EXPOSURE X-LION TAMER Wimbledon boy Tony Taylor has lived in Edinburgh for fifteen years, having travelled up north for college and hung around to work in various record shops in the capital. He’s also been making music during that time, with his unashamedly pop ‘one man band’ X-Lion Tamer (formerly Ex Lion Tamer, after the Wire song, until he discovered an American group with the same idea) now earning him recognition and some releases, including a forthcoming debut album, through Edinburgh’s 17 Seconds label. How did X-Lion Tamer come about? Like everyone making music, I’ve been in various indie bands. But I started X-Lion Tamer about a year and a half, two years ago, because I was sick of trying to get five or six people together to rehearse all the time. It’s just me, a laptop and a guitar. Who are your biggest influences? Quite a diverse bunch, actually. Erasure, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, but I’m also really into British indie bands like Hefner and The Auteurs, who combine melody with some sort of lyrical depth. Some of what I do is intended for the dancefloor, but hopefully a lot of it’s more cerebral than that. What are your ambitions? I’d love to be a pop star or to produce someone like Sugababes. Why not? Pop music’s some of the best music Britain has ever made. There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure, you either like it or you don’t. People are far too hung up on whether something’s cool or not. (David Pollock) ■ The Mill at Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Thu 21 Jan.
REVIEW ROCK THE VOID The Mill at Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Thu 7 Jan ●●●●●
Biffy Clyro have a fair bit to answer for in terms of the amount of copyists they’ve inspired to clog up the nation’s stages. But no apology is needed for this Edinburgh bunch. It’s fair to say The Void aren’t doing anything new, but they write capable songs and deliver them with such polished verve and enthusiasm that they don’t deserve to be shunted into the background. Here, they tear up the stage in a
flurry of floppy hair and baggy T-shirts (the singer – one of Ewan, Mark, Stephen or Euan; their MySpace is a bit coy about revealing more – apologises for inadvertently baring his nipples, which the girls seem to love). Stand-out tracks are the dramatic ‘Game of Ghosts’ and tumultuous closer ‘We’ll Make Our History Part 1’, which sees said singer drag a drum into the crowd and start beating it. The response to his invite to their acoustic gig at the Southern Bar afterwards suggests strong grassroots support, while the fact they’re splitting their tracks into parts also implies they’re thinking long and hard about a deserved debut album. (David Pollock)
REVIEW PUNK RANT HENRY ROLLINS Glasgow O2 Academy, Wednesday, Wed 13 Jan ●●●●● It’s quite some achievement to be at the point where people will pay to listen to you talk for two and a half hours, and the magnitude of such an accomplishment is evident tonight as Henry Rollins takes centre stage in front of a loyal and packed-out Academy crowd. Just one year shy of 50, former vocalist for LA punk legends, Black Flag and a general hardened multi-tasker – the man is an author, actor, broadcaster and rock ‘n’ roll raconteur to name just a few trades – Rollins leaps towards the mic stand and just lets rip, maintaining a consistent and intense tempo for the duration. From awkward sexual stirrings in the company of transvestites to a sense of harrowing bewilderment in Cambodia’s killing fields, Rollins mixes travel stories, life lessons and jaw-achingly funny social and personal commentary into a rampaging yet balanced block of intense speech. Neither a stand-up show nor a lecture, Rollins manages, with great ease, to keep the audience hanging on his every word, taking in the tough times as well as his many lighter moments. (Ryan Drever)
REVIEW FOLK THE POOZIES & JIM MALCOLM St Andrews in the Square, Glasgow, Sun 17 Jan ●●●●●
Set in wonderfully picturesque surroundings, Jim Malcolm’s melodic folk percolates through the audience as easily as a hot knife through butter. An effortlessly beautiful singer, Malcolm’s set is punctuated with anecdotes on the inspiration behind his songs – ending with a delightfully upbeat tune, and lyrics about the MPs’ expenses scandal, Maggie Thatcher, and that moat. Tonight’s headliners – folk veterans
The Poozies – sees the all-woman band return with seventh studio album, Yellow Like Sunshine, in a career that has spanned two decades (and various line-ups, including Yorkshire singer, Kate Rusby). The camaraderie between each ‘Poozie’ shows, with every multi-skilled musician given a chance to shine. The a capella performances are note- perfect – as are the instrumental tunes. Plus, they get the audience to stamp feet, tap fingers and nod heads (not unlike that annoying dog in those equally annoying Churchill adverts) making for an altogether excellent set. (Zaineb Al Hassani)
PREVIEW FOLK WOLFMOTHER O2 Academy, Glasgow, Thu 14 Jan ●●●●●
Psychedelic rockers The Black Angels kick off with a shambolic, Tesco-value take on ‘The Velvet Underground’. Their lack of anything remotely resembling talent only makes the wait for tonight’s headline act all the more tantalising. But can Wolfmother deliver, following a recent line-up change, and release of that difficult second album? Well, if the raucous reception tonight is anything to go by, the Aussie rockers most certainly can. Riding on the wave of new LP
Cosmic Egg – the first featuring the all new line-up, bombastic lead vocalist Andrew Stockdale instantly launches his aural assault on the crazed fans. Not ones for talking, the rockers spend the set pummelling through a decent selection of inimitable rock tunes from both records. About as subtle as a smack in the face, Cosmic Egg takes all the band’s previous rock and 70s influences, and turns the notch up another bar.
This is proper head-banging, fists- pumping-the-air stuff, reminiscent of rock’n’roll bands long gone, and a clear indication that Wolfmother are back. And better than ever before. (Zaineb Al Hassani)
21 Jan–4 Feb 2010 THE LIST 65