder's performance starts out like their shy alt-rock sound; edgy, faltering, exposed. But when Cerys from tvlacrocosmica steps up as guest bassist, the band recalibrate, relax and start to enjoy themselves.
Two gurtar lines unfettered by
ROCK Hefner Glasgow: 13th Note Club, Sun 4 Jul.
Hefner are generally perceived as wispy bedroom snifflers who only
write songs about girls who won't put out. Well, the enigma that is ladies does tend to dominate lyrically, but frontman and songwriter Darren Hayman is a big, lolloping, cheery kangaroo of a man, not the seven-stone emotional weakling of indie yore. He has identified his own introspective tendency and decided to laugh uproariously at it; his songs twinkle with the kind of wry self-awareness you either love or hate. ‘This is sixth-form poetry', he states in 'Librarian', pre-empting snidey critics. Furthermore, his voice is such a large and elastic thing that whininess is avoided; the songs are strong and confident, even more so live than on record. Hefner's collective onstage persona is all energy and ebullience, with Hayman an authoritative frontman.
Though he writes all the songs, Hayman emphasises that the band operate as a collective, with new member and multi-instrumentalist Jack Hayter providing ’the musical glue that holds us all together.’ Live, that glue can seem more of a feeble flour-and-water paste than a powerful solvent not for sale to schoolchildren; there is a sloppiness about Hefner, but fortunately, the charm outweighs the cringe factor and a tragically sparse 13th Note crowd is captivated.
Given the deeply personal nature of his words, you’d think Hayman would feel, well, vulnerable. The new album The Fidelity Wars sees him drunk, dumped, cheating, cheated, and Iavishing praise upon the most intimate parts of a girlfriend's anatomy. ’I'm used to it,’ he says. ‘l've been playing these songs for years in people's bedrooms, so I've bypassed embarrassment.’ But isn't he ever warned not to tarnish private moments with subsequent lyrical tell-alls? ‘I have had that
Genre-bender: Ben Vaughn
chord strumming here; tonight's gig
discussion,’ he says carefully. ’But everyone interprets the songs differently; it’s more common for someone to think they know what a song’s about and get it completely wrong.’
There’s not much margin for error in the case of the current single, 'The Hymn To The Cigarettes', a high point of both album and live set. It's a gloriously jolly tale of - yep - romantic uncertainty, framed around a chorus linking life experiences with brands of fags. ‘lt’s definitely cost us some airplay,’ Hayman says. ’I wouldn't want anyone to think we were glamorising smoking. I don’t like myself for being a smoker. But I refuse to hate myself for it!’
Self-loathing would be misplaced; Hefner are a profoundly joyous thing, overflowing with wit and charm. Heartbreak was never so uplifting, and cigarettes haven’t been used to such striking poetic effect since Bogart and Bacall last shared an ashtray. (Hannah McGill)
The Fidelity Wars is Out Mon 72 Jul on Too Pure
but Vaughn can handle peculiar combinations of the jaunty and the grim ('er By Six'), outright daftness ('I Dig Your Wig') and even manages a hymn to the simple plea5ures of sitting 'Out On The Porch', Without once tarnishing the thrill of hearing a great band playing great music. In fact, Vaughn's backing group, picked from the best Glasgow has to offer (including Belle And Sebastian's SteVie Jackson and BMX Bandit/ Shoeshine Records supremo FranCis tvlacdonald) sound like they've been playing together for years, rather than weeks. They transform those tracks which on record err a little towards the
Glasgow: lvlaryhill Community Centre Fl 2 S 23:3 1:3? '35:' 251' 132'
There are certain venues, and the Niall/III“ Community Centre is one of them, that seem wholly unSUited to the business of rock 'n' roll. It takes a speCial kind of artist to Cut through the panto rehearsal atmOSphere. Fortunately, Ben Vaughn is the kind of man who could rock a coffee morning. should the need arise. And we're not talking about straight-ahead three-
58 THE “31' 8- 22 Jul 1999
c0uld easily be seen as a masterclass in rock, 'n' roll sub-genres — from the sombre country twang of 'Two Mile Road', which calls to mind a particularly unhappy Chris Isaak, to the surf-garage sound of 'My First Band'. Ben Vaughn is, however, far more than a Virtuoso player and accomplished genre-bender, thanks to the vein of humour that runs through tonight’s set. Comedy and music are uneasy bedfellows, and the combination of the two leads, more often than not, into the dread realm of the novelty hit;
whimsical into Cracking stomp-along rockers, reaching a sweaty peak With
the blistering closmg cover of the '
Boyce and Hart classic 'Let's Go Where The Action Is.’
Apparently, this was Ben Vaughn's first Visit to Scotland in a musical career spanning two decades and including a list of collaborators that reads like a Who’s Who of the critically acclaimed. If, God forbid, it takes another twenty years for him to play on this Side of the pond again, I'll be at the front of the queue for tickets. (Jack Mottram)
distortion flash and fence during 'Labrador', rambling samples underscore the menacmg ‘Point Of Sleet’, and standout track ’Silly One' evolves into the Delgados covering the Spencer Davrs Group.
A' ramshackle but melodic racket, then, but the highlight was always going to be gUitarist Tony provrng you can still rock out while sitting down. Check out their forthcoming split single With the Yummy Fur.
Kojak Edinburgh: Iguana, Fri 2 Jul.
Two turntables and a microphone this ain't. Surrounded by six or so synths, three balloons and a whole mess of unidentifiable technology, K0jak's world is an odd one indeed. Comprising the twm talents of Glasgow-based Kenny Inglis and Jon Gillies, this enterprising duo deal an impressive hand in Massive Attack-style atmospherics and chilled-out, narcoleptic grooves. But, merCifully, it isn't as simple as that. Instead, Kotak also bring a whole caboodle of exotic samples, sax squalls and ace, Can-ish rhythms to their particular party. All of which makes them one of the weirdest, coolest dance acts around. Who loves ya baby? We do.
Mika Glasgow: King Tut's, Fri 2 Jul.
It is perhaps an unfair comparison to make, but Mika suffer from not being
A Hardbody, frontwoman Lourse Quinn's
rather excellent former band. That said, QUinn brings her marvellous
country-tinged vocals to the mix, and
Mika can shine occasionally when squalls of guitar norse drown out the lumpen synth trickery. Tonight's set is, however, uninspiring, consisting largely of material that relies on the sort of half-hearted nods in the direction of 'dance musrc' that always fail to make dull songs interesting. (Jack Mottram)
Hard act to follow: Louise Quinn W’
STAR RATiNGS 4c. 'ﬁ 3‘: Unmissable a 2 sat-.4: Very good .2 is Worth a shot .1". Below average 5: You‘ve been warned