Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Sat 2 Mar eeee

For well over a decade now, Jason Pierce has been pursuing themes of sin, redemption and oblivion, taking his skinny white boy, junkie-narco blues to higher and increasineg grander heights. The question tonight, however, is can he translate his patented brand of sumptuous, orchestral space rock from the studio into a live environment? It may have worked on record and it made perfect sense in the Albert Hall (complete with orchestra) but can he pull it off in the decidedly antiseptic, school gym hall confines of the Corn Exchange? Miraculously enough, yes.

From the opening salvo of ‘Cop Shoot Cop’ and ‘Electricity’, a familiar but deadly effective pattern starts to emerge . Begin with a long, hypnotic, slow burning build up, then WHOOMPl-l! Heads down, effect pedal abusing, white noise, free-jazz-freakout heaven: wave after wave of gut wrenching, teeth grinding volume and delirious, crescendos designed to fuse the synapses.

And it works; looking round, intense young men with interesting facial hair start to twitch and shake like the mutant cast of Cronenberg’s Scanners, lager lads punch the air, while others, lost in their own private heaven/hell (delete as applicable) stand glassy eyed and bewildered.

What makes it all the more impressive is that it’s only a seven-piece band creating this controlled chaos (although it also helps that they come equipped with a retina scorching light show). The combined effect is almost operatic. ‘l’m On Fire’ and ‘The Twelve Steps’ are the 603 garage punk of the 13th Floor Elevators, fed PCP instead of acid, then conducted by the London Philharmonic, while ‘Out Of Sight’ is a vast, hallucinogen-soaked mantra.

OK, so at times they do border on the grandiose and some of the instrumental passages stray dangerously close to prog-rock territory, yet time and again Pierce manages to rein the band back from the edge and by the encore of ‘Come Together’, the crowd are practically levitating.

A bravura display and a triumph for imagination, ambition and lysergic excess. (Neil Ferguson)


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A triumph of excess

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The Path Tavern, Kirkcaldy, Sat 9 Mar “000

Kirkcaldy, Rock City. Doesn't quite trip off the tongue. but it‘s but not for the want of trying. However. we're again gathered in Fife to pay tribute to a legend at least locally as the Path Tavern is closing its doors to the gig circuit. And curiously its three-night closing party is something of a trawl through the years; Singleskin can only be described as ‘new-wave' while Motormark cut'n'paste the Ramones and Go-Gos to make dancefloor fillers.

The final night continues the theme. Local lads Amateur Guitar Anti-Heroes do the punk crossover thing to great effect; shouty with a Mary Chain vibe. though with a bit of surf guitar chucked into the pot. Huckleberry are steeped further in the past. grungey in a 603 kind of way; thrashy garage rock. with more than a hint of prog in those time signatures. and of course their trademark organ.

But it's fitting that Risingson should close the place in an emotionally charged set. peaking in a tumultuous ‘Evil TV' with John Hutchinson's decks the only concession to their trip-hop punk rock epithet; the band now producing full-on rock which could blow away today's nu metal acts. This would be a fitting end. but the band re-emerge and reform Coffee. the high-school punk act who were first to play the venue. However. this feels more like a private wake for fans and family. so we make our excuses and leave the Path for the last time. (Stuart McHugh)

Book now

" Just announced

I System Of A Down Barrowland. Glasgow. 30

& 3| Mar SOLD OUT. : I Belle 8: Sebastian } Usher Hall. Edinburgh. I l

I Gomez Corn Exchange. Edinburgh. 13 Apr. I Ricky Ross Couicr. Glasgow. IS Apr.

lI&flhWh Bextor Queen‘s Hall. Edinburgh. 22 Apr. SOLD OUT.

I Cheap Trick Garage.

Apt I Fenlx TX Garage. Glasgow. 23 Am I Lamb MU‘ GI. ‘. , . ' Glasgow. l5 Apr. I . . . And You Will 3 Apr Q aw)“, I Simple Minds Clyde Know Us By The

Trail Of Dead QMU. Glasgow. 24 Apr.

I Brian Auger La Belle Angelo. Edinburgh. 26 Apr.

I Here And Now l'cai Adam Ant, ABC and

Auditorium. Glasgow. l7 & l8 Apr. SOLD OUT. I The Handsome Family Liquid Room. l Edinburgh. l9 Apr.

I Cornershop QMU. Glasgow. 2| Apr.

I Atomic Kitten Clyde Auditorium. Glasgow. 5 Apr. : I Jon Spencer Blues Explosion QMU. Glasgow. 10 Apr.

. Switzerland with the infamous summer

have a beginning'. The voice and face of

birth to Mary. constantly probes her

baby at only six weeks old?

mainly grey and beige. the only visible colour coming from the bright. electric

. Glasgow. 1 May.




King Tut's, Glasgow, Mon 4 Mar

One frustrated indie kid with a guitar and a bank of overdrive pedals. and one bedroom composer with knobbly boxes and a couple of laptops: Capitol K don’t look like much. but what they produce is some shit-hot electro-pop with an ear for messed-up melody and 803-sounding vocals. It's jarring, harmonious. alluring. oddly familiar. and sure to become a staple at Optimo. Let's try a few comparisons: an electro-Smiths; The Associates in the 21 st century; Bryan Ferry and Gary Numan collaborating to re-record Kid A.

Unfortunately. low expectations will always precede a band called Fridge. Possible song titles come to mind: “Rock-Hard Kerrygold'; “Rancid Milk'; ‘The Light '3 Not Working Again‘. Perhaps fittingly. the English three-piece open their set with some post-rock by numbers. Things get more interesting as synths, samples and a melodica are brought into the fold. but nothing can hide the fact that. despite their undoubted talent, Fridge's songs labour the point. relying on repetition that often strays into aimlessness. These problems are compounded in tonight's set-closer which sounds like an extended version of Mogwai's already lengthy ‘Stereodee'. Fridge will have to craft better songs to make a bigger impact. And think up a better name. (Jan F. Zeschky)


MONS'I'ER ‘waking dream'. But where colour is Theatre Royal, GIasgow’ Thu 28 Feb lacking on stage. it shines clear and illustrious in the orchestra. Beamish's

score is full of beautifully placed and lightly atmospheric solo lines. for even the most unlikely of instruments. The tuba is heard as never before. bassoons and trombones rumble in accord and the thought of Dundee becomes an attractive one in Scotch snaps. Musically. the orchestra fares better than the singers. whose work is cut out dealing with the rather sluggish pace. The female roles. however. are strongly defined. cameos such as Ann Archibald's second Mrs Godwin being witty and refreshing and as Mary Shelley. Gail Pearson was outstanding in her committed interpretation of the central figure. (Carol Main)

I Monster plays at Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 20 Mar and 1 May; Festival Theatre, Edinburgh. 18 April.

Sally Beamish is a gifted composer who writes exquisitely for orchestra. Janice Galloway is an author with a distinctive voice. Given that the pair also seem to get on like a house on fire. they were natural collaborators to come up with a new work for Scottish Opera. In theory. the idea of recreating the events that led up to Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein is a compelling one. In practice. though. it proved tough to pull off.

The opera opens and closes in

night of electrical storms when Byron and the Shelleys pass their enforced confinement by reading and writing ghost stories. Yet. what Mary is haunted by is the sentiment that 'everything must

her mother. who died shortly after giving

thoughts. She is a constant force on stage too. the huge frame occupied by Clare Shearer as Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. sitting high on a grey. rocky outcrop to Survey the scene. So. where does Frankenstein begin? Childhood. a disliked stepmother. the disturbing images of Prometheus. or something else from Mary's wide knowledge of literature? Or perhaps the loss of her first

All of this is revealed in shades of

Not quite created a monster

blue band cutting through Mary's

Ticket information: Tickets for most medium/large concerts can be bought from the following: Glasgow: Virgin Buchanan Galleries. 332 4400 - Credit card bookings from: Ticket Link: 287 5511 8. Way Ahead: 339 8383

Edinburgh: Virgin Princes Street. 220 3234 - Ripping Records South Bridge. 226 7010 - Way Ahead 0141 339 8383

I Lambchop Old Fruitmarkct. Glasgow. 1 I May.

I Bad Religion

Barrowland. Glasgow. 12 May.

? I Barry Manilow

Toyah SECC. Glasgow. 28 Apr. I Doves Barrowland.


I Gabrielle SECC. Glasgow. 5 Jun.

I Pulp Rose Isle Forest. near Elgin. 2] Jun.

I Rod Stewart

I ldlewild Quccn's Hall. Edinburgh. 3 May.

I Del Amitri _ . SECC. Glasgow. 22 & Barrowland. Glasgow. 4 C'ydc Al"'""“"'“- 23 Jun. SOLD OUT.

' Glasgow. l5 & l6 May. I Aimee "an" M” , ., _ . SOLD OUT. Liquid Room. I Wilco QML. (ilasgou. . Kylie Mlnogue Edinburgh. 6 Jul. ' ' M10" sacc. Glasgow. l7— l 9 I Hear’Say SECC. I Westlife SECC. May SOLD OUT. Glasgow, 9 Sep. Glasgow. 7—l I May. 1 I Jimmy Eat World I Elton John SECC. SOLD OUT. . Barrowland. Glasgow. 25 Glasgow. 7 Dec.

14—28 Mar 2002 THE LIST 53