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Hinterland Night 1 – Glasgow, Various

Hinterland kicked off for the ELM team with Trailer Trash Tracys at the Classic Grand, a venue which seemed too big for them even before the sparse attendance. It’s a deep and unmistakable truth about gig going that the smaller the crowd, the further back they will stand. It’s a learned behavior from school, I suppose. TTT are not bad, rather big Wall of Sound influenced noise which sadly brings to mind the Raveonettes more than the Mary Chain. If you sound like a band who are essentially a revivalist parody, then you are not going to stamp your authority into the hall, and so it proved; they were fine without ever threatening to become memorable. However, with a bit more gigging experience and some refining, there could be a decent act in there. Must improve stage presence too, they did not connect with the audience at all.

The great joy of Hinterland promised to be the gig-hopping, and so it proved when we went downstairs to the Grand’s other arena for 85 Bears, a very loud post-rock instrumental three-piece. Lots of bright cascading textures, and a band who are clearly interested in the finer details of their sound. They play a heavily-rhythmic form of intense garage which builds up into a heavy crescendo. It’s very, very good. One to watch.

At this point in my notes was a mention of a girl watching them who had a really, really big arse.  I’m not sure why I’m telling you that, but the fact I felt it was worth noting for future use should tell you about the sheer magnificence of said derriere.

Geordi La Force did a splendidly mental interview for us a few weeks ago so I’m delighted to report he did a splendidly mental gig here. Metal isn’t always fun, but Geordi is. Industrial, buzzing guitars interspersed with his demonic presence.  A lot to like. He’s moving to Japan soon; they won’t know what’s hit them.

Moving round to The Arches 1 in time for My Tiger My Timing, we witnessed a very decent performance from charismatic frontwoman Anna Vincent. With a voice and persona not dissimilar to Siouxsie at her best, she prowls round the stage and all eyes are on her, which probably suits the rest of the band who seem happy to construct the artfully-pop sounds behind her. They have the glamour and the tunes are coming too – ‘This is Not the Fire’ is a terrific pop single, like the Ting Tings covering Foals.

My Tiger My Timing

My Tiger My Timing

In these days of angularity, it’s nice to hear people with acoustic guitars and sunny choruses, which is exactly what you get from Pearl and the Puppets (Arches 2). If some songs seem twee, it’s that Glasgow -TradeMarked way that lends it a certain melancholic charm.

Pearl and the Puppets

Pearl

Which leads on to a set from Metronomy, which will not be reviewed by me but instead by our contributor Positive Firehorse. Why? Well, there is music which I like but understand why others don’t. And there is music I hate but get why people buy it. But no, Metronomy and their endless posing and shrieking remain a mystery to me. Also seem to have a strangely arrogant demeanour onstage as well for where they are in their careers. But we are all about the fairness round these parts, so I headed for the doors and this is what PF thought: I love Metronomy. And for every person who loves them there are 10 who don’t get why they are so good at what they do. What they do is off-the-wall electro dance music. They push the boundaries of what is considered to be “normal” songs and invent sounds and sequences which stretch my imagination and indeed my very perception of what is actually “in tune”

They are therefore very clever and very creative but I never get the impression from them that they take themselves too seriously, I think they just have fun being creative!

The last time I saw them in Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh they did silly formation dances and wore t shirts that lit up….and they were extremely entertaining.

The arches metronomy set was different -there were no lights on their tshirts and a new line up. Their set included the brilliant “Holiday” and they absolutely owned the arena. The energy levels of the crowd were through the roof and the Arches is a brilliant venue for this sort of music, as the sound rebounded off the walls and into your head and body.

ELM loves music which makes his heart miss a beat, but dance isn’t meant to do that, it’s meant to make you dance and Metronomy do that!”

Metronomy

A Metronomist of some description

Luckily, one door closing and all that shit led us to see Meursalt at the Classic Grand and it was one of those lovely moments when you feel like you’ve stumbled across something unexpectedly thrilling, like a bargain in an expensive store, or a good tune on MTV 2. Three guys on stage, one of whom appears not to be playing anything, while folksy electro suffused with piano and beats rings round the room. It’s a heady swirl, and the crowd are very much engaged for the duration. There’s banjo at work here as well, and the vocals are almost otherworly in their loveliness. After half an hour of genuinely moving music, it’s over, with the crowd rapt; a top performance.

Meursault

Meursault

Then it’s back to the Arches 1 for The Fall. And what can you say? It’s The Fall doing what they do, incredibly loudly at that. The Wookie in the photographers pit is dismayed to see they have put extra monitors in there purely for the reason of deafening photographers.

Mark E Smith

Mark E Smith, with two microphones in case using just one isn’t loud enough

The dense, swirling attack of the noise is enlivened occasionally by the stabbing keyboards of Mrs Smith, Elena.

The Fall

Mrs Smith

But he is a loveable old so and so, unless you are in his band – he’s constantly fiddling with their equipment while they play. It’s like an assault course for musicians. Still, as he sings on ’50 Year Old Man’ he’s a ‘fifty year old man and I don’t give a fuck.’ More power to him.

Mark E Smith

Mark E Smith

But such prolonged exposure to ear-bleed country had left the Wookie, in particular, looking like a nam survivor replete with Thosuand Yard Stare, we headed off the the Classic Grand for the delightful sounds of Fanfarlo. Contrast between bands don’t come much clearer as we were soon being tended by their deightful, classic baroque pop. There’s an element of Belle and Sebastian about them, as there always is with a band of this type, but also bursts of Montreal influences and glittering, shiny folkpop. Ambitious and lovely, everyone who saw them left happy.

Fanfarlo

Fanfarlo

So on to a rather busy King Tut’s to finish with Team Waterpolo. Basically forever trying to sound like the Beach Boys with samplers, they are bursts and bursts of beautiful pop, even if you could sing ‘Mamma Mia’ over ‘Letting Go’ without anyone noticing the difference. They are energetic and spiky and above all they are fun. A terrific end to Day One for us.

Team Waterpolo

What, no swimcap? Team Waterpolo

So, day two still to come for us, but before that, refreshments….

All photographs Copyright © 2009 Chris Osborne, Used with permission

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5 Responses

  1. The Fall gig was the loudest thing i have ever heard in my life.

  2. But were they any good?!

  3. Honestly, i have no idea.

  4. They were good if you like The Fall! Which I do, so i did, but some of the other members were unconvinced.

    But still, better to be loved by a few than ignored by the many!

  5. The Fall were excrutiating – that was my first and last time!!

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