Sunday, 8 January 2012

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

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