Edinburgh Castle, Hogmanay

Frisky little chap is our Moby. And I think it's safe to call him ours, what with his saltire sweatshirt, his decision to play this last date on a nineteen-month tour in Edinburgh not New York and his on-stage claim that in ten years of visiting, he's always found Scotland to have the best clubs in the world. All this and a closing round of ’Auld Lang Syne' to boot.

But frisky, yes. In two hours on stage, the meat-free one does not keep still. The constant movement keeps all eyes on him, but he's more athletic than histrionic. He trots about as if working out in a boxing ring, willing the music into life through sheer energy. This work-out is musical, not egotistical. He’s too mild-mannered for stage heroics and only on the closing solo number, 'Thousand’ (aka the fastest song ever), does he bare his chest to the icy December air and make like a statuesque demi-god swathed in electric blue light.

More typically, he darts around playing a little bongo drum here, a little guitar there, sharing the limelight with a rocking Greta


.5 it _ / .I .~ ' . r " /


Moby's soul is brought into question

Brinkman on bass, a soul-fuelled Diane Charlemange on vocals and, from time to time, a string section with the mysterious ability to play those backwards chords from 'Porcelain' and make them sound just like the record.

Give or take the odd low-key moment, the Moby repertoire is ideal for the outdoor party atmosphere on the Castle esplanade (an atmosphere defiantly buoyed up by the passing showers of icy rain). It's familiar enough for everyone to join in, diverse enough not to be bland and no track is complete without at least a couple of those quiet bits where everyone whoops and hollers. Hellishly danceable too.

A great gig, then, but there's something in Moby's

get passionate about him. When he asks, ever so politely, if we'd mind if he tried ’a gospel version of a disco song', you sense he's someone wanting to be taken seriously as a songwriter in the classic mould. But looked at like that, his songs simply aren't very good. His lyrics have that Gallagher-esque combination of familiarity and meaninglessness, his vocal melodies are rarely memorable in themselves. And it’s telling that it's the older material the songs that are unashamedly themselves, be they house or rock or rap that works the best. When he's bolshy, spiky and up- for-it, he leaves no space for questions, but when he switches to mood music, it's hard to find the soul.

friskiness musically speaking - that makes it hard to

ROCK/POP Teenage Fanclub/Gary Mullen

Main Stage, Merchant City, Glasgow, Hogmanay » ‘—

Hell's bells! It's Teenage Fanclub

It's remarkable the things yOu unearth in the Open road. Hogmanay's total haul of finds brought a swag of 57p, a

(Mark Fisher)

broken mobile phone, the car keys to a Toyota and my mates Hogmanay’s list of losses include the feeling of my toes, the ability to tie my laces and my mates

Ahaaal You thought that all that wrnter snow was kinda cute and fluffy. You got into the routine of digging for your car every morning You hid in embarrassment as your parents decrded to go sledging on footstools they nicked from a shoe shop, Foolsl Snow melts. On Hogmanay, the snow turns into icy slush The Merchant City has become T in the Park Only instead of two days of mud and music, there's two hours of hypothermia and distant sirens And free music

Sure there are purple-haired clowns to the left of me and, look, there's some Jokers to the right, but ho ho ho the Fannies are right in the middle Unfortunately, they play in a by- numbers style which struggles to keep the attention of a decent-Sized crowd, 'Mellow Doubt' is predictable indie compilation fodder, ’l Need Direction' is better-fitting and oddly comical (that’ll be that hilariOuS ’direction’/’erection' mishearing, them, and jUSI before some worried man in

headphones gets ready to swrtch off the amps for overrunning, Teenage Fanclub hit the ground running With the singular best pop song of the 90's 'Sparky's Dream’. Oh boy, that Summer feelingl

Then they dig up Freddie Mercury from Maryhill The Victor of 1999’s Stars /n Their Eyes, Gary Mullen (hasn’t qurte got the same ring, has it?) encompasses everything that the word ’strut’ might imply Despite dOing some rather strange microphone stand penis thrusts, he looks less and less like the Mercuryman and more like Barry McGurgan in panto.

Once more, Headphone Man looks anXiously at his watch Freddie exrts and some squeaky-vowed non-celebrity counts in 2001. The £299 fireworks pop, Glasgow’s gospel choir bOunce up and down to Auld Lang Syne, Super Fred comes back to do an unbelievable ’Bohemian Rhapsody' like he’s man's gift to God and everyone goes berserk.

Glasgow’s Hogmanay on the cheap ends and Nostradamus got it wrong again. The empty-pocketed Toyota driver can find his keys at Partick Police Station. Luckily, I couldn’t find the car. (Jason Cranwell)


Brave Captain / Derrero King Tut's, Glasgon, Sat 9 Dec.

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Another cen‘tmingfltenttiset: t 'rao ls erstwhile Boo Rattleys stengalr, Ma'tin Carr, ncm self—Drotlairried Brate Captain Setting sail txrtt‘ a sclearriirtg sax-led Jar.‘ tusion number, signs or music al intrepiditv are certainly present, but before long our iappar'ently lt‘dllt‘ss‘ nayigator is steering us back into the familiar territory of the \*.'e|l-crafted pop song Nice as that is as a captain Martin Carr makes us feel rather more safe than braye il‘eter Kellyi

Djangokil The Venue, Edinburgh, Thu 7 Dec.

If a great iriortiker was enough, DldllgOkll would have it made As it is they're (}()ll‘.(} to need luck, pluck and a guardian angel to trans< end the l()( al scene But why the hell not 7 In front of an initially sceptical and gossipy crowd, they (harm wrth volume, angst and superhero l-shirts Anything a spider can

Norseniks of a melodic bent, th:s Edinburgh quartet hum and ding in the tradition of Nirvana/Ash/ldlewud They still have much to learn about stagecraft and could certainly do wrth a lesson in how to finish a song, but they've got big tunes and an ineffable Vim about them Lyrics about California may seem incongruous on a dreic h December night but, hey, a little dreaming can take you places (Rodger Evansi

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(Brave) captain of an unsteady ship, Martin Carr


iv iii t r t Unmissable

v t t it Very 00d

t t t Wort a shot

i t Below average

. You've been warned

Slan—l 8 Jan 2001 THE lIST 53