Monday, 6 August 2007

T in the Park Scotland 2006

T in the Park 2006
Apart from the rain, T was awesome fun!  The Chillis were sizzling hot! the Zutons  from Liverpool were exciting; the Kooks look good but were a bit derivative; Guillemots were highly colourful and command the stage; Franz Ferdinand partied like the Beatles; Maximo Park rocked.
Festivals are a wall of sound and a celebration of music, where everything goes and the more outlandish or fancy the better. The best thing is that everyone is there to party and have fun - yes there is drinking, the litter, there is outside toilets (this is something I come back to), but mostly there is good nature friendliness and everyone is happy that they can be there to share with the best in music 2006.
The Kooks. They look cool with floppy hair but lack individuality with their sound. One song is like Bob Marley, the next like Sting, the next like the Kinks.
Maximo Park, They swing and rocked with some strong melodic songs and a memorable performance.
Hot new band from Glasgow the Frettelis were one of the best bands there/ They played the Future Tent and will surely be playing one of the main stages next year.
The top new bands for me were the Guillemots, Maximo Park and the Zutons.  It meant a lot to see the Chillis live as Flea is my son’s hero! He saw them at Murrayfield a few years back and since then has became an amazing bass player through listening to the Chillis over and over and over!
The Chillis headlined and were in a league of their own. Flea’s bass shook the ground with steady rhythms as John Fruciante soared his guitar.  Keidis lept into action around the stage and slid to the mic. His voice while unique, was also the most flexible instrument as it lept around the bass lines in a tight and exacting way. The crowd also leapt and sung, transported to another dimension for this period of time.
One young guy in a wheelchair had managed to get pushed to close to the front. Unfortunately a girl on her mobile ignored him, so he tried to push up on his arms to get a glimpse of his heroes on the stage. Everyone is so excited to see the band perform.
They sang their hits, and some longer set pieces where they get to explore their music more. Flea and Fruciante move close to each other on stage to play tight together.  This band is very much a unit. Their last song, By The Way, really got the crowd pumping, with a hot energy and euphoria. It is easy to see why this band named themselves – the Red Hot Chillis!

Radiohead played Meadowbank stadium August 22nd 2006

Radiohead played Meadowbank stadium August 22nd 2006
Wild, unpredictable as the wind in the trees... their music takes you on a journey across time and space with flurries, storms, hurricanes and gentle breezes. Tom York’s voice blends incoherently with the band and Johnny Greenwood lays into it all, on electric guitar. Some of their lyrics capture essences of the human spirit such as- ‘ Just cos you feel it, doesn't mean it’s there.’
Karma Police; ‘For a minute there I lost myself.’
And Just; ‘You do it to yourself’

They played their first hit Creep as their final song ; ‘I wish I was special, I’m a creep I’m a weirdo.’ Tom at one point says, Radio One used to take risks and now they play Jay-lo.’
Another moment to take away from the gig, Yorke looks straight into the monitors to sing. Several of their songs are atmospheric and catch you in the gut with beats that resonate and vibrate through you. One of their new songs creates that Last Post end of the day broodiness. Possibly my best ever gig and an unforgettable experience.

Dick Gaughan at the Place Milngavie September 16th 2006

"a world weary traveller of stories and music"
Dick Gaughan, traditional folk singer and guitarist, songwriter, composer and record producer, played the Place, Milngavie to a packed and enthralled audience. His traditional folk hits hard, with powerful guitar and voice. He sings often of Scottish heroes and stories, of our lost past and voices long forgotten. In between songs, while re-tuning, he tells of his travelling. He ponders in one song, have we forgotten the protest voices of the 60s, We Shall Overcome, and What Are We Fighting For. Another about connecting to his grandfather while visiting the first World War graveyards in Germany, who died while half his age from mustard gas poisoning, and connects this to the faces he remembers well as a child, the sad faces of old men and the old miners.

The Guillemots QMU

"innovative, surprising, unexpected, melodic"
This new band make me think of dancing on a summer night!

The Guillemots are a unique, uplifting band on the indie scene London hit Glasgow last night and they grabbed attention through a blistering set.
Their lead man, Fyfe Dangerfield, commanded the stage with a strong and expressive voice. On one song he held a small keyboard to his chest and sang acoustically when he held the audience in the palm of his hand. Fyfe has a wide-ranging voice which he used as an instrument.

 A stand out song was the beautiful folky song Made Up Love Song and also the touching Over the Stairs. The guitarist MC Lord Magrao does his own thing, as does the Scottish drummer Greig Stewart and their quiet lady bass player, Aristazabal Hawkes (who also plays double bass) are all top musicians.

This band enjoy making music with free abandon, slashing sax and many more effects. There were shades of the Kinks in their classy blend of the best of pop - soft yet furious at times. While Fyfe's lyrics are creative and imaginative.

They are touring Europe and London.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela, at the Barrowlands Glasgow, June 4th 2007

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Worship at the church of Rodrigo y Gabriela. Music of wonder and passion. The gig was foot-stomping, achingly sad, wondrous and passionate. They do a dynamic version of Stairway to Heaven and Mettallica songs mixed with flamenco and classical.
The gig was started by Brad Dannon from California and he had rich vocals and interesting songs. After which the stage was reverently set for the main act with mics, guitars and leads being carefully positioned and the still anticipation as we watched the two chairs set on the quiet stage..
Then stage was set on fire! as Rodrigo y Gabriela brilliantly counterpoint each other - Gabriela with her flowing rhythmic passion and Rodrigo with his guitar licks, pounding and delicious swirls, and heartbreaking guitar melodies.
They had no set list. Rodrigo led and took us on a musical journey from rock - several Mettallica song such as Orion, and Led Zeppelin – and their own songs. Gabriela is more flamingo in style, she burrs and hums and whirs her guitar, with her long hair flowing behind her.

Rodrigo’s music flows seamlessly while taking unexpected turns, one minute pounding the guitar, the next quietly and poignantly moving up the frets. There were moments of deep heartbreaking pathos, that suddenly turned into energetic exhilaration. A high point, of which there were several, was their playing of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You were Here’ with the crowd doing the vocals. Another was Rodrigo’s playing of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ - and he made this ultimate rock classic his own with changes that work perfectly.
Their performance had no airs or graces and they connected to the audience through their unique and wondrous acoustic music. I enjoyed the way they built up the momentum over the set and gave us something entirely new. For their encore they played Diablo Rojo and then after they went to shake hands with the front row of the audience.

The packed crowd left feeling a wonderful high. I hope they enjoyed their last gig of their present tour. They were returning to Mexico the next day and return to the UK to play Glastonbury. Rodrigo y Gabriela got their break after touring Europe in 2000 and then settling in Dublin, where they felt a kinship with the Irish and immersed themselves in the music scene there. They released a live album in 2001 and Rodrigo y Gabriela in 2006. Haste ye back to Scotland!
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Oddly on Monday two of the biggest names to emerge from Glasgow in recent years played small venue gigs here - perhaps in an attempt to get back to their grassroots with low key performances to a small crowd.
Franz Ferdinand at the Grand Old Opry in the depths of the south side, and Snow Patrol at King Tuts in Sauchiehall street – the place where they played years back and built up their fanbase. FF meanwhile played parties in Glasgow - hence their ‘music for girls to dance to!’ which has made them the biggest band out of Scotland.