BALLBOY Sloan‘s, Glasgow, Fri 9 Nov; Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Sun 11 Nov.
The music world needs ballboy. In an age of MTV-driven blandification (that’s a real word, honest), we need a band with something to say and we need it now. ballboy’s song titles say it all: ‘I Hate Scotland’, ‘Donald In The Bushes With A Bag Of Glue’, ‘Sex Is Boring’. They even have one song with the delectable chorus: ‘You’re a big, fat, bigoted arsehole’. Now that’s more like it.
‘At the heart of everything we do is having a story to tell,’ confirms the band’s lead singer and focal point, Gordon McIntyre. A twitchy wire of a man, McIntyre is gregarious company, but never shies away from controversy. ‘I like it when people tell stories in songs,’ he continues apace. ‘There are too many bands farting about with no opinions.’
The Edinburgh four-piece indie outfit have been gradually gaining more acclaim for their incisive, intelligent leftfield pop, something showcased nicely on their debut album, Club Anthems 2001, a compilation of their three EPs so far, with some extra tracks thrown in for good measure.
Ranging from jangly pop to rampaging electro-rock,
gr. a. H
ballboy Indulge In the Where’s Wally? school of photography
it’s entertaining as hell, and should see the band finally achieving widespread recognition. So where does this craving for opinionated bands leave ballboy in the current instrumental post-rocking climate in Scotland brought about by the rise and rise of Mogwai? Out on a limb, that’s where.
‘I don’t like it at all,’ says McIntyre of the post-rock phenomenon. ‘Mind you, I don’t hate it as much as bands that sing songs that are rubbish, like the Cosmic Rough Riders. But post-rock, I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m not clever enough, or maybe I’m not avant garde enough}
This habit of stirring things up is most evident when ballboy play live, where McIntyre’s day job as a teacher gives him the upper hand with pissed-up hecklers. ‘We played at the Liquid Room one time and some boy was shouting and waving his willy about,’ he says. ‘It all kicked off and I thought, “this is brilliant this is what it’s all about”.
‘After that gig some boy came up and said, “Fucking well done mate, you gave those cunts what for. Dinnae get me wrong, those cunts are ma pals, but I get stick from them all the time and you fucking gave it back. I’ve got to go now in case they see me talking to you".’ (Doug Johnstone)
I Club Anthems 2007 is out now on SL Records.
Jack and Meg have earned thelr stripes
THE WHITE STRIPES
QMU, Glasgow, Thu 15 Nov; Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Fri 16 Nov.
Deranged. stripped down. preaching blues in uniforms of red and white. the most mysterious duo in music bring their twisted tangle of blues to Scotland after their low-key debut a few months back.
44 THE LIST 1-15 Nov 2001
2001 is the year that rocketed Jack and Meg White to critical acclaim of phenomenal proportions. In the space of a few months. they made newspaper headlines. graced magazine covers and John Peel had proclaimed them as ‘the best thing since Hendrix’. The unassuming pair were then catapulted to celebrity chic status and the Stripes now find
themselves in the middle of a press feeding frenzy.
Their self-titled debut was however released way back in 1999 and contained seventeen tracks of serrated rock riffery. The brilliant De Stij/ followed and still most of the world was in the dark about the cooler-than- thou sound from the States. Then. while we were all salivating over five boys from NYC. White Blood Cells hit us square in the jaw. and although they stayed faithful to those strong. weak- at-the-knees melodies. the Stripes propelled their ragged sound into infinity. Times that by ten and you've get an idea of the live experience. Meg pounds a tiny kit to produce a driving beat as Jack snarls and pummels his guitar to make the most fabulously contorted sounds us earthlings have ever heard.
From frenzied guitar assaults to mildly mad ditties. the enigmatic pair won't stop twisting and turning simple pop songs into fresh bluesy beasts that blow your mind. Brothers and sisters. prepare to be astounded. (Camila Pia)
Music news now
THOSE WHO MADE IT TO THE new CCA last weekend would have been delighted to witness not only Jarvis Cocker on the decks but the welcome return of US electronic pioneers Suicide. Such was their delight at playing in Glasgow that they sent The List this lil' thank yOu message:
Just a note to Show Our heartfe/t thanks for y0ur very enthusiastic ‘welcome back to G/asgow' from the audience at the launch gig at the CCA. Sorry to those who c0u/d not get in this time, we hope to be back again next Spring. We had a truly great time at the gig & around yOL/r city (and no one threw an axe us this time ll). The CCA IS a great new space, 8 you should all be proud to have Such a place in your lives. Peace. Alan Vega 8 Marty Rev. SuiCide.
POETS OF RHYTHM AND System Of A Down have both cancelled their forthcoming dates in Glasgow. Refunds are available from point of purchase.
HONE YOUR DANCE MUSIC knowledge by watching Pump Up The Volume on Channel 4 on Tue 13 Nov — a documentary series tracing the histOry of house.
POP CULTURE JUNKIES CAN indulge themselves with a number of lectures at Edinburgh College of Art. Author and cultural commentator Michael Bracewell appears at the Hunter Lecture Theatre on Fri 9 Nov at 1.30pm and talks about his forthcoming book about the 905. Admission is free.
Also, ‘Nostalgia Of duM: Archaeologies Of The 1990s’ is a day-long series of lectures on Sat 24 Nov with guests including 805 cultural guru Peter York and former Factory Records impresario Anthony H. Wilson. Tickets are 235/210 concession, for more info contact ECA direct on 0131 229 1442.
DAZED AND CONFUSED magazine has teamed up with Electric Stew to put on an eclectic line—up at Glasgow's OMU on Wed 14 Nov. US female rapper. Princess Superstar heads the bill alongside spacer indie folksters Bodekka. Eva plus DJs Parsley SOund and Miss Kitten. Tickets are a bargainous £5. CONGRATULATIONS GO OUT to V9 who won this year’s Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland Hard Rock Cafe New Talent Award. The guitar trio win a week’s worth of studio time at Glasgow’s Park Lane Studios.