Music LIVE REVIEWS
. M O C R L B M U T R E K L A W L L A N
R E K L A W L L A N I
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ELECTRONICA REMEMBER REMEMBER AND MIAOUX MIAOUX Glasgow Science Centre planetarium, Sat 8 Oct ●●●●●
It’s a simple enough idea. Two nights of live music (Sat and Sun) inside the planetarium, broken up by lectures from Simon, the centre’s laser pen- wielding resident stargazer. Simple but brilliant. Programmers Detour assembled four fittingly spaced-out acts; Miaoux Miaoux and Remember Remember on Saturday; Happy Particles and Meursault on Sunday. In particular the swirling, psychedelic wormholes entered by Graeme Ronald and his full band Remember Remember were the ideal soundtrack for watching shooting stars fly across a revolving sky. Back to Simon, though; probably more used to
cajoling schoolkid fans of One Direction into astrological banter than fans of progressive electronica. Still, his light-hearted insistence that the evening was more about science than music set the right tone. This was about experiencing awe in an age of irony and scepticism, a goal that was just about achieved. Sat in reclining seats, the audience was whisked out of the city into the light pollution-free countryside, and taught how to spot bright planets amongst twinkling stars.
Simon was followed onstage by one-man
poptronic wonder Miaoux Miaoux, who live-looped drum samples and electric guitar as easily as if he were in his own bedroom. His set pulsated with lively tracks from his 2007 album, Rainbow Blues, and ended with ‘Snow’, from his 2010 ‘Blooms’ EP; his small but perfect voice shining through the electronic hum like a beacon. Graeme Ronald enjoyed breaking the spell, proclaiming in a Stephen Hawking computer voice, ‘the universe is enormous’. This schoolboy mischievousness couldn’t disguise his relish at the assignment at hand. They summoned all the depth and beauty of recent LP The Quickening onto the stage. In the darkness, the contrast between the driving drums and twinkling glockenspiels of ‘Ocean Potion’ was all the more acute, and there was nowhere to hide from the ache of ‘One Happier’s bittersweet piano. Up above, mythical characters from the zodiac flashed between stars – just lights from a projector, and just a band playing on stage, yet so much more than the sum of those parts. (Jonny Ensall) ■ See list.co.uk for a review of the Sunday night.
‘MISERY’ POP ADELE Usher Hall, Edinburgh ●●●●●
With dates cancelled before and after her Usher Hall date, due to ongoing health issues, the fact that Adele appeared at all is cause for celebration. Albums 19 and 21 have garnered the young Londoner a strong fan base, so when she asks us to ‘bear with her’ while her vocal chords return to full strength, the crowd is happy to oblige. She needn’t have asked. Aside from the odd
moment, such as the soaring climax to ‘Set Fire to the Rain’, when she uses her head rather than chest voice, her warm vocals are very much in evidence. And if you thought her lyrics took you into Adele’s inner sanctum, then her between-song banter takes us even closer. By her own admission, most of her oeuvre is
‘miserable’, but that’s why we love her. And hearing the story behind each tale of heartbreak (be it a row in a New York restaurant for ‘Turning Tables’ or her friends gossiping about her for ‘Rumour Has It’) makes the songs even more poignant than before. At just 23, Adele still has some growing up to do, both as a person and a songwriter, but if the current trend persists and she continues to take us with her, it’ll be a hell of a journey. (Kelly Apter)
FOLK ROCK SLOW CLUB Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Mon 19 Sep ●●●●●
Despite Rebecca Taylor’s protestations, Slow Club looked in reasonable shape considering they spent the previous night out with Aidan Moffat in Glasgow. ‘It was like an Indiana Jones film before I went to bed,’ recalled Charles Watson ruefully, pondering a dimly-remembered altercation with a taxi driver. Strange things seem to happen to the Sheffield duo when in Scotland. Cab Vol was the first venue they played outside their home city – a support date for Maria McKee, whose management’s directive was to ‘make sure the girl’s not younger or better looking’. Taylor was only 18 but they still got the gig, the implication of which she’d rather not consider.
The pair come mob-handed this time; now a four- piece band. The new set-up built upon a stripped- back atmosphere that didn’t exactly need tinkering with, but this was still a strong show on its own terms, from the breezy joys of ‘Our Most Brilliant Friends’ to the bittersweet ukulele strum of ‘Come On Youth’. The audience’s strong appreciation was rewarded with full-blooded versions of favourites ‘Two Cousins’ and ‘Giving Up On Love, reinforcing Taylor’s opinion that this was ‘the best gig so far, I’m not even scared to say it.’ (David Pollock)
GARAGE POP MAZES Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Thu 6 Oct ●●●●● DUBSTEP/ELECTRONICA KORELESS Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sun 9 Oct ●●●●●
Reduced from four to a trio tonight for undisclosed reasons, Mazes are welcomed with open arms, even if it takes them a little while to warm up. On first inspection, the band are a damn fine example of how to pen a charming pop song on the age-old format of bass, guitar and drums. No frills, no fuss, just stripped back, straight to the point stormers. Or at least, that’s what we expect from the band’s recorded output, whereas the performance we’re treated to tonight is considerably more tame and unexciting, at least for the first part of the set.
Having said that, from ‘Most Days’ and ‘Vampire Jive’, to ‘Bowie Knives’ and ‘Boxing Clever’ – which illicits a humorous, albeit gargled response from an intoxicated old-timer in the back – the band dole out chunk after chunk of Pavement-esque sunshine, picking up steam along the way. By the end of the set, their short, sharp blasts have won over the Captain’s Rest crowd even if it isn’t the most confident performance. Still, they muster enough punch in the final stretch to warrant a further listen. (Ryan Drever) ■ mazesmazesmazes.com
Lewis Roberts may only be just about old enough to attend a club, but judging by this appearance he certainly understands what’s required to keep the customers satisfied. Still in his teens, this Glasgow-based Welshman has patented a form of lazy electronica on his somewhat obliquely titled 12-inch single, ‘4D/MTI’, awash with stop-start glitches and sampled divas that sounds designed for the playroom. Live, Roberts somewhat wisely cranks things up a bit, lest anyone think they’re at a groovily soundtracked dinner party where people think it’s okay to talk over the music. Some still do anyway, but they’re twats. The novelty here is Roberts performing behind his laptop on a stage in the centre of the dance- floor, creating an in-the-round experience hitherto unexplored in Sneaky Petes’ bijou interior. As Roberts mixes an array of beats and twinkles flanked by dancers on all four sides during a 40- minute set, a very up close and personal wig-out ensues. The Koreless’ sound is a quietly commercial one, and Roberts could easily translate his appositely bright-eyed brand of dubstep to a full-on band situation. It worked for Moby. (Neil Cooper)
20 Oct–17 Nov 2011 THE LIST 83