Skip to main content

Concert in the Gardens 2011/12

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
4 stars
There was a sense of past meeting present at Edinburgh’s 2011/12
Concert in the Gardens. If local band competition winners Mike Norris
and the Moon play around with the sort of polite folksy stylings that
are oddly de rigeur just now, the abrasive urgency and sparring
male/female vocals of Sons and Daughters could easily be mistaken for
early 1980s post-punk provocateurs The Au Pairs. Bombay Bicycle Club
vocalist Jack Steadman, meanwhile, has the pitch of the late New York
ambient classicist Arthur Russell if he’d formed an indie band.

It’s left to Primal Scream to really kick-start proceedings, with
scarlet-shirted frontman Bobby Gillespie launching into the southern
soul of Movin’ On Up, the opening track of Primal Scream’s era-defining
1991 album, Screamadelica, with the mad-eyed self-possession of a
Glasgow street brawler by way of a punk/rave John The Baptist. While
they don’t play the full album as advertised, the selected highlights
sound as relentlessly fresh as its magpie sentiments set out to be
twenty years ago.

For Slip Inside This House, the projected backdrop is all Jackson
Pollock action art splurges. Strung-out ballad Damaged is brought
forward, presumably so as not to see in the New Year on a complete
downer. Screamadelica is body-swerved entirely for a hundred miles an
hour take on Accelerator and the motorik mayhem of Shoot Speed/ Kill
Light, both from 2000’s manic Xterminator album. As post-bells euphoria
goes, there are few better ways to see in the year than with ultimate
indie/rave, anthem, Loaded and an extended Come Together. After this
its rock and roll fantasy-wish-fulfilment all the way, until a final
Rocks suggests a gloriously hedonistic future ahead.

The Herald, January 2nd 2012

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…