list.co.uk/music Previews | MUSIC
FOLK TOUR AND FILM AIDAN MOFFAT AND PAUL FEGAN – WHERE YOU’RE MEANT TO BE Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 17 May
One Monday night a few weeks back, a boat set sail down the River Clyde. Free whisky and bawdy auld songs ensued, courtesy of Aidan Moffat and his band of bards – James Graham (the Twilight Sad), Jenny Reeve (Bdy_Prts) and Stevie Jones (Alasdair Roberts). The pop-cruise launched Where You’re Meant To Be, a Scottish musical road trip and tour that has since seen them traipse from Faslane Peace Camp to Lewis via Edinburgh and Aberdeen, playing ceilidh-style gigs along the way. Part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, their adventure will become a feature-length film from award- winning filmmaker Paul Fegan. An exploration of our oral traditions and national identity,
WYMTB heralds a startling new body of work from Moffat, who has reanimated the trad-folk canon, populating it with 21st- century characters and backdrops. ‘The first thing I wrote for this was actually three or four years ago,’ Moffat recalls. ‘It was for me and James from the Twilight Sad – I really wanted to do something with his voice, he’s got a beautiful voice.' It also offers a sense of escape for Moffat. ‘I’m not really
writing about me for this, which is a welcome break,’ he offers. ‘Actually, let me clarify that – I’m always writing about me, but it’s not specific to my life right now. It’s these stories and songs through the prism of me. I even tried to cut down the swearing, but these songs are basically from pretty hard working-class areas, and you can’t write about that in modern language without swearing, it’s impossible – it’s part of our culture.
‘Most of these old traditional songs are hilarious too,’ he continues. ‘They’re all about getting pished and having a laugh and riding. There’s a lot of riding.’ He sounds right at home. (Nicola Meighan) ■ Free tickets via aidanmoffat.co.uk; the film premieres late Aug.
INDUSTRIAL METAL/ SYNTH-ROCK NINE INCH NAILS, WITH COLD CAVE The Hydro, Glasgow, Tue 20 May
Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails have always walked their own path but still managed to take industrial metal into the mainstream. Tracks like ‘Head Like a Hole’, ‘Closer’ and ‘The Hand That Feeds’ became unlikely MTV favourites. Then ‘Hurt’, Reznor’s fragile tale of depression and self- loathing, had a second life with Johnny Cash’s countrified cover in 2003 (though it’s hard to beat the original for heartbreaking emotional honesty).
As the only official full-time member, Reznor (left) will be joined by Robin Finck (Guns N’ Roses), Alessandro Cortini (SONOIO) and Iland Rubin (Lostprophets/Paramore) for this tour. Supporting NIN across Europe will be Cold Cave, a darkwave synth project from the singular mind of Wesley Eisold, who's fronted hardcore acts including Give Up the Ghost and Some Girls. ‘Being born with one hand, I couldn’t play guitar or bass or drums really so I decided to try making music with equipment I could play,’ Eisold says of his transition from punk to electronica. ‘I sang in hardcore bands in the past but wasn’t writing music. I wanted it all and I wanted the challenge.’
A long-time admirer of Reznor’s refusal to compromise (‘he made his own world. That’s the goal right?’), Cold Cave recently remixed a track for NIN. ‘Trent wrote to me asking if I’d be into it and sent a few songs he had in mind,’ explains Eisold. ‘‘Running’ I could hear instantly. I wanted this dancey Italo meets early industrial sound. Maybe that’s a good description of Cold Cave: a harder disco.’ (Henry Northmore)
ROCK/POP NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL Barrowland, Glasgow, Mon 19 May
Seek word online of the once-unlikely reunion of American heroes of 90s rock Neutral Milk Hotel and you might trip across an article on Salon entitled, ‘You ruined Neutral Milk Hotel: Nostalgia, millennials and the return of Jeff Mangum’. It’s an interesting read, at once impassioned and completely immersed in the quirky and distinctive indie pop of Mangum’s janglesome troubadours, but also tear-stained enough to describe the experience of going to see Mangum as both ‘elating and harrowing’, the latter because they no longer exist as just perfect memories. They’re that kind of band, Neutral Milk Hotel, or rather they were back in their first incarnation – the sort which inspired love, adoration and a proprietary sense of ownership from the fanatical fans. Well-received in the right circles and commercially no great shakes at the time, 1998’s second album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea has muscled its way into the time-honoured critical canon over the last decade. Perhaps ‘muscled’ isn’t the right word. This isn’t tough music. Floated into the critical canon on the back of a dreamy sound which mixed lo-fi guitars, Mangum’s wry, raw lyricism, and a bed of theremins and brass sections. It’s a record ripe for discovery after the fact, a contemporary of Pavement and Sparklehorse which informed Arcade Fire and Bon Iver, bearing a maturity and style which endures beyond the influences of its time. And if you didn’t listen to them first time out, there’s plenty of room for newcomers to get involved, either here or on their return to Edinburgh in August. (David Pollock)
15 May–12 Jun 2014 THE LIST 81