She is gone, now there’s no one else to love

Well, after six barren gig-less months, last weekend I went to my fourth live appointment in three weeks, beetling down to Cardiff with Tom and Rob to see the great Ray Davies.

It was … OK.  St David’s is certainly a fantastic auditorium, with good sound and a nice feel to it, but it’s hard to foster a real atmosphere when the place is only half full. We were a group of only about thirty people in the upper tier and there were certainly places down in the lower as well. A shame really.

Ray Davies was also only … OK. He started off the set with just one other guitarist, which worked quite well mostly, and about half way through he brought on his band which was (again)…OK. Didn’t really add anything, to be honest and I would happily have carried on listening to him and his chum strumming away on stools.

The audience was mostly made up of middle-aged balding types – we looked positively youthful and hirsute in comparison – and they were loving it, but to be honest it all got a bit karaoke for me. Davies seemed intent on getting everyone to sing along and “have a good time”. One of my pet hates at gigs is seeing the mic thrust crowd-ward, and there was plenty of that…

To be honest, that’s all just me grumbling, rather than real criticism. What made the gig fairly average was that few of the songs seemed to have any real life and were trotted out pretty much as you’d remembered them. There were good versions of “Lola”, “Waterloo Sunset”, “Days” and a rather acid sounding “I’m not like anybody else”, which I liked, but the best track of the evening was “See My Friends” mainly because he’d fiddled around with it and given it a bit of verve:

So.

All i n all, pretty much what it said on the tin, but couldn’t help being a shade disappointed for that reason…

¡Aupa!

Ok, so I’ve uploaded all the recordings from Colston Hall for Gotan Project. They’re pretty good – although a lot of that is down to how good the sound is there.

A couple of the songs I just could not identify, I didn’t recognise them from any of the records I have. I’m also not sure if I’ve got the order quite right and I’m blogging from school so cannot check them. If you download everything, the track numbers are included.

¡Aupa!

Época

Track 2

Tango Square

Rayuela

Una Música Brutal

Tu Misterio

Peligo

Mi Confesión

La Gloria

El Mensajero

Track 11

Diferente

De Hombre A Hombre

Panamericana/Tríptico

Mil Millones

Desilusión

Inmigrante

Pensamientos del corazon

I’d kind of forgotten why I liked Parisian trio Gotan Project so much – I remember being mad for them a couple of years ago when I first came across their dub-heavy latin-flovoured version of trip-hop – but things fade, don’t they? Bought their new record, the unfortunately-named Tango 3.0, a couple of weeks ago, but it didn’t really make any waves…

Until last Thursday anyway, when Josie and I zipped off after work and made  our way to the capital of the South West, for another evening’s entertainment at Colston Hall.

What a fantastic set! It brought back to me all the reasons I went off at the deep end before – the reedy, insistent tones of the bandoneon, the rich deep bass lines, the Spanish vocals and samples, the dubby electronic noodling. The bass was particularly chest-shivering at times. Fantastic stuff!

On top of all this, they used a projector and video to excellent effect as a backdrop, sometimes showing trippy colour effects, others playing footage of guest vocalists and musicians, as if they were coming on stage in the flesh. It worked particularly well with the two Spanish rappers in Mi Confesion. Mesmerising watching…

The best news of all was that it was third time lucky for my iRiver and I got a pretty good recording of the whole set, highlights of which I’ll post in the next couple of days. Also managed to video parts of the evening too, although having wrestled with bloody Movie Maker for ages, I’ve only managed, as yet, to get one clip online so far.

Here’s a video of the magnificent Panamericana, from Tango 3.0, which at one point morphs into Triptico and back again:

Wow. Great evening. Will try to post some more about soon….

Feel alright when I come undone…

I’m a couple of gigs behind, but still thinking about the LCD Soundsystem night at the Academy

I love this video, not mine, but if I’d brought my camera along this is what I would have got too…

Home, home in the late night…

I guess I’ve definitely missed the boat as far as the second part of my Bristol trip is concerned – LCD Soundsystem – it was nearly a fortnight ago, after all… This, coupled with the entirely predictable fact that, for the second time in two days, I was incapable of setting up my iRiver properly and came out with a recording of an hour’s silence. (I disappoint myself, I really do…)

 

Suffice to say, it was an absolutely cracking evening, one I enjoyed probably even more than the Scratch affair, and I have spent the following two weeks working through the three LCD Soundsystem, Martin kindly furnished me with as homework.

The salient points were, in no particular order:

  • They were loud (very loud) and obsessed with rhythmic patterns
  • It was impossible to stand still
  • The Academy is a “proper” rock venue
  • Terrific versions of “Daft Punk…”, “Yeah”, “Tribulations” and “Get Innocuous!” were to be had, dashed off effortless and with maximum energy (if that makes sense…)
  • I was ridiculously happy to hear “Losing My Edge” – the only track I was able to recognise for myself. (That was then, now I am a t-shirt wearing, fully paid up member of the club…)
  • Support band Yacht were from Portland and put on an enthusiastic and confident showing. They’re probably worth searching out, and if I get my shit together, I may even post about them…
  • James Murphy’s words are interesting – I really liked the fact that they were not just a dance band, (although I was gently and justifiably mocked by Martin and Steve for suggesting that the lyrics are worth swotting up on…)
  • It’s possible to drink far more than you imagine whilst killing a day on your own…

 

Great gig, and there’s a quite a lot of footage on YouTube of this tour, which is well worth searching out.

Tonight, I am again off to Brizzle, again to Colston Hall, for what I imagine will be a slightly more genteel affair, seeing Gotan Project. Of course, by the time I post this, it may well have come and gone…I will be taking my recorder along, and who knows what will happen?

It sipple out deh…

As I said, it’s been a while, nearly six months in fact, since I got along to see some music, and I’ve really missed it – but I’ve been back on it again with a Lee Perry / LCD Soundsystem double header in Bristol last weekend. Oh yes.

Scratch needs no introduction from anyone but himself and of the number of gigs I have lined up over the coming weeks, this was probably the most eagerly anticipated. One or two people had wondered why he had chosen to play at the rather genteel Colston Hall rather than a bona fide “rock venue”, and I can see why, but to be fair to the organisers they’d removed a load of seats from the stalls and it made a pretty decent-sized hall for people to stand and watch in. It worked quite well.

There were a couple of reggae acts on first from the 2Kings,er, Crew and they were actually pretty good. Was quite taken by Prince Jammo and Ceefax, and even got a recording of them (more of that, later…)

At about 10:15, resplendent in mirror cap, lame shirt, camo shorts and hooped leg warmers, the grand old gent shuffled genially onto stage, his hair dyed scarlet, and ambled through a suitably bonkers set that lasted an hour a half.

With a full band, including a brass section, jaw-shuddering bass and i-threes style female backing, he played a few Wailers songs (Exodus and Small Axe stood out) a few of his own numbers that I recognised (Sun is Shining and Inspector Gadget) and, bizarrely, a long song about sex in the tub.

I had mused on these very pages that I might be in for some sort of Davy Graham-esque car crash gig, given the man’s notorious eccentricity, but I am happy to report that he’s mellowed with age and seemed affable and having a good time. He only went off on one wonky diatribe about how we all come from Neptune and the origin of mankind.

“Y’unnerstan?”

he finished with, and there was a discernible awkward pause before the obligatory whoops and hollers from the stalls. I’m not sure they did understand, Lee…

There was a lengthy delay before the encore, as he changed outfit (red, mirror loon pants, as you’re asking) but a whomping “War inna Babylon” finished the evening off on a massive high point.

I forgot to take my camera and was unable to operate my recorder properly (!), so I don’t have anything of my own, but I did find this. It’s a recording taken earlier this year, which also features members of the Congos and Max Romeo, as well as the Upsetter himself.

(Brrrrrip! Brrrrip!)