ROCK The Garden Party

Edinburgh: West Princes Street Gardens, Thu 1 Jul ‘fi' 4:

There was neither tea nor Cucumber sandwiches to be seen on the

remarkably dry 'n' sunny evening of 1 July, at the first ever rock concert under a Scottish parliament. The Party, however, was kept respectable. Beneath a giant Saltire projected into the sky like Batman's Bat Signal, crowds gathered in the West Gardens to see The Delgados, ldlewild, Garbage and special guests attempt to rock the castle to its foundations. Those that wanted to imbibe alcohol were kept away from the stage, corralled into a small enclosure by the beer tent. Those that wanted a good View of the bands were allowed into the inner sanctum, directly in front of the Ross Bandstand, provrded they'd shelled out the full sixteen quid plus for a ticket. Behind the hedge, in the body of the Gardens, a larger crowd welcomed the acts from the cheap seats.

With the peOple still gathering around the Bandstand and others knocking back cans of overpriced lager in the corral, The Delgados slipped onto the stage to warm up the crowd. The sole special guest of the evening, James Grant followed and, 30 minutes later, First Minister Donald Dewar took to the stage, not for a rousing speech, nor a political broadcast, but a pleasingly understated message along the lines of, 'Thanks for coming. Enjoy the concert'.

His plea proved unnecessary as ldleWild leapt up to thrash out eight or so uptempo numbers. Pushed to the front and centre of the stage by Garbage's PA, and suffering from the rather unfair practice of keeping the

Party girl: Garbage

volume low for the support acts, the group’s presence was somewhat muted. In spite of these drawbacks, ldlewild pulled the crowd together and got a good part of it moshing in the stalls.

After a surprisingly short interval, Garbage walked on stage to rapturous applause. From the outset the band and Shirley Manson in particular - had difficulty containing their pleasure at being in Edinburgh. They wasted no time ripping into a selection from both hit albums ’Push It', 'You Look So Fine', ’Stupid'Girl', 'Milk’ and other favourites were delivered with much enthusiasm and not a little polish. During their

extensive tour schedule, Shirley and

her boys have evidently fine-tuned their live act to a most professional point.

Half-time was marked by Shirley's solo rendition of ’John Anderson’, a melancholy, but much loved folk ballad sung to the singer as a child by her mother and here dedicated to Scotland. Another dedication followed, this to the MSPs: The Beatles' ’Don’t Let Me Down’. Political comments, however, were kept to a minimum, with Shirley accentuating the positive. Following a second half of New Wave riffs in the mould of Blondie and The Pretenders, the climax came with ‘Only Happy When It Rains', during which bazookas mounted above the stage sprayed the audience with a downpour of shiny plastic mirrorball squares. That’s showbiz.

A night to remember, then? Undoubtedly; but perhaps less as The Garden Party and more as a gig by Garbage, clearly now one of the foremost practitioners of polished indie pop. Not at all a bad beginning for a new era in Scotland.

(Miles Fielder)

live reviews MUSIG



5 Plus Special Guest Kim Richey r

GLASGOW : ROYAL CONCERT HALL Thursday 21st October

' m Plus Very Spam! G H

Eliza Cartlty

6 Saul Rose



PaV‘y do“




Plus Special Guest Cutie CllftiS


Tickets from: Venue Box Offices. secs Box Office 0141-2877777. Ticket Centre [Candlerigge]. Virgin Records (Glasgow 8 Edinburgh)” “CKET HUTIJNE: WAY AHEAD 0141-3398383 [24hrs] www.6ckata—

8-22 Jul 1999 TIIEIJ31'39