Death In Vegas
Glasgow: The Arches, Sun 13 Feb *‘k‘kﬁ'
When Death In Vegas take to the stage, it is exactly fifteen minutes before Valentine's Day, and some premature couples in the audience are beginning to attach themselves to each other in both interesting, new ways and sickening displays of public affection. Who would ever have pegged DIV as the new Marvin Gaye?
Bizarrely, the cap almost fits. After checking the big beat excesses of their debut LP Dead Elvis in at the door of the last millennium, the latest Death In Vegas model deals in a heady, heavy, headboard- thumping racket, albeit with the occasionally disturbing necrophiliac undertone. But though they are one of the few acts who can credibly splice rock and dance, it soon becomes apparent that Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes cannot do it alone. With a mini horn section tucked to the right and the apron of the stage crowded with guitar- slinging goons, it looks uncannily like The Gyres are gearing up for a second bite of the indie-rock cherry. But conspicuous by her absence is Dot Allison (Fearless’ main squeeze last time anyone checked), who usually shows face to add her deliciously neutral vocal line to the tantric lock-groove of ’Dirge’.
But Dot or not, it's still a swaying behemoth of sound; insistent, hypnotic and incontrovertible proof that DIV have hijacked some higher plane. Similarly, 'Soul Auctioneer’ is free of Bobby G’s attempts at rapping, highlighting its funereal mix of fractured cuts, sloppy hip-hop and uneasy listening. But it was always going to be 'Aisha’ that would send the place ballistic. It’s more of kill-crazy cantata than a murder ballad, and even though the only trace of Mr Pop is a repeatedly- triggered sample of his Iggness growling ‘the gods all
Death disco: Death In Vegas
suck’, there seems to be a tangible danger of him appearing from nowhere and ripping people's limbs off just for kicks. A balaclava-ed Icon in army fatigues provides bizarro eye-candy on-stage, helping distract people’s attention away from the juddering uber-riff that’s gleefully haemorrhaging their insides.
DIV later reclaim the similarly-smack-veined ’Dirt' from that Budweiser commercial, and just when the racket is threatening to blow people’s minds in a messy Scanners stylee, they drop into the soothing garage gospel strains of ‘Aladdin's Story'.
Just to prove that's it not all chemically-enhanced frazzled goth rock, they finish with the celebratory jamboree of 'Neptune City’. It's Valentine's Day proper by this time, but most people have lost their heart to Fearless and his stack of black boxes. (Samuel McGuire)
wise, they (well, two of them anyway) are what you might come to expect if Ian Brown and Eugene from Grease decided to get together and form a band. Sound wise, they’ve been compared to Hank Williams, Kraftwerk and AC/DC, but something closer to a less ballsy and mentally stable Beastie Boys, fronted by a distressingly gruff frontman, would maybe rest a little easier closer to the mark. Chris and Duncan, the starring duo, supply crushineg heavy guitar and wailing vocals, backed by a bunny-hopping keyboard player, who melds their
ROCK/ELECTRONIC Ten Benson
Glasgow: King Tut's, Tue 1 Feb 52 it ix There’s an impossibly odd whiff of expectation at King Tut’s as bizarre rock experimentalists Ten Benson take the stage in the first night of a three-port mini tour of Britain.
No doubt fed by weekly lashings of their ’Rock Cottage’ at Optimo every weekend, the dedicated throng of Bensonites numbered geeky school kids and even the odd wizened rock- dad among them. Dutifully enough,
Puffa, puffa nice: Ten Benson
the London-based quartet slunk out before their expectant public wearing a selection of padded-baseball caps reminiscent of your days toddling along the beach at Blackpool. And, maybe just coincidentally, the boys’ opening number furthered the whole ’geek on a beach in the 70s’ connotation, dead-panning their way through an unsettlingly dark and vocally bereft version of (Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The . . . ) ’Seaside’.
But dark and bereft just don’t do this lot any sort of descriptive justice. Looks
grinding rock (witness presumably satirical rock-god signature of delivering a tidal wave of feedback and all-round general guitar braying having fallen to their knees) to a peculiar backing of electro-camp and all things odd-ball. They were barking (quite literally) during one wooftastic number.
Having showcased their latest offering ’Robot Tourist’, the boys could be satisfied in knowing that they’ve perhaps achieved a King Tut's first, as four teenagers stole to the front of the crowd, and went on to tap-dance their way through the set. Odd indeed. But it went with the territory. (Paul English)
live reviews MUSIC
LOCAL LIVE Stylus Automatic Glasgow: King Tut's, Tue 1 Feb.
Alan McGee said of Oasis when he saw them that night at Tut's, that they believed they were already superstars. Saying anything other than the same about Stylus Automatic would be a caustic slap in the chops for the sultry Paisley five-piece.
When duffel-coated frontman Johnnie Crossan led his shimmering tambourine on-stage there might only have been five folk there who expected Stylus Automatic to be appearing on bigger bills 3 little down the line themselves. But by the time he’d led his band through a five-song showcase of Reef-like boyish arrogance, that number had grown many-fold. Crossan’s on-stage Jim Morrison mimicry and wanton headbanging might be called self-obsession elsewhere, but after a brief dip into the very able Stylus repertoire — the highlight of which was ’The Man From Chicago’ — it’s maybe safer to say that these Buddies have nothing worse than a healthy conceit of themselves. (Paul English)
Boothacre/Shore Edinburgh: The Attic, Sat 22 Jan.
Hoping to bring a little class to the proceedings, Shore strut on stage looking resplendent in what would appear to be their best suits. The music was not quite so smart; fairly predictable indie pop jangle which, while tightly delivered, suffered from too many weighty intros. The lead singer takes his best stab at a few decent Richard Ashcroft-isms and the guitarists effect pedal dexterity suggest potential which could see them find other engaging elements given time. Opening with a song suspiciously like Joan Jett And The Blackhearts’ ’I Love Rock And Roll’, Boothacre aren’t afraid to throw a few extra vocal harmonies in to take the edge off. Their resolutely indie guitar antics, are underpinned by an electronic drum-kit, very quaint, and, while not always something to be proud of, it sets them in good stead and highlights their music skills and flair for an upbeat tune. (Paul Donald)
Engine Glasgow: Ad Lib, Sun 6 Feb.
Remember Acid Jazz, the soul-free fusion of funk and dance that bothered the charts for a few weeks in the mid-90$? Engine are everything that Acid Jazz should have been. This is in part down to the vocal skills of Liza — she has the kind of smooth-but-gutsy soul voice that can carry a lush breakbeat ballad or counterpoint tougher hip hop beats with equal aplomb — and frontman Nordin, who can slip from virtuoso toasting to a strained, heart-rending reggae- inflected soul style in the blink of an eye. That is not to say that the music takes a back seat, as the band form an unholy trinity of sequencer-perfect live drum breaks, lush funk instrumentation and disarmingly gentle acoustic guitar runs. If you see one band this month, make sure it’s Engine. (Jack Mottram)
l7 Feb—2 Mar 2000 THEM“