live reviews


Edinburgh: Corn Exchange, Mon 13 Mm**e*

It’s not a good way to start a night. The DJ (was it David Holmes as advertised?) is seconded away in some corner and, as the crowd file into the auditorium, he/she drops a selection of fierce, funky and, ultimately, extremely danceable drum 8: bass tracks. Aside from this wall of sound, the crowd is also met with blinding overhead lights, which would make the most up-for- it of ravers reticent. There's nothing like creating a bit of atmosphere and this was nothing like it.

When the lights go out (thankfully) a small army of men tumble onto the stage. The newest addition to the Scream Team is Mr 'My Bloody Valentine’ himself, Kevin Shields. He stands stock still positioned stage left guitar strapped high on his chest for the duration of the entire show, his expression remaining one of terror throughout; Shields is obviously

The Bobby Gillespie punk rock garage, dub, electro explosion

delighted to be back on the live circuit. Bobby G enters, looking all the more like a post-Slimfast Jim Morrison and, launching into 'Swastika Eyes', they manage to out-Chemical the Chemical Brothers. 'Pills', ’Exterminator’ and 'Kill All Hippies’ are all dutifully and skilfully executed by the now swollen Scream ranks, but are three guitarists really necessary?

A few oldies are remembered; ‘Higher Than The Sun’ makes an appearance during the first encore and, along with the serene ’Keep Your Dreams', is one of only two moments of relative calm throughout the whole show. 'Rocks', 'Medication' and ‘Kowalski' are also dusted off and sit remarkably well with the revolutionary zeal of the newer tracks.

They encore for a second time professing to 'Kick Out The Jams, motherfuckerl' before launching into a cover of MCS’s finest moment. This, after the garage punk

meets electro dub onslaught of the Exterminator album tracks, seems like a logical progression, perhaps also paving the way for that Primal Scream jazz/garage rock album they haven't quite managed yet.

We get a fullvon rock finale, the cheering subsides. the stage is cleared, reggae gently ebbs from the PA. The punters have had their fill, and begin to head for the exits contented. All well and good, except Bob and his buddies bound back on stage for more. He mumbles an apology declaring they don't have any more songs and would like to play 'Rocks' again. Those who haven't made it through the door shuffle back to the front and the song is duly executed for the second time.

Eleven years ago when Primal Scream were last in Edinburgh, they were at their most rawk with material like 'Ivy, Ivy, lvy'. The tunes may have been forgotten but the spirit remains the same. (Mark Robertson)

ROCK Beach Buggy *M

Gallon Drunk “1,, EdinburghzThe Attic, Fri 10 Mar.

That tonight’s entertainment started rather late was a blessing in disguise for support band, Beach Buggy. Any earlier and the band would have been cursing the petrol money they spent travelling up from Leeds, only to play to the bar staff and a handful of disinterested onlookers.

Stalling long enough to muster a sparse but enthusiastic audience, Beach Buggy take to the stage in their customised white NASA uniforms. Only three members of the space team have made it to this launch though; the line-up usually boast two guitarists and two drummers. No doubt the full complement would be visually and

g aurally more impressive but even in this

paired-down form the band still

g, manage to achieve a chirpy meeting

Someone should confiscate their drum machine

ground between the three chord magic

of Thee Headcoats and the off-kilter kookiness of Pavement.

By the end of Beach Buggy’s set, the venue has filling up nicely with punters eager to discover whether Gallon

Drunk have sold their souls to electronica. Their new EP, ’Blood Is Red' featuring techno squawks and drum machine rhythms gives good cause for concern. Fans of Gallon Drunk's boozy blues exhale a collective sigh of relief however when the band launch into their high-adrenalin SOS throwback rock.

Wearing the de riguer lounge lizard shirt, frontman James Johnston oozes rugged sex appeal and he keeps his microphone at low-peg so he can assume the classic overhang pose as the band turn out mean and moody guitar-driven blues. The riff-tastic ’Two Clear Eyes' and the saxaphone sass of ’Some Cast Fire’ go some way to assuring doubters that Gallon Drunk are still a rock ’n’ roll outfit to be reckoned with but the new material is another matter entirely. The techno dimensions of ’Hurricane’ do not sit well at all and the resulting fusion of musical styles unfortunately recalls rock-electro nightmares, Jesus Jones. Someone should confiscate their drum machine and let them hang on to the brass, maracas and harmonicas their more qualified at using. (Catherine Bromley)

live reviews MUSIC



Edinburgh: Jazz Joint, Henry's Cellar Bar, Sat 4 Mar.

Nuspirit is a new monthly event playing ’universal sounds from a soul jazz centrepoint' for which read damn funky music. Featured guests were West London future-jazzers, Neon Phusion. A healthy turnout and the cramped conditions of Henry’s helped create a communal vibe, with the audience dancing long before the band appeared.

Playing tracks from their debut LP The Future Ain’t The Same As It Used 2 B, the band carried forward the spirit of Roy Ayers, their conscious, urban music remaining rooted in a deep, funky groove. Out of rehearsed material, Orin Walters, the band's technical whizz, moved onto decks, spinning nu-jazz tracks, Kaidi Tatham laid down some astonishingly tight keyboard riffs when not showing off his unique dancing, and singer Melissa Brown improvised with feeling and humour. Nuspirit is a night set to make its presence felt, playing intelligent dancefloor music, with top- notch live guests. Check it out. (Graham Grant)

The Stacey Effect Edinburgh: Potterrow, Tue 29 Feb.

On the eve of a trip to play a couple of gigs for the beautiful people of New York, the Stacey Effect immediately display the kind of self-confident posturing suited to their guitar fuelled power pop mould. A set reminiscent of the Stereophonics follows with frontman Dillon Mitchell showing the 150 or so Potterow punters he can both play and sing.

The introduction of Jay on cello for ’Neon Bubble’ three songs in is welcome but her strings are unfortunately lost in the mix. What begins to take centre stage is the flamboyant machismo of the gum-chewing keyboardist/guitarist Kevin. By the time he introduces ’l’m Gonna Come’ as a song about telepathy you could almost have foretold the script. However, tight playing and strong vocals win the crowd over and hint at better things to come. An EP is imminent, or check them out © Starfishrecordscouk (Finlay Wilson)

None Of The Above EdinburghzThe Bongo Club, Sun 12 Mar.

Where, in the same room, do get a Dutch John Martin looping his acoustic guitar through electronic pedals and singing in the spirit of Nick Drake; then a young Greek bouzouki band that makes you want to start chucking plates, and finally a straight-ahead quintet laying down a set of stomping South African- rooted township jazz?

Held monthly(ish) in Edinburgh’s Bongo Club, None Of The Above celebrates musical diversity in an always-interesting, extremely eclectic way. Supported by the Arts Council, but in constant peril of imminent loss of the venue (it's scheduled for development next year, maybe sooner) it fulfils an obvious demand - it was comfortably packed for Bernard Brogue’s intensely personal songs and complex fingerpicking, and Tinela’s sun-drenched vocals and chiming strings, and Azitiz's dance-inducing sax- driven grooves and wild improvisations. (Norman Chalmers)

16—30 Mar 2000 THE UN 45