EXPOSURE VERONICA FALLS Poppy tunes and dark-as-the-night lyrics feature on Veronica Falls’ first two singles ‘Found Love in a Graveyard’, and the soon to be released ‘Beachy Head’. The London-based four-piece (two boys and two girls) draw influence from shambling Glasgow bands like The Pastels and American post-punk boppers like Beat Happening in equal measure. Just don’t pigeonhole them with the rest of the C86 revival crowd. Guitarist James Hoare and drummer Patrick Doyle explain why. You’ve all been in a lot of bands. Can you run through your collective musical history? Hoare: Roxanne [Clifford, vocals] and Patrick were in The Royal We and Sexy Kids, and I used to be in a band called Your Twenties. The three of us met about a year and a half ago and found we had similar ideas. We got a bassist [Marion Herbain], who was a friend of Roxanne and Patrick’s from Glasgow. She hadn’t actually played in any bands, and learnt the instrument from scratch. She got ready in about a month. Your sound seems split between UK and American influences, and you’ve spent time living in New York. Do you feel more at home here or over there? Hoare: We’re influenced by a mix of the two countries’ sounds, but I’d say we want to sound British. At the same time we’re not trying to fit into the C86 thing. That’s something we get pigeonholed with a lot. We’re sounding a bit heavier than we used to because initially we got reviews saying we were twee, and we really didn’t want to fit in with the twee Swedish/UK indie scene. How do you feel about playing with Teenage Fanclub? Doyle: Really excited. It’s kind of daunting, because the shows are a lot bigger than we’d normally be playing, but we’re embracing that, and looking forward to hearing all Teenage Fanclub’s new stuff. ■ Veronica Falls support Teenage Fanclub at O2 ABC, Glasgow, Wed 2 Jun, and HMV Picturehouse, Edinburgh, Thu 3 Jun.
REVIEW FOLK/ POP/ DANCE COCOROSIE Classic Grand, Glasgow, Wed 12 May ●●●●● REVIEW INDIE ROCK DINOSAUR JR O2 ABC, Glasgow, Thu 13 May ●●●●●
Bianca (Coco) and Sierra (Rosie) Casady’s music pelts the listener with such an array of styles and influences that the closest critics have got to describing it is with the catch-all term, ‘freak folk’. Which is odd, because if there’s one strand running through tonight’s set, it’s the posturing and cadences of hip hop and R & B. That’s not to discount the influence
of opera, disco and indeed alt.folk, but the hip grinding rhythms are so unrelenting, that it comes as little surprise when the girls break into a cover of Kevin Lyttle’s 2003 crossover dancehall hit, ‘Turn Me On’. When Sierra sits down and adds a harp solo into this seduc-tive nightclub anthem, the crowd barely blinks. They’re too busy dancing. And gaping.
And gape they might, for there’s considerable talent on show. Trained opera singer Sierra lets rip with her magnificent voice more than on record; a smooth counterpoint to Bianca’s cracked, witch-like drawl. The latter’s delivery borders on rapping at times, wonderfully at odds with the words, which are by turns childlike, mystical, lustful and downright strange – just like the sisters themselves. (Laura Ennor)
The anticipation for tonight’s performance increases exponentially with every excruciating minute before Dinosaur Jr. – albeit lacking drummer Murph due to illness – eventually emerge to a hero’s welcome. Beginning, surprisingly, with a
cranked-up version of ‘Thumb’ from 1991’s Green Mind (the first record not to feature founding member, Lou Barlow), the set soon doles out fan favourites in quick succession – from the epic melodic noise-fest of ‘The Lung’ to the spluttering singalongs of ‘Freak Scene’ and ‘Feel The Pain’. Despite picking frugally from last year’s Farm, nearly every facet of the band’s sprawling back catalogue is touched on, however briefly, and despite a near-drastic loss of vocals in the mix tonight, sonically the band are on top form. Mascis’ guitar-led ear butchery is particularly potent tonight; the grey- haired shredder effortlessly spraying solos into the air and swaying like a kid in his bedroom, whilst Barlow’s energies manifest themselves in a more physical fashion, battering his rich bass tones from wall to wall, with every collective note meeting a sea of smiles and raised fists. (Ryan Drever)
REVIEW EXPERIMENTAL UNINSTAL, INFERNO QUIZ SHOW – TAKU UNAMI Tramway, Glasgow, Sat 15 May ●●●●●
Uninstal has been devised by programmers Arika as a taster for Instal later in the year, a space for discussion, experiment and play. While some recent Arika events have been a little heavy on theory and low on thrills, Inferno Quiz Show successfully combined conceptual rigour with humour. The theme was ‘anti-understandability’ and it took in ‘dark prince of mathematics’ Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorem; Robert Nelson’s inspired film of found footage Bleu Shut; and curator Barry Esson telling rotten jokes and having a cardboard box dropped on his head. The main draw, however, was
Japanese improviser Taku Unami’s performance. In near darkness, Unami felt his way around the stage, cutting strings to bring clusters of cardboard boxes down from the ceiling until he was completely buried. We heard him fumbling for his guitar, on which he cranked out doom metal riffs and shred solos. The performance ended with the anti-spectacle of Unami sobbing somewhere on stage, before the lights go up and he produces a case of Laphroaig for the audience to enjoy. Slainte! (Stewart Smith)
REVIEW POP RIHANNA SECC, Glasgow, Wed 19 May ●●●●●
She performed the opening ‘Russian Roulette’ on a platform raised above the stage, wearing a stylised flowing black dress decorated with LED ‘veins’ spreading from her heart. Before long she’d belted out ‘Hard’ while straddling the barrel of a pink tank jutting from the side of the stage, performed ‘Shut Up and Drive’ atop a burned-out jeep in the centre of the hall (the breakdancing crash test dummy was a nice touch) and been menaced by a horde of stilt-walking cyborgs during ‘Disturbia’. There’s no doubt that Rihanna has fallen for the arena spectacular. This event was a visual treat, albeit often a very corny one, with the pay- off being a lack of real soul. It’s not unfair to say that, following her public split with Chris Brown, an underlying survivor narrative was strong here (‘Unfaithful’ featured wire-frame machine guns pointed at the singer: ‘Fire Bomb’ was backed by images of nukes going off), but only the joyful UV club abandon of ‘Don’t Stop the Music’ and an almost mournful ‘Take a Bow’ (‘you put on quite a show... but now it’s time to go’) felt rich in honest, natural humanity. (David Pollock)
27 May–10 June 2010 THE LIST 73