Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Antagonists of Effervescing Marxists,

Unfortunately, I have always relied upon catchphrases. Some are better than others; I really should catalogue them all for posterity. One of my current phrases is “your loss”, it’s not terribly clever but it serves a purpose. A recent example of its use occurred in a short exchange regarding a Radio Double One pop starlet, Needless Pallor, in the kitchen whilst preparing a cup of tea.

“Have you heard of Nerina Pallot?”
“What’s wrong with her?”
“I don’t like Sheryl Crow’s music.”
“Well, I’m maybe going to see her.”
“Your loss.”
“But it’s about the whole gig experience.”

Prior to last week, I had only ever gone to one gig – Belle & Sebastian at ABC, Glasgow. I had intended to see Aberfeldy in Dunfermline where they were playing as part of Tigerfest at Carnegie Hall, however after working out who wanted a ticket, I then decided that I was best that I didn’t attend due to commitments the following day. The others should have gone without me but apparently, I’m required to look at gig listings, decide if events are worth attending, provide motivation to attend, buy tickets and possibly provide transport but perhaps they didn’t go because it’d be pointless without my attendance because I’m so great.

I was disappointed at not being able to see Aberfeldy and I felt I had let the others down, so later by means of compensation to them, I decided we’d all go and see The Zutons in Perth. Previously, I had little liking for The Zutons, I’d rather hear them on the radio than many other bands but that itself does not really constitute liking them.

I arrived back from Embra, and promptly bundled into another car to make the journey to Perth. After leaving the town, it soon became apparent that no one had brought the Perth street map and that I had restless leg syndrome, I was blamed for forgetting the map but I claimed that the driver is surely responsible for route planning. Perth is only a small place but it has really tricky one-way systems so upon reaching Perth we drove around fairly randomly and dangerously, before employing my favoured and infallible “get out and walk” method.

Perth Concert Hall certainly looks an impressive venue from the outside. When the occasion is worthy, a laser show is orchestrated from the building; this usually triggers reams of UFO sightings across the Kingdom of Fife and Tayside. Once inside, we were presented with Larrikin Love badges for joining their emithering list, in the fresh and airy foyer.

Larrikin Love were supporting, their first two songs were meaningless noise and lost in the base, but after that they came through what I felt was a poor acoustic set-up for them, it was probably tailored for the main act. Edward Larrikin jigged around the stage to songs and it was great fun, I think they sound a bit like Libertines in places but they’re not too similar, Edward Larrikin probably deserves to be a star, the single Edwould was probably the highlight of their half-hour set and happily, they seem to have clutch of songs of comparable ebullience. Following their set, there was a half-hour gap during which my restless legs really began to bite and I had to wiggle and waggle, stretch and strain, and I extolled the virtues of Groovin' With Mr Bloe to the others while some other classics like Virginia Plain and Back In Black were piped into the amphitheatre. I also fought with the camera, it always fails when it is required most, I’ve captured some images from the gig, they are useless, and I did give up before the main act.

The Zutons came on and they were amazing, I expected them to be much quieter but I was glad they weren’t. They started with Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love which was brilliant, even though it does leave my unmoved when it’s on the radio, all the singles were well-received by the crowd. I enjoyed hearing Confusion live, that was their only single I had liked previous to the gig, Abi Zuton’s saxophoning in that song is rather simple but therein lays the charm of it. Dave Zuton’s chat with the audience was rubbish, “Have you ever been to Liverpool?” was rubbish but I suppose we didn’t pay for that. I also think they need to work on the art of the encore, I think there should be an uncertainty over whether the performer will reappear for an encore, even if it is a fake uncertainty, but it was blatantly obvious that they would – they had still to sing their new single and the roadies ventured onto the stage to make sure all the instruments were still in tune. They finished with a huge instrumental racket which was great, I’m still not sure if it was ad hoc, it was similar in style to Doves’ There Goes the Fear, I really like instrumentals at the minute, it’s that Vic McGlynn who’s to blame.

Perth doesn’t lend itself to be driven to easily from the middle of the Kingdom, there’s a main road from the east of the region and a main road from the west of the region to Perth. The journey home probably saw us zigzag between these two main roads on the most obscure roads laid, it was more difficult to navigate in the dark. I wish I could remember a definitive way home from Perth. On these road journeys through the night, conversation inevitably turns to the supernatural, I’m not sure if it’s because everyone has a fear of a Betty and Barney Hill-stylee incident. Apparently, it’s fine for some to tell about UFOs, ghosts and big cats but when I later told of the story of the troglodytes that I informed the Outlaws of Immaterial Spheres of, I was laughed at. It’s perfectly credible that a few homeless people might take refuge in a cave for a couple of summer nights, it’s not as if I claimed the existence of a breed of deformed mutants like those in X-Files episode 4.03 (the only episode I’ve ever seen) living in the local caves permanently.

It was great that the Zutons played in Perth; for most bands, a show in Embra or Glasgow constitutes a tour of Scotland. Perhaps next time, they could maybe even visit the Kingdom, thus we might just be spared being prayed upon by big cats (of racehorse size), abducted by aliens or confronted by roadside ghouls in the dark wilderness of the mysterious, night time countryside.


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