RAP/HIP HOP REVIEW Eminem
,3: Glasgow: Barrowland, Wed 10 E: November it t
F] White men can't rap. That's what 3' received (or is that racist?) wisdom would have us believe. But that was f-I before Eminem - a bleached blonde ,‘Ipretender to hip hop's throne, _-. dealing in what he rightly calls 'the E' South Park of rap.’ Any headway in r}: the white rhymers' stakes made by pioneers like The Beastie Boys was :f rudely halted by poptastic, radio- 3 friendly curiousity acts like Vanilla *; Ice, Mark Wahlberg, Snow and :vHouse of Pain. But Mr Mathers' Medgy, shocking and droll output is " redressing the balance.
1 Judging by the serpentine queue :f-that stretches out of the Barras' Ientrance and round the block, the - west coast’s hip hop cognoscenti :jdon't care whether Eminem's white, '. black or magenta; they've cleaved :Slim Shady (his loveable sociopath ' alter-ego) to their collective bosom. i,’ The man himself appears onstage éclad in a white baseball cap, white :puffa jacket and white slacks - - dressed just like Puff Daddy despite I being the creative antithesis of the - Grand High Poobah of Rap by f Numbers. A jerky medley of tracks ofrom his debut, The Slim Shady LP, :underscored by satisfyineg fat bass .fills the 50 minutes that follow. ‘ Unfortunately, it's frequently
linterrupted by yells of 'Glasgow, what the fuck is going ’_on? Make some noisel' Then, three quarters of the way . through, proceedings take a misogynistic turn. Eminem :and DJ Proof, his partner in crime. invite the ladies in the . house to ‘grab a titty'. The gents are encouraged to take 2 hold of their 'nads'. Quite. Later this is followed by 'How .’ many fellas in the house are fucking tonight?’ Perhaps ; no-one told the artists that this was an all ages show.
. Unsavoury suggestions aside, there's no denying that
Smooth criminal: Eminem
the diabolical cherub's rapping is impeccable. When audible (the mic’s down pretty low), his rhyme flow is fast, and as smooth as his hairless chest, which puts in an appearance towards the end of his set. So do 'My Name ls' and ‘Guilty Conscience', the anti-social anthems that somersaulted him into the spotlight. Disappointingly, we're only treated to about half of each. Here‘s hoping for the full bhoona the next time he's in these here parts.
Gorky's Zygotic Myncr Glasgow: School Of Art, Sun 14 Nov *‘k‘k‘k How many bands are brave and imaginative enough to resurrect the dumbest excesses of glam rock, force them into an unnatural marriage with the feyest of folky ditherings, and arrange a honeymoon in Nashville? It is . as if Ziggy Stardust and all his Martian spiders had been exposed on a hillside as infants, and then taken in and nurtured by a mad whistling hermit with a long grey beard. Gorky's Zygotic
48 "I! [181' 18 Nov-2 Dec 1999
Druid awakening: Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Mynci have so many strings to their collective bow, it's almost embarrassing.
Initially regarded as something of a novelty act — due, in no small part, to an early penchant for dressing up as druids - the Welsh four-piece has matured into one of the most imaginative and esoteric of British bands. Live, they skitter through a bewildering array of musical styles, layering lullaby harmonies over the tenderest of melodies before pounding into wild rock 'n 'roll riffs and dizzying fiddle- driven jigs.
Euros Childs is a compelling oddity of a frontman; with his grown-out mullet and gawky frame, he looks like the geekiest geek in school, yet his voice somersaults effortlessly from choirboy croon to punkish yelp. On 'Poodle Rockin" - the uncontested highlight of both the album Spanish Dance Troupe and the live set — he barks out clipped nursery rhyme couplets over a crazed, swirling show tune and suddenly the band are as glossy, as creepy and as heartstoppingly pop as Roxy Music. Elsewhere, they’re straight country, frail and emotional as Gram Parsons; elsewhere again, the pounding drums and frenzied fiddle transport you to the coolest ceilidh that never happened.
Uncool is where it’s at with Gorky's; they have that eccentric abandon that indicates that neither the constraints of image and fashion nor the machinations of the industry could ever stifle them. They are marvellous because they seem to have combined every musical trend of their own short lifetimes to create a hybrid, styleless style of their very own. And because they will never go to the Met Bar and will end up working as mad bearded music teachers in rural areas. (Hannah McGill)
LOCAL LIVES Late Night Foreign Radio ’
Nice'n'Sleazy, Wed 10 Nov
Late Night Foreign Radio haven’t played live for nigh on a year, and judging by tonight's performance, they've been busy reinventing themselves completely. In their previous incarnation, the group knocked out fine interpretations of the sort of Americana that veers from quietly sombre strumming to violently loud guitar abuse. This time around, the group have stopped relying on their frontman's remarkable voice to mark them out from the crowd, choosing instead to unleash a set dominated by lengthy jazz-rock wig- outs, sinister cinematic keyboard riffs and a taste of the fret-mashing noise of old. At times during the set, this tendency to meander on interminany threatened to lose the crowd's interest, but the 'Radio consistently managed to come up with some new variation on their chosen themes, ranging from a maudlin trombone solo to swirls of acidic synth trickery via tinny art-rock guitar licks. Hopefully they won't leave it quite so long before appearing again.
The Vanity Witch Hunt/Buffy Clyro
Glasgow: The Bedsit, Sat 13 Nov. The Bedsit is your school hall, complete with basketball court markings underfoot and flagrantly disregarded no-smoking signs all around. However, it remains an excellent and underused gig venue in which — tonight at least — the crowd are keen and receptive and the sound is crystalline. Openers Biffy Clyro (Childhood imaginary friend? Outdated public school slang, as in ‘I say, Jenkins, that's a simply biffy clyro’? Who can say?) fill the space effectively with big American rock noises. Though they follow the angsty grunge blueprint pretty much to the letter, they’re not lacking in style, and their frontman has a rakish Gaz Coombes twinkle that the boys at MTV would just love.
Next up are the Vanity Witch Hunt, who reverse the emerging trend by having a fantastic name and a somewhat shambolic stage presence. Again they're blessed with an eminently marketable frontman — a charismatic spiky goth who knows just how to balance sexy dead-eyed stares with flamboyant rock posturing. However, he's let down by an attention-seeking rogue of a guitarist who keeps pushing to the front of the stage to flash his puny chest at the crowd, and a sound that never really transcends its early Manics/Placebo smudged-mascara-and-angst reference points. Still, all credit to them for eschewing Ben Sherman- sponsored Proper Rock.
STAR RATINGS ***** Unmissable **** Very ood *~k* We a shot ht Below average * You've been warned