Arches – 15/08
Slint have recently resurfaced after a long period of inactivity – their last album came out in 1991 – but it is easily heralded as one of the best albums of the decade and the precursor and inspiration to a lot of fantastic post-rock acts in the mid and late 1990s, including Glasgow’s own Mogwai.
I will go ahead with easily the most pretentious sentence I will put down on paper: Slint needs an educated audience to properly work live. Their music is slow and subtle with dispersed vocals that immerse themselves into the melody. At one point, halfway through the act, they played “Don, Aman” on two guitars only and the volume was so low that for a brief moment the gig transformed itself into an acoustic performance for 1000 people without amplification. The audience knew that was going to be the case and most of the people knew what they were in for. Before every song, there were countless shhsss’s to be heard from the audience trying to silence the odd loud troublemaker. In fact, after the first song was finished, one guy at the back yelled “Boring!!”, only to be met by a massive wave of booing from the packed venue audience.
Ok, now regarding the actual gig: it was exactly what you can expect from a band whose cult status has gone through the roof in the last few years. They simply came to play and it was impeccable; they don’t speak much between songs, but their music was solemnly and intensely delivered, making any other form of communication redundant – and this is coming from a guy who enjoys a little interaction and banter with the audience, whether it is coming from a happy Pharrell or a gloomy Diamanda Galas.
Here’s to hoping that the band will put a third well-deserved album out soon, because with this tour they proved that their twenty year old material is just as powerful, poignant, influential and effective now as it was back then.