RDGLDGRN, Hector Bizerk – ABC 11/5
RDGLDGRN may win the award for the most difficult band name to pronounce this year (it’s Red Gold Green, also the monikers for each band member). Hailing from Washington DC, the trio fuse hip-hop and alternative rock surprisingly well – many have tried and failed to bring two very different musical landscapes together, yet this group seem to have broken the curse and created something pretty impressive. With support and praise from artists as diverse as Pharell Williams and Dave Grohl, who plays drums on the majority of their first EP, RDGLDGRN have the capacity to become a new source of inventive and compelling music.
The Family Rain – King Tuts – 02/06/13
Twenty years to the week since Oasis bulldozed their way onto the King Tuts stage and into our collective consciousness, another set of siblings prepare to make the same leap. It’s unlikely that tonight will be scorched so indelibly into rock history as that night in ’93 but nonetheless The Family Rain are certainly in the ascendancy, following the success of their slick single ‘Trust Me…I’m a Genius’.
Splashh – Nice N’ Sleazy – 31/05/13
It’s 10pm and Nice N’ Sleazy is still packed with chairs and tables, perhaps to hide the fact that the venue itself is only half full. ‘Last Nite’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ blast from an impeccably chosen pre-show playlist as a small but enthusiastic crowd gears up for Splashh, the young garage rockers who serve as London’s answer to the current, NME-heralded wave of lightly psychedelic Birmingham rock bands.
Tribes – Oran Mor, 21st May 2013
If Dave Grohl really is the nicest man in rock, then Johnny Lloyd of Tribes must be a close second. The frontman smiles in the face of a 4/10 album review, to which he replies, “Fuck you NME! We don’t need that shit anyway.” Tonight the hipsters and the schoolboys swarm to the basement of the Oran Mor to see his band, the day after the release of their second album Wish to Scream.
Team Ghost – Broadcast, April 10th 2013
“Somebody’s watching/It turns me on/Let’s keep on fucking, baby/Until it comes…” drawls Team ghost frontman Nicolas Fromageau into the microphone, amidst synth harmonies and power chords. The French five-piece may look like accountants warming up the office party – but do not be deceived by the middle-aged image. Tonight Team Ghost create electro soundscapes to fill the tiny basement of Broadcast, and probably reach the other end of Sauchiehall Street while they’re at it.
The Strypes – King Tut’s – 05/05/13
What were you doing at age sixteen? Drinking cheap cider and stressing about exams if you’re anything like me. The Strypes on the other hand are in the middle of a sold out UK tour on the back of a successful appearance on Later with Jools Holland. One sozzled punter drove to Leeds to see them last night. The hype is undeniable and you can see why: four young lads from Cavan, Ireland, who channel the frenzied energy of The Kinks, The Yardbirds and the best of fifties rock n’ roll and play with a tightness that would leave most hipster indie bands in the dust.
Caitlin Rose CCA 2/3
Though Caitlin Rose has played Glasgow several times she’s never been in the ‘boxy’ CCA. This single room, lacking even a bar serves to create an intimate atmosphere because wherever you are in the room, Caitlin Rose can see you. Support comes from Andrew Combs and Steelism, two acts Rose has worked with before, and who join together to create Rose’s backing band. As such, the gig is fluid; there are no awkward introductions for each act, and by the time Rose comes on, the audience is familiar with all the musicians. Combs’ country-music warbling is soothing, and his vocals perfectly suit the CCA whilst Steelism get the audience more excited with their well received instrumental covers.
Oran Mor – 18/5/13
Ex-Sugar and Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould has enjoyed a resurgence in recent times, touring heavily on the back of his excellent 2011 album Silver Age and the re-issue of Sugar’s alt-rock classic Copper Blue. Tonight he’s supported by North Atlantic Oscillation, a three-piece who make squalling shoegaze-y noise over programmed keyboard sounds. Though they’re devoid of stage presence, the closer ‘Hollywood is Ended’ lurches into life with the lysergic verve of Hawkwind. Nonetheless they’re easily forgotten in comparison to the fiery fretwork of tonight’s headliner.
The QMU Publications Committee, in their infinite wisdom, have granted me several hundred words to write on all things musical, that is all the things I can think of. I’ll try to write about recent gigs, upcoming gigs you simply cannot miss, new music from both well-known bands and relatively unknown ones and whatever else comes in between all of that.
I’ll get the ball rolling with a gig I went to not so long ago. The headlining band was Wild Flag, an all-female four piece from the US west coast. Their eponymous debut album was released way back in September and they’ve recently been touring some small venues across the UK. Most importantly they came to Glasgow to play the Oran Mor, which I’d never been to for a gig before. As a venue it’s somewhere above King Tut’s and (for space at least) way above Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, which means the tickets are a bit more expensive. The gig was definitely worth the price (and the fact I didn’t need to get into the city centre to see it). From the moment the band came on, they gave everything they had into the show. For a 41 year old, vocalist/guitarist Mary Timony gave one hell of an athletic performance. At one point she was on her back, moving around the stage, whilst killing it on guitar. The entire band had some serious skill when it came to playing their instruments and they were enjoying it more than the audience, they even took pictures of us at the end to remember the gig, which isn’t something bands usually do. Seeing as this is online I can chuck some links in for you to check out the bands I’m chatting about, so there you go.
For my next trick, I’ll tell you about Plumb, not the fruit because that would be boring and frankly quite irrelevant to everything else I’m writing, but the new album from Field Music. I’ll try and make this my only plant-related pun, but Plumb really has its roots in good old prog rock. If you like Yes then you will love this album. It doesn’t sound directly like Yes otherwise I might just tell you to listen to Fragile or another of their albums; it’s like 70s prog with a 2012 twist, like coke with lemon. Good like the original, but better. If you don’t believe me, those nice folks over at NPR have made the entire album free to stream here.