PREVIEW JAZZ MARK MCKNIGHT QUARTET WITH WILL VINSON City Halls (Recital Room), Glasgow, Thu 5 Nov
Irish guitarist Mark McKnight teams up with New York-based English saxophonist Will Vinson for this gig in Todd Gordon’s Jazz International series, with organist Ross Stanley and the new drummer of the moment on the London jazz scene, James Maddren, completing an enticing line-up. Both musicians have a mutual contact
in Scotland – each has worked with pianist Euan Burton in the past, most recently when Vinson linked up with the pianist in Edinburgh this summer.
McKnight cites pianists and
saxophonists like Brad Mehldau and Chris Potter rather than guitarists as the current influences on his musical thinking, and has worked quite a bit with Vinson in the past, both live and on disc, including his debut album, Overnight.
Vinson released his own latest album, Promises (reviewed last issue), in September, and has established himself on the highly competitive New York scene since moving there from his native London in 1999. As well as leading his own bands, he plays regularly with a range of NYC luminaries, and when he is not playing jazz, has toured with the likes of Rufus and Martha Wainwright and Sufjan Stevens.
It is an intriguing prospect, and a bit of a shame that it coincides with the latest visit from the Portico Quartet in a double bill with Sweet Billy Pilgrim along the road at the Arches, although there is a chance to catch them in Edinburgh the night before. (Kenny Mathieson)
PREVIEW ROCK BIFFY CLYRO Barrowland, Glasgow, Mon 2 & Tue 3 Nov
The List has had a long documented love affair with Biffy Clyro. You see, from the moment we first heard stunning debut Blackened Sky in 2002 we knew the trio were onto something very special. So, forgive us for sounding like proud gushing parents when we say, we could pat their scruffy little heads for making a new record as majestic as Only Revolutions. It’s been two years since the awesome Puzzle was unleashed on an unsuspecting public, turning the Ayrshire
threesome into a decidedly mainstream proposition as the record garnered widespread rave reviews, and went on to achieve gold status in the UK. Since then there have been two top ten singles – ‘Mountains’ and ‘That Golden Rule’. So this fifth offering is a big deal, and anticipation for their live comeback is rife. The band needn’t worry, though, these tracks are about to take Biffy to another level of fame. Only Revolutions is
clean and crisply produced without losing any of the the outfit’s famous ferocity, and even more thrillingly it’s mind-frazzlingly inventive from start to finish; fizzing with ideas and choc-full of genuine lump in the throat epic moments courtesy of the grandiose brass, swirling strings and momentous choruses. As intricate as it is infectious you’ll want to dig away at each cryptic lyric and clever musical arrangement in a
just how do they do that kind of way. The trio are not just on classic Biffy Clyro form right now; they are on hands down best rock band in the world form. Nice work boys. (Camilla Pia)
PREVIEW INDIE GRIZZLY BEAR AND ST VINCENT ABC, Glasgow, Mon 2 Nov
If the latest album from Grizzly Bear was a photo album, it would be full of those bleached-out, soft focus pictures of sunny beach holidays in the 70s, with good-looking hippies lounging around, grinning into the camera. Named after an uninhabited island just off Cape Cod, where most of the record was recorded, Veckatimest takes the Brooklyn band’s lush chamber pop to the next level. It’s still full of swooning, four- part harmonies, echoey pianos and floaty falsettos like their 2006 album, Yellow House, but this time around the folk pop has become more baroque, more experimental, and more intricately carved out. Meeting somewhere in the middle of Animal Collective’s esoteric pop, and Fleet Foxes’ swaying
folksiness, Grizzly Bear blend the weird with the beautiful. They’ve been on the go for five-odd years now, since bringing out their debut album Horn of Plenty in 2004. It started out as an experiment in psychedelic folk taped mostly in founding member Ed Droste’s bedroom on a hand-held cassette player. After teaming up with Christopher Bear, Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor, word on their hypnotic freak-folk sound started to spread. Their break came when they signed to Warp, who released Yellow House.
Although there are a couple of sleepier points on Veckatimest where it sounds like Grizzly Bear has crawled back under the leaves for some winter hibernation, the chirpy, glowing warmth of ‘Two Weeks’ or soaring symphony of ‘Foreground’ brings the energy levels back up. Woozy weirdness, perfect for warming up a nippy November night. (Claire Sawers)
64 THE LIST 22 Oct–5 Nov 2009