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    extremelisteningmode on Our new least favourite band…
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Laura Veirs – ABC2 Glasgow

Laura VeirsLaura Veirs is always an interesting proposition live. She’s known to use different instrumentalists (or none – just one woman and an acoustic guitar), mix up set lists and when last in town she played an afternoon gig for kids playing songs from her Tumblebee album aimed at the, ahem, genuinely young fans (as opposed to the young at heart fans who predominate tonight).

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Paul Weller – Hammersmith Apollo London

FL_paulWeller_500pxYou couldn’t really set it up any better: Paul Weller, a sell-out home town gig on a Saturday night, last show of the tour and Ronnie Wood on stage with him. That should have been the platform for a special gig but it just…wasn’t.

Your writer left disappointed so I’ll get the whining over to start with. Far too much mediocre paint-by-numbers rock, an overload of newer material, very little rapport with the audience and only playing for an hour and 40 minutes.

Do I feel better having got that out? No I don’t.

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Giant Sand – ABC2, Glasgow

Howe Gelb is man who wears many hats. Sometimes literally – tonight sees a fine straw Stetson worn – but always musically.

In the last year he has released an album and EP with Band of Gypsies (actually you should all check out the album, a superb collaboration called ‘Alegrias’), the album ‘Blurry Blue Mountain’ as Giant Sand and is overseeing the re-mastering and re-release of Giant Sand’s first three albums. A busy man indeed – he’s now in his 50s but showing no signs of slowing down.

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Broadcast – Stereo, Glasgow

Vespertine dusts off his winter smoking jacket, has his batman prepare his tweeds and ventures out to check out Broadcast;

Gigs can be more than just music. Great gigs are about a series of factors; venue, company, mood…. even weather. A series of perhaps unrelated but subtly interlinking elements that come together to create magic. Of course, the converse is also true. Continue reading

Grizzly Bear – Glasgow ABC2

GBVespertine on the happening Yanks –

Last time GB played Glasgow it was in the extremely intimate surroundings of Nice n Sleazy and so something has clearly been happening for them in the interim. That something is the album ‘Vekatamist’ and the live shows that have accompanied it. The album is this year’s left field guitar slow burner…..and a very busy venue for what is a fairly cold and dreich night shows that people are buying into their sumptuous blend of reverb, stop/start dynamics and close vocal harmonies. Continue reading

Kap Bambino – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow

Kap Bambino‘Extreme’ is a word bandied around fairly frequently and often too easily. Television shows and newspapers are guilty of it, but so too is the music world. Things which are slightly left of centre get given the label, things which are one louder, things where people feel screaming = some sort of soul. Gallows get called ‘extreme’. Gallows. A band who are about as punk as the Lighthouse Family. Fucked Up are called ‘extreme’ because of the tiresomely risqué name and a few shouted swear words in the vocals. It’s therefore fantastic to see an act who genuinely deserve the epithet and remind you how downright thrilling music that actually is extreme can be.

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From the sublime to the ridiculous

Contrast. Not only is it a feature on your telly, it’s also an important part of any music show. You can take a rampaging blues-rock monster, a skinny indie kid and a hard-bitten gangsta rap type fellow and there you have it; differences highlighted.

Later with Jools Holland this weekend tried another, very different tack; they booked one act which was great and one which was a turgid pile of trying-too-hard wank.

But unlike the Pope and Angus Young, we are not infallible, so we’ll let you make your mind up yourself! First up is Bat for Lashes with ‘Daniel’, followed by Hockey with ‘Song Away’.