FOE CAT ON FORM Barfly, Glasgow, Fri 9 Aug
One of the unwritten truths about being in a band who’ve made it big is that for every devotee who’ll traipse around the country in your wake collecting ticket stubs, there’s probably one more individual cursing the day you saw fit to walk into a recording studio. Or be born, for that matter. Yes, that’s right, it’s the old ‘love ‘em or hate ‘em’ syndrome.
Liam Gallagher’s one victim of it, winding up as many people as he invigorates with his famously earthy charms, while Bono’s another, for altogether more pious reasons. And there are undoubtedly many people out there who welcome a new Will Young single with the same fervour the rest of us berate and curse every note the sod’s ever whimpered.
Which talk leads us to Lapsus Linguae - for if the love/hate ratio is a true measure of stardom, then the ‘Guae will one day surely rule. You see, much newsprint has been expended on the virtues of the Glaswegian quartet and their discordant berserker rock-meets- sensitive ivory-tinkling sound. And people love it, as you can tell from the reaction at their gigs.
On the other hand, part of their altogether unique stagecraft involves a general air of tongue-in-cheek unpleasantness that can serve to rub
HOOK POP REVIFW BEARSUIT oooo PURPLE MUNKIE 0000 WE BECOME LESS 000 The Venue, Edinburgh, Fri 26 Jul
These days. pigeonholing good music almost always utilises two little words — punk rock. Take We Become Less: predominantly emo. but miXing in old-skool HM. matlieinatically-oriented stop start rhythms and a
grindcore speedmetal closer.
Meanwhile. Purple Munkie's back—catalogue is anointed with the joyous Spirit of the Buzzocks. A mid-career metal phase seemingly conquered. oldies like the bouncy “Queens of . . .' shine brightest. though with new material like ‘Treat Yourself' it's clear that they can still pen a tune.
Norwrch's Bearsuit. put Simply. are the punk rock Belle and Sebastian. Led by a skinny bloke on guitar. with
Lapsus Linguae are both lovers and fighters
your meat-and-potatoes gig-goer up the wrong way. Wearing make-up and corny-cum-cool matching T- shirts, gobbing on each other, pawing themselves in an unmanly fashion and generally haranguing the audience like Jeremy Paxman on cheap coke . . . and that’s before Penelope Collegefriend’s recent onstage attempts to introduce us to the Cooper Temple Clause by way of his own penis-mounted photographic display. It’s invention-meets-irritation in equal measure, and it could - potentially - split the lovers and the haters just as successfully as Will Young, U2 or Oasis ever have. Support comes from two newcomers from down south. Two-
thirds of Foe used to be in the legendary-in-London Geiger Counter, and they apparently forego the option of having a singer in favour of furthering the hardcore assault - although recent experiments in ‘evil classical music’, whatever that may be, have been conducted. Oh yeah, and their first two gigs ever were as support to the monstrous Dillinger Escape Plan.
Brand-new Brightonian four-piece Cat on Form, meanwhile, also blaze the hardcore trail. They’ve been likened to Fugazi, who they’ll be supporting in their home town, and - much like the ‘Guae — have obviously been beaten with the Shellac stick a fair few times. (David Pollock)
COUNTRY nook REVIEW THE SUNDOWNS oooo
occasional wispy female vocals. they shamble their way into gear. throwing their repertoire of hooks at a range of
instruments including accordion and a mini-brass section which propels the giant grin-inducing choruses. Who said punk couldn't be fun? (Stuart McHugh)
The grin-inducing Bearsuit
La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, 24 Jul
:; ‘ _ ‘ "f" . . No flat-packs or big trousers
Well, here's a new one. No half-assed skate-punk or homogenous. flat—packed indie; instead. it's the return of
real, rootsy country music to the Scottish scene.
As befits a band launching a great debut album (The Merchant House Tapes) at this gig. the turn out is respectable. if not commendabie. And it's not just token support from the band's mates. because everyone seems to be genuinely enjoying this one. as you can tell from the impromptu ceildh down the front.
The heavy Teenage Fanclub BMX Bandits influences of the album are recreated here in all their summery glory with songs like 'l'm Luke . . of the newer material comes as close as you can get to melding Neil Young's more pastoral side and Kenny Rogers' parent-pleasing pleasantries with some coke- rockin' Eagles glue.
Add that to a la/y hoe-down version of 'Teenage Kicks" and some Dukes of Ha//a/'d-style car-chase banjo on ‘Badcloud'. and you've got the best new local band in ages. Truly inspired. (Dayld Pollock)
.' and 'Handlebars'. But then, some
And the award goes to . . . no-one.
here is a strong
competitions have no place in music you don't have to look further than the random anomaly that is the local ‘Battle of the Bands‘. Quite apart from being demeaning to the participants and impossible to judge. their biggest fault is that they cheat the bands involved into thinking that turning up one night and playing your songs well is enough to guarantee a career in music. It obviously isn't. and I wonder how many decent bands over the years have been put off involvement in music through being in these kinds of competitions?
Further up the ladder we have two major music awards: the Brits and NME's Brats. The latter, originated as an antidote to the former, but have mutated into a more studenty carbon copy of the event they were meant to prove an alternative to. This year they had the White Stripes (three albums in) up for best newcomer - exactly the kind of sanctioned ignorance that the Brits have been monopolising for years and have been castigated for (by Nil/7E mostly). But who really gives a fuck? it's not like I‘m going to start a new award (‘The Stuarts?) and give them to Hood and Cylob, is it?
If anyone ever feels the need for someone to paint British music as banal and unimaginative. then they should look no further than the panel for the Mercury Music prize. This year‘s list reads like they read the NME end of year poll. took out the foreigners, added token folky, token 'urban' artists as well as token classical-lite and hoped for the best.
Prizes should be dished out for throwing things. jumping far and kicking a ball into a net. When applied to music it just fucks up perspectives and confuses matters. Unless you win.
E) ‘:'> Aug 2009 THE LIST 23