S-TYPE Bobby Perman’s new single on Scottish label Phuturelabs isn’t his first, but it does signal a change of musical direction under his production alias S-Type. The Edinburgh-raised, Glasgow- based brother of Dougal (who runs Radio Magnetic, where Bobby works) and Tommy (who’s in FOUND) tells us how his own slice of the musical dynasty is going. How long have you been making music? ‘I’ve been consciously making beats since I was 14 or 15, but my first record came out when I was 18 [he’s 24 now] on a label called Surface Pressure, under the name Stereotype. It was getting decent promo and airplay, then this producer with a similar name randomly got in touch threatening me with legal action if I didn’t call myself something else. He actually called me a “punk motherfucker” in his email, believe it or not. So I became S-Type.’
Tell us about the new single. ‘It’s a three-track instrumental EP called “Medusa”, and I see it as my first proper solo release, although I’ve put out lots of tracks on mixtapes and things like that before, but this is more club-orientated and it doesn’t use any samples. I don’t really know how to categorise it – you know how people throw genres about and call them dubstep when they’re clearly hip hop? It is clearly hip hop, but it’s more electronic.’ What will we be hearing from you next? ‘This EP launch party will be a mix of a DJ set and my own tracks, because I’m not used to playing completely live yet. After that I’m remixing Kev Sim’s [of FOUND] new solo track for Phuturelabs, due early next year, and I’ve got some hip hop tracks due out on rappers’ mixtapes.’ (David Pollock) ■ S-Type’s EP launch, with Hint (Tru Thoughts, Ninja Tune) and Boom Monk Ben, at Mixed Bizness at the Art School, Glasgow, Thu 2 Dec.
ART ROCK MARNIE STERN Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Mon 22 Nov ●●●●●
SOUL EMELI SANDE King Tut’s, Glasgow, Mon 15 Nov ●●●●● INDIE/PUNK TITUS ANDRONICUS Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 22 Nov ●●●●●
30TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM TOUR HEAVEN 17 HMV Picture House, Edinburgh, Mon 22 Nov ●●●●●
‘The future is yours, so fill this part in.’ That line from Marnie Stern’s 2008 single ‘Transformer’ captures the life- affirming power of her music. She plays it mid-set, taking the audience on a thrill-ride of dizzying finger- tapped guitar runs, climactic drum rolls and giddy vocals. For all their febrile math-rock intricacy, the New York axe-heroine’s songs always retain that rush of pop joy. ‘Her Confidence’, its riff appropriated from T. Rex’s ‘Children of the Revolution’, positively swaggers, while the closer ‘This American Life’ sees Marnie cut loose on the axe while dreaming of pyramids and ancient Greece. A melancholic ‘For Ash’, dedicated
to a deceased ex-boyfriend, becomes a stirring eulogy. Good-natured banter is traded about Stern’s recent spat with Best Coast. Stern had criticised Bethany Consentino’s ditzy boy-loving lyrics, leading to Consentino’s boyfriend, Nathan ‘Wavves’ Williams, calling Stern an ‘old, desperate bitch’. Putting the petulant wee nyaff in his place, Stern had tour T-shirts made up saying ‘ODB’. ‘I’ll swallow them up with my vagine!’ she proclaims in mock indignation. Game, set, and match to Ms Stern. (Stewart Smith)
Acknowledging there were London record label reps at this last date of a short Scottish tour, Aberdonian singer Emeli Sande seemed every inch the promising young singer-songwriter trying hard to make an impression. Yet one short medley towards the end of the set, described by Sande as ‘our odyssey’ of ‘all the choruses I’ve been singing in the last year’, demonstrated just why there’s such a buzz about the pretty vocalist with the shock of dyed blonde hair. This medley included Tinie Tempah’s
‘Let Go’, Wiley’s ‘Never Be Your Woman’ and Chipmunk’s ‘Diamond Rings’; all big UK rap-pop crossover hits which Sande performed on as featured vocalist. Her own style, however, is markedly different, made up mainly of more classically-styled soul tracks performed with the aid of a full band. These included a couple of fairly average ballads, some pleasingly upbeat pop-gospel tracks in ‘Friday’ and ‘Lifted’, and in ‘Stop the Clock’ and ‘Heaven’ a pair of songs which stood out because they mainly consist of Sande’s secret weapon, her perfect and reassuringly unaffected vocal. Hopefully it won’t stay a secret for too much longer. (David Pollock)
‘We’re not a crowd, we’re just a bunch of people standing next to each other,’ grumbled one bloke, quantifying his dissatisfied response to thick-black-of-beard TA singer Patrick Stickles’ polite inquiry as to how everyone was enjoying themselves. It seemed harsh, but he was likely thinking relative to what audiences at the nihilistic New Jersey indie-punks’ shows are normally like – riotous, writhing masses of flailing bodies. Of course, a truly great band will thrill even on a subdued Monday night, and thrill they did with their ramshackle, wantonly unzeitgeisty channelling of the spirit of The Pogues, Springsteen, Bright Eyes and, um, Big Country. The wiry Stickles’ redemptive loser-anthems, sung in an unhinged roar, are elementally uplifting. Guitarist/fiddler Amy Klein barely stopped bouncing all set, a broad grin spread across her face. Titus’ America Civil War-themed album The Monitor yielded the best moments; ‘A More Perfect Union’ with its joyously first-pumping riff, and quarter-hour epic ‘The Battle of Hampton Roads’. Save for one chap’s thwarted crowd-surfing intentions, victory was total. (Malcolm Jack)
The glossy sheen and contrarian radical-chic lyrics of Heaven 17’s 1981 Penthouse and Pavement album were as era-defining as they came. Playing it in full thirty years on, just as Britain’s Con-Dem Nation-inspired recession bites deep, the band remain a well turned out brand who marry suburban wine bar white funk to the trappings of showbiz nostalgia rather than the new pop entryist concepts of old.
Against a backdrop of video projections that look like some Neville Brody offcuts from back issues of 80s style bible The Face, original members Glenn Gregory, on vocals and cheesy compering, and lone synth player Martyn Ware front a six-piece line-up that allows for some sublime slap bass action, and comes complete with commercial breaks to highlight B- side cover versions including ‘Are Everything’ by Buzzcocks, Jimmy Webb’s ‘Wichita Lineman’ and even a cheeky take on the Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me.’ After the euphoria of ‘Temptation’, a mournful piano version of The Associates’ ‘Party Fears Two’ brings a reverent hush before another Human League favourite, ‘Being Boiled,’ allows us to party like it’s 1981 again. (Neil Cooper)
64 THE LIST 2–16 Dec 2010