Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Misplaced and Egotistic, Devouring Simpletons,

It’s a fascination on par with Roddy Woomble’s reliance on the word “century” (or any of its derivatives). So when I couldn’t hear what Riley Briggs was singing because of the morons who talked all through last night’s Aberfeldy gig at Liquid Rooms in Embra, I substituted the word “millionaire” in for the obscured lyrics.

I had seen Aberfeldy once before, at T in the Park, and I finally managed to catch up with them again. We timed the journey through the rain-lashed night to miss the support acts, Dateless and Catherine Feeny, to perfection. We travelled in the courtesy car supplied to David Twinnie after his accident, a Nissan Micra; it was strange to be able to see the car’s headlights from the inside, it gave the odd feeling of travelling inside a cart designed like a frog that might be seen on a kiddies ride at a funfair or of permanently being about to emerge between the frog’s legs at the end of the flume, at Levenmouth Swimming Pool.

Aberfeldy opened with A Friend Like You, a song which typifies the band: great lead vocals and lyrics, brilliant backing vocal harmonies, charming glockenspiel, all-important violin, intelligent bass and drums. Songs from the first album, Young Forever, like Love is an Arrow and Vegetarian Restaurant, went down well. The simplicity of Summer’s Gone – Casio keyboard rhythm #17 and a light sprinkling of glockenspiel - is to be marvelled at. After only 3 or 4 songs and quite inexplicably, the chatting started. The inevitable heckles demanding Tom Weir came after the first song, and when it came, Riley’s introduction of the much-requested and much-loved song was cut short by the chatterboxes.

Hypnotised and the title track from Aberfeldy’s latest album, Do Whatever Turns You On, were well-received. Apart from these few songs, there was too much talking from the large groups of people around the edges of the room; they should have offered rapturous warmth to the band on this triumphant homecoming. I loved Something I Must Tell You, with its speedy synth backbeat, it is reminiscent of Belle & Sebastian’s Electronic Renaissance but that’s not a bad thing. The guitars in Need You To Know, as Riley acknowledged, makes it sound a bit like a Police song but I couldn’t think which one. Their last song before the encore was their “disco hit”, Uptight, for which they were joined on stage by dancers – Dateless, the first support act – am no share if they wur guid radgies or no.

Obviously, they came back for an encore, they had to, no one would have left without hearing “the holdy-nose song”, Heliopolis By Night. Aberfeldy are a top band, they put on a great performance and with Riley’s song-writing talent, there’s no reason why they can’t go from strength to strength. On a sour note, we had to endure another crowd at the Liquid Rooms of which a large section were ignorant and selfish nitwits. There’s absolutely no need to talk right through any gig, no matter how good the band are.


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