Category Archives: Music

Sneaker Freaker: Battle of the Bands

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Hey, Y’all! I’m always out seeing gigs and new bands. And over the course of a year I tend to see an absolute shed-load of stuff. But for a long time something has been troubling me.

So far so what?

Just what is it about the indie uniform that means you can’t wear anything other than Converse All Stars or – if you’re really controversial – Converse One Stars?

Ok, I get that it’s a ‘uniform’ and that you can just pop into Urban Outfitters or American Apparel and ask for the Indie Boy or Indie Girl pack and that’s your look sorted. Oh and don’t get me started on those big glasses with clear lenses. I mean really. Really!?

But even a little innovation in the sneaker department would be appreciated. So you can imagine my surprise when I went to see a band called The Coast on Wednesday night – supported by the excellent Over the Wall and the not so excellent I Saw Lights – and some members of the band were sporting a pair of Reebok Freestyles, (I know, I know) but also a pair of adidas Roms. And no, they weren’t the doctored Life Aquatic ones. That would’ve been too much. But it was refreshing to see a band that wore something different on their feet. And that’s the story of the band with something interesting on their feet. I can’t be interesting all the time.

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This is encore

Morrissey, The Smiths

OK (and this is just for you Ben) apologies for the shocking tardiness of this blog. My New Year resolution is to put up at least one comment a week but as I’m starting this in February I think I’ve already broken this. But anyway, onwards and blogwards.

As you may know, I go to a fair amount of gigs and I was just wondering where/when the fake encore started? The days of clapping, stomping, chanting for more have been overtaken by a smattering of applause and a general expectancy of the band coming back on anyway to play their most recent record/crowd favourite.

Is it the bands that are causing the problem? Is it the apathy of the crowd? Is it a mixture of both? Is it Simon Weston’s fault?

The last band I saw that didn’t play an encore were Explosions in the Sky in January and I must admit it was rather refreshing, the last genuine encore I remember was Radiohead at Meadowbank Stadium in 2006 (where they played, count ’em, FOUR) but all this is just to get a link to tell you about the Morrissey gig I saw at the weekend.

Hell, who needs a tenuous link? He was simply awesome. A cantankerous old bugger and a poetic moaner of biblical proportions, you’ve just got to love him. Now before any of you write in to say “but he’s racist” the NME article that he was “quoted” in is now subject to a libel case in the High Court, the actual interviewer himself has said that the NME rewrote the whole transcript and has also insisted his name be removed from the article. So there.

The gig itself was a very bizarre mixture of ages, styles and outfits. But not a bunch of gladioli in sight. Urging the crowd not to buy any more Smiths’ records as the “all the royalties go to that wretched drummer” was quote of the night and seemed to rule out the endless “reunion” rumours.  Which is all good I say. Too many bands are getting back together anyway. Mr Morrissey was just genius and as usual, he went through a fair few shirts. Mozza, we salute you. (but not in a rigid right arm sort of way.)

Forever in Blue Jeans

Neil Diamond

Sorry for the radio silence recently, but it’s been busy round here. Anyway, since my last post I’ve been to my usual quota of gigs, but one stands out due to its sheer unexpectedness and it’s similarity to the waiting room to get into Scottish indie heaven.

So we pitched up at the Maryhill Community Centre Hall which isn’t in the most salubrious of areas or the most auspicious of starts but hey, I like that venue and once had the good fortune of seeing Glen Matlock play there too. But that’s another story.

Now, all we knew about this night was that it was going to be a tribute to Neil Diamond – I know, I know, but I had nothing else planned and anyone who can wear a corset and get away with it has to cool. Right? Oh.

So we got in, finally got our tickets after I managed to forget the name of the girl who put tickets aside for us, got our drinks and milled around marveling at just how many people were there. Now to cut a very long set up short, I’m just going to name a few of the people that played. So we had a bit of Belle and Sebastian, Eugene Kelly from the Vaselines, Douglas T Stewart from the BMX Bandits, The Parsonage, Teenage Fanclub members pitched in and even stinky Phil Kay was there just dancing around. God put some deodorant on man! There were more people from various Scottish bands and from the C86 scene and they were all singing Neil Diamond songs and all for the princely sum of a fiver.

Ah, Scottish Indie Heaven indeed.