BELLE 8- SEBASTIAN Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Mon 1 Apr 00..
Pop gigs held in large posh halls always feel a bit odd. Then again, Belle & Sebastian are an incongruous kinda band. They wander onstage with the panache of a roadie who’s never done a soundcheck before, clad in a selection of staggeringly unrock clothes, with top billing surely going to a combats-and- rugby-shirt combo only normally seen at postgraduate social functions.
Still, by the end of the evening this uninspiring bunch of misfits will have induced a mass outbreak of flamenco clapping, thrown enough rock poses to suggest that AC/DC’s crown is there for the taking, and made Bacardi- soaked karaoke fave ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ sound very beautiful indeed. Perhaps the most engaging thing about tonight’s performance is how unstaged it feels, maybe it’s the self-conscious way members of the thirteen-strong band shake shaky things off-stage when they’ve got nothing else to actually play that does it, or maybe it’s frontman Stuart Murdoch assuring his parents that he’s never taken drugs. Ever.
It helps, of course, that B&S now have a substantial back catalogue to work with - four albums, a bundle of EPs, plus the soon to be released Storytelling soundtrack. ‘Don’t Leave The Light On, Baby’ oozes melody and wonder, but it’s not until ‘Lazy Line Painter Jane‘ and ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’ are aired that the tempo really ups and the mood loosens. By this stage, Murdoch is lobbing his mike in the air, outbreaks of civilised pogoing have broken out and the stirring string section is in full swing. Then, just when you think you’ve seen it all, they dive off stage for an encore, return with The Only Ones’ new wave smack elegy ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’, and leave as quickly as they arrived. The crowd’s smiles take a good while longer to fade. (James Smart)
From pogo to flamenco
l)Al\J(3lj POLICECHIEF, BENDY TOY Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Thu 28 Mar 00..
Bendy Toy Is known on the electoral regrster as Stephen Evans. and on this evrde'rce he has a r‘altrr'al 'r‘astery ot block-rockrng beats. Like a chemrcal only chart lrtfllllld a rack of keyboards and black boxes. Evans tires out the best parts or l‘3f; tremt i I). ‘Fantastrc Chrcken'. knowrng exactly when to trre thlngs up a la l-atl;:,_. Sh”; tt"tl when to take i'trs loot off the gas rn a Letttreld krnda way rn a shot". tart sweet ilrsplay.
\"Jeegre ‘cur prece Polrceclret are a more obviously teelgood proposition. Shamblrng about the stage t". tunked-up style lrke a handful of pasty-faced James Browns lookrng tor a splrt‘. trglltly tunky rrtts sprll out over scratching. samples and swathes ot sumptuous synths to rmpressrve effect. In the end. there.s nothrng too deep or meanrngtul to erlher of these oultrts. rnusrc. but both dish out top drawer dance 'rtusrc that deserves a wrder audrence. lDoug .Johnstone)
ROCK LES SAVY FAV 0000
THE MARS VOLTA «m THE APES coo.
King Tut’s, Glasgow, 26 Mar
ere the Haves. the Apes are completely unorrgrnal and totally cool. Therr keyboard player wears a sheepskrn rug. therr srnger's shrrt has ~ '.-./hoops a rust fallen off and therr (Ir-.r'n'nev' rs Anrmal from The Mtrnpefs. One :Zi)..l(t draw attentron to the ‘act t'ra'. a ng female audre'tce member has t)(}(;-l‘ :lrrected to lead the srnge" round :2". a reash but the 'tt'gtl‘t detract from the'r extremely :()tl(l and brattsn garage rock'r'roll. v’hen approacnrng the T‘.'.'ii::""t;; Ir‘terrsrfy ot the Mars Volta. the current restless place of tcrmer At Me Drrve-ln Atromen Cedrrc and Omar. an apprecratron of prog rock rs a drstrnct advantage. Whrle therr stunnrng space rock could never be accused of predrctabrlrty. a pattern soon emerges — arnbrent externpore rntros abruptly expledrng rnto an angula.r symphony of scattershot drummrng. lrthe bass. luttrng. rrnpulsrve gurtar. Ray Man/arek- styie aerd keyboard manra trorn lkey Owens lthe band's very own Isaac Hayesr and Cedrrc's vrgorous aerobrc workout whrch. as always. appears to defy the basrc rules of human anatomy.
The prog perfect Mars Volta
The whole treakrn' treakout may not have the obvrous rnosher appeal of At The Drrve-In. but you get the rrnpressron that these reluctant stars are devourrng every rnrnute of therr rt3ttrrrr tr) lllt) trrt(l(>rg;r<)trrt(l.
By ‘normal' Les Saw Fav standards. thrs rs durte a well-behaved grg. Srnger lrm Harrrngton hands out scorecards .‘or that rnteractrve feel. and only syn/regs from the rafters once. tocusrng more attentron on h;s band's pummelrng Prxres basslrnes. The collectrve lunacy rs so thr'rllrng that you have to wonder rs thrs grorroas trrumvrrate of bands are. n tact. the sane ones and :t rs we who are demented. rFrona Shepherdr
JAMES YORKSTON & THE ATHLETES coo
The Counting House, Edinburgh, Fri 15 Mar
Qurxote take therr rnusrcal cues from the Irkes ot Lambchop and Will Oldharn. and then throw rn some 1960's Iopanga Canyon-style references vra Gram Parsons and hrs Flyrng Burrrto Brothers. The results are often rnsprrrng: a clutch of rneltlncholrc songs of lost loves and lovers. that seem to say the thrngs we should be sayrng ourselves. In examrnrng the promrses we make to each other. Ourxote make some of therr own. And although promrses are made to be broken. hard
experrence may see Ourxote keep theus.
Athletes are rndr\.'rduals who show a natural aptrtude tor therr pursurt. and James Yorkston and Co. have demonstrated strong early season term. Unfortunately. they pulled up short of the trnrshrng lrne tonrght. A set of genurnely great songs. saw a short dash to vrctory turned rnto a serres ot marathon workouts. Tonrght's Athletes attempted to do srrnrlarly wrth a drsplay ot petulance and expletrves that tarled to do lustrce to lherr rnnate natural talent. llVlrchael Apterr
Ticket information: Tickets for most medium/large concerts can be bought from the following:
Glasgow: Virgin Buchanan Gallerres. 31%? /1/l()() - Credit card bookings from: lrcket l Ink: QBI’ sin I 8. \‘v’ay Ahead: 3.32) 81le Edinburgh: Virgin l’r‘rnces Street. 220 3734 - Ripping Records South Budge. Q’x‘ti 'r'ett; - Way Ahead (:t.2‘: .332: 8383
I Smog itlltl James Yorkston ltrlr \ole ('luh. (iltl\:._‘tl\\. 37 Apr,
I Teenage Fanclub with Jad Fair Renl'reu l'err}. (ilaixgou. 30 Apr; l.iquid Rooilh. lidinhurgli. 38 Apr.
I Johnny Clarke tllltl Don Letts King: 'l'ut‘x. (ilaxgrm. 3f) .\pr': Liquid Rtittllh. lidrnhurgh. 27 Apr. I Phillip Glass and Susumu Yokota Royal ('oneer't llall. (il;t\}_'o\\. 20 Apr; ()ueenx llall. lidinhurgh. 23 Apr.
I 556 and Richie Hawtin Barron land. (ilaxgou. 3b .-\pr.
I Evan Dando and Eugene Kelly Venue. ladinburglt. 3f) Apr". Renl'r'eu I‘er'r}. (ilaxgou. 37 Apr.
I Madlib tllltl Peanut
54 THE LIST " 7". Ab’ L/U'
Butter RL‘lll‘l'L‘“ Ferry (ilaxgou. 27 Apr; [.11 Belle Angele. lidinhur'gh. 33 Apr.
I Pharoah Sanders Liquid Rooms. lidinhurgh. 2r) Apr: ()ld l‘ruitrnarket. (ilaxgou. 37 Apr.
I Do Make Say Think King 'l‘ut'x. (iltixgrm. 37 Apr".
I Chuck D (spoken word) ()ld liruitrnarket. (ilaxgtm. 27 Apr: (ieorge Sq 'l'healt‘e. lidinburgh. 33 Apr.
I Terry Callier Rent'r‘eu l‘eri'}. (ilaxgou. 33 Apr.
I The Cinematic Orchestra (ieoi'ge Sq 'l‘lieatre. lidinhurgli. 27 Apr; (iltlsgtm l‘ilm 'l‘lteali‘e. 33 Apr.
I Adrian Sherwood ('( ‘.'\. (iltisgou. 33 Apr.
I Scion and Witch 8: Wilkes MAS. (ilttsgou. 33 Apr.
I Hamell on Trial l.tl Belle Angele. lidirihurgh. 27 Apr; King 'I'ut‘x. (ilasgrm. 3% Apr.
I Arab Strap and Stuart Braithwaite Reid llull. lidinhurgh. 27 Apr; St Andrews Square. (ilttsgtm. 33 .-\pl‘.
I Brian Auger And The Oblivion Express La Belle Angele. lidinhurgh. Zr) .-\pt'.
I Radio Boy and Pole The Venue. lidinhurgh. 37 Apr.
I Richie Hawtin and Luke Slater The Venue. lidinburgh. 23 Apr.
I Here And Now teal Adam Ant, ABC and Toyah Sli(‘(’. (ilasgtm. 33 Apr.
I Doves Burro“ land. (ilaxgtm. I Ha}.
I Idlewild Queen's llull.
lidinburglt. 3 Ma}. S()l.l) ()I'l
I Royksopp (turuge. (ilaxgmx. S Ha}.
I Del Amitri
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I Hundred Reasons (‘).\ll'. (iltisgtm. ‘) Ma}. I Mansun King 'l‘ut'x. (ilttsgtm. ‘) Ma); Liquid
Room. lidinhurgh. ll) Ma). I Wilco (‘).\ll '. (ilaxgou.
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I Westlife Sli(‘(‘. (ilaxgtm. 7 ll Ma). S()l.l) ()lul‘.
I Lambchop ()ltl l‘ruitrnurket. (ilaxgtm. l I Ma}.
I Bad Religion Burro“ land. (ilaxgou. Ma}.
I Indigo Girls Queen's Hall. lidinhur'gh. l3 \la}. I Rammstein Sli(‘(‘. (ilaxgou. l-l Ha}.
I Barry Manilow ('|)de Auditorium. (ilaxgou. l5 & If) Ma}. S()l.l) ()l’l.
I Beverly Knight Arches. (ilaxgou. lti Ha}. I Glasgow Blues Festival Renl're“ l’err'}. (ilaxgou. l7 Ha).
I Kylie Minogue Sli('('. (ilaxgou. 17 l‘) Ma}. S( )l.|) ()l "l'.
I Spunge (‘).\ll '. (iltixgtm. 32 Ma}.
I Jimmy Eat World Burro“ land. (ilusgtm. 35 Ma}. St)l.l) ()li'l‘.
I The Breeders (‘).\ll '.
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I Delerious? Bar'rouland. (ilaxgtm. l Jun.
I Deconstruction 2002 Sli('('. (iltixgou. 4 .ltrn.
I Gabrielle Slitt’. (ilaxgmx. 5 Jun.
I Brian Wilson l’la)hou\e. lidinhurglt. l3 Jun.
I Live & Loud Bellaliouxton l’tll‘l\. (il£l\:,_!tl\\. If) .lun.
I Pulp Rose l\lL‘ littlest. Near Iilgin. 3| Jun.
I BB King (’l_\de .»\udilor'ium. (ilthgtm. 3t) .ltm.
I Aimee Mann Liquid Room. lidinhur‘gh. () .lul.
I Roger McGuinn ('ottier. (ilasgou. X .lul. I Pet Shop Boys l’l:i_\hou\e. lidinhurgh. IS Jill.
I T in the Park Balado. l3 & l4 .lul.