EGYPTIAN HIP HOP This teenage Mancunian quartet – singer Alex Hewett, guitarists Louis Miller and Nick Delap and drummer Alex Pierce – are at the forefront of the new wave of bands emerging from their city, but don’t expect a history lesson from them. Miller brings us back to the present.
You’re like a cross between Late of the Pier and early Factory Records. Fair? Late of the Pier, definitely. And I listened to New Order and Joy Division a lot a couple of years ago, but I’ve kind of moved past it now. I think a lot of people in the city still cling to that musical past, though, and I wish they would move on too. I don’t think about the fact we’re from Manchester, and there are some great new bands here with that same mentality: Lost Knives, May68, Waiters . . .
Are you signed yet?
No, not yet. I don’t know if we’re planning to. It’s just that it feels like it’ll be so long until we’re ready to record an album, so there’s no rush at the moment.
Where does the name come from?
He came to us. Egyptian Hip Hop selected us, he came up with the whole concept and recruited us individually.
I see. This is a cover story, right? Err, yeah. Yes it is. But how we got the name is really boring, honestly. Let’s just stick with the myth. (David Pollock) ■ Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Fri 19 Mar; Death Disco at the Arches, Glasgow, Sat 20 Mar.
REVIEW POST-ROCK THE UNWINDING HOURS Stereo, Glasgow, Fri 5 Mar ●●●●● The pin-drop silences that fell on Stereo during this first ever headline show by The Unwinding Hours (the new venture from Craig B. and Iain Cook, formerly of the much-revered Aereogramme) reflected the goodwill they amassed with their last band. That, plus the fact they’ve penned a clutch of songs every bit the equal of Aereogramme’s best moments.
REVIEW GARAGE ROCK WHITE HILLS Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Mon 8 Mar ●●●●● It would be an understatement to say that Black Sabbath were important. Their influence and sludgy, dark take on bluesy hard rock still, and rather obviously, resonates strongly within so many bands today. However, after witnessing tonight’s demonstration, it would seem that this sometimes comes with a price.
It’s not clear yet whether TUH is a Dressed in glam-rock body suits
pressure-free exercise in pleasing themselves from Cook and B, or a serious attempt to make up for the inability of Aereogramme – a band with equal tendency towards awkwardness as brilliance – to reach much in the way of a commercial zenith. Certainly you can imagine raw, twinkling ballad ‘Solstice’ and almighty quiet-loud slow-burner ‘Knut’ bringing them to a wide audience. Both typify an approach to songwriting more earnest of lyrics and more direct of hooks this time out. TUH reached into their past by
closing with an obscure Aereogramme B-side, ‘The Art of Belief’. But the fact it paled in comparison to the new songs suggests this project has every reason to remain facing resolutely forwards. (Malcolm Jack)
and the odd flash of face paint, White Hills – taking to the stage close to midnight – proceed to wear out every psyched-out blues riff known to man, rampaging through chunky, repetitive rhythmic cycles and occasional vocal warbles, to the modest delight of a rather zoned-out crowd.
When the band kick it up a notch, picking up a thrashy garage-rock pace and descending into almost Hendrix-esque bouts of freaked-out soloing, it is energetic and attention- grabbing to say the least, but it’s not long before this is stretched out beyond breaking point and choked within an inch of its life. Like playing only the best bits of a song over and over and over, sooner or later it just gets tiring . . . and a little annoying. (Ryan Drever)
REVIEW POP LADY GAGA SECC, Glasgow, Mon 1 Mar ●●●●● REVIEW INDIE FOLK BURNT ISLAND Mono, Glasgow, Sun 7 Mar ●●●●●
Lady Gaga returns to Glasgow (she debuted here opening for Pussycat Dolls last summer) to showcase her very own kink-pop juggernaut, equal parts high-end fashion experiment and ingenious pop alchemy. The sheer stupidity of the scale of this production threatens to overshadow the pop nuggets from her gajillion- selling debut played out here tonight, but it quickly becomes apparent that the best thing to do is just sit back and enjoy the ride.
So we get Gaga the perspex nun on
a NYC subway car; Gaga the giant fringed tooth; Gaga the moving snowflake/ butterfly/ king prawn from space and a dozen others, all of which are paraded around in a very off-Broadway back alley club where seamy meets glitter in spectacular fashion. Her desire to inject some kind of sub-Wizard of Oz narrative into the proceedings is just folly – this is pure pop bluster, taking Madonna’s propensity for shock and awe into the 31st century. So by the time she gets eaten by a giant tentacled fish at the climax of ‘Paparazzi’ we’re not even shocked or confused, just delighted. (Eddie Haskell)
This was the launch party for Music & Maths, the debut album from the group christened after Scotland’s most evocatively named place – but Burnt Island’s supporting cast wasn’t bad either. The Second Hand Marching Band and Benni Hemm Hemm, two youthful names to watch, teamed up first, with the more experienced Aidan Moffat delivering a set which saw BI singer Rodge Glass declare him ‘Scotland’s future poet laureate’. And why not, while we’re swapping media? After all, Glass is better known himself as a novelist, critic and biographer of Alasdair Gray. In his neat white shirt and smart
trousers, the singer looked like he was dressed for a book signing, but he seemed perfectly at home on stage. The band (four boys and a girl) played a gentle kind of indie-folk which sailed along on Rik Evans’ violin and Amber Comerford’s soft backing vocals, but Glass is the real presence here. His vocals are strong, the melodies bittersweet, his performance of the lyrics during tracks like ‘The Moments Before’ and ‘Man on Fire’ strong and focused. Which is quite unsurprising, really, given his day job. (David Pollock)
. M O C T R O P S D N A S W E N L A S R E V N U
64 THE LIST 18 Mar–1 Apr 2010
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