Monday 28 October 2013

Peter Gabriel, So Tour, Hydro Glasgow 2013

There is an angel Gabriel in the bible - and this night Peter's voice floated above with his collaborative, spiritual and one world voice at the shiny new Glasgow Hydro. He is one of the defining artists of the 80 and was once lead singer with the rock band Genesis. 

Outside the new Hydro was all lit up in impressive blues so you really cant' miss it. The new venue is a wonderful addition for Glasgow and comes second  only to Madison Square Gardens New York and the O2 London as one of the world's largest concert arenas. Very Cool. It is wider than I expected, so I'm assuming it is not round but rather oval in shape. I arrived early and I enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere.

We were treated to a full two hour set. Gabriel said part I would be the acoustic starter. Part II the electronic main course and Part III the So album dessert!  And tonight's concert began with full lights in the arena with Peter on piano and Tony Levin on double bass.  He said the search for songs can often be as interesting (or frustrating) as the final destination.  Songs - Come Talk To Me, Monkey, Into The Light. 

He was generous with those around him (no sign at all of I'm the star here) and mentioned his lighting crew, the roadies, the drivers, his whole team, and introduced the other musicians  right at the very start of the concert.  He celebrated that he still played with the same musicians he has worked with for the past 25 years.  

So that when the full electric sound kicked in it did so with thunderous sound and lighting.  We Went Too Far, Under Pressure, Why Don't You Show Yourself, Games Without Frontiers. For Secret World and for song Shaking The Tree he moved over the wide stage and performed his rhythmic dance with the other band members
He sang his wondrous In Your Eyes the enduring love song. At one point he lay down inside a spiral for Mercy Street - an engrossing moment.  The sound reverberated with none of the details left out, as the new arena is designed for clear solid acoustics. At times though the flashing lights and other lighting effects were a bit distracting.  

He was supported by two beautiful Swedish singers, Jennie Abrahamson and Ane Brun,  who also played the support slot when they were introduced by Gabriel himself. 

He finished fittingly with his haunting Biko. Before the song he spoke of how the Photo never lies and that soon everyone will have a mobile phone that records and transmits photos. 
Peter's voice has a clear and effortless distinctive tone. His songs don't take the obvious route, but rather look sideways at the issues. He uses space and movement in his music and gets underneath the songs.  

Gabriel's So album is one of the most iconic rock albums of the past decades.  Released in 1986 (oddly the same year as his close American contemporary player Paul Simon's Graceland )  I remember well the Sledgehammer video on the new MTV channel in the 80s. It is good to see artists such as Gabriel at the top of their game.

An uplifting and majestic concert. Gabriel is an open hearted and subtle spiritual leader. He believes in trusting the Voices of Truth and is a Human Rights activist.  Music knows no boundaries.... and it is up to us.....

So Songs

  1. "Red Rain" – 5:39
  2. "Sledgehammer" – 5:12
  3. "Don't Give Up" (featuring Kate Bush) – 6:33
  4. "That Voice Again" (lyrics: Gabriel, Rhodes; music: Gabriel) – 4:53
  5. "Mercy Street" – 6:22
  6. "Big Time" – 4:28
  7. "We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)" – 3:22
  8. "This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)" (featuring Laurie Anderson) (Anderson, Gabriel) – 4:25
  9. "In Your Eyes" – 5:27
Peter Gabriel -- Main Vocals, Harmonica, Keyboards, Rainstick Manu Katché -- Drums Tony Levin -- Bass, Chapman Stick, Main Vocals David Rhodes -- Guitar, Main Vocals Jean-Claude Naimro -- Keyboards, Main Vocals Shankar -- Violins, Main Vocals Levon Minassian -- Doudouk Paula Cole -- Main Vocals Leo Nocentelli - Guitar, Main Vocals Daniel Lanois - Dobro,Telecaster Babacar Faye - Djembe Assane Thiam - Talking Drum,Tama Hossam Ramzy - Surdo Tim Green - 

Secret World Live is a film of a Peter Gabriel concert in 1993, as part of his Secret World Live tour to support his sixth solo album, Us. The show is performed across two stages: a square and a circular stage, bridged by a conveyor belt. It was released on VHS, LaserDisc and DVD. An album of the same title with a similar track listing was also released. 
The film received the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video.
The film starts with Gabriel rising up from the stage in a telephone box singing the opening song. He eventually escapes the box and struggles to reach the circular stage, holding the phone which is on a extending cable, to meet Paula Cole. The two never meet and Gabriel is pulled back to the telephone box.

(Note: I had expected some aspects of the Hydro to have views over the Clyde upstairs. I felt there was missed opportunity for an upstairs cafe/ restaurant with a view. There was only Bar and Snack places with limited places to stand to eat.)

Monday 21 October 2013

Calvin Harris and Hurts - Alesso Feat – Under Control.

Calvin Harris is one of Scotland’s biggest contemporary artists and one of the world’s biggest DJs.  Harris has collaborated (written and produced) with the likes of Rihanna, Kylie Minogue, Dizzee Rascal, Example, and more. He holds the record for the most UK Top Ten Hits songs from a studio album. He has won numerous Brit, NME and MTV music awards plus the Ivor Novello Award 2013.
Alesso, Harris, Hutchcraft
His latest collaboration is with DJ Alesso and features Theo Hutchcraft of the band Hurts with the song Alesso feat, Under Control. Hot tune from Alesso and interesting vibe with Theo’s strong haunting vocal and Harris’s dance beats.       
Calvin Harris and Hurts - Alesso Feat – Under Control.

Theo Hutchcraft
Adam Richard Wiles, known by his stage name Calvin Harris, is a Scottish DJ, singer, songwriter, and record producer.  His gold selling debut album,  I Created Disco, was released in 2007 and contained the top-ten singles "Acceptable in the 80s"and "The Girls".
His second studio album, Ready for the weekend (2009), reached number one on the UK albums and includes the chart-topper "I'm not Alone", the UK top-five hit "Ready for the Weekend".

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Celtic Connections 2014 Launch

Celtic Connections 2014 comes of age with it's 21st year.  Celtic offers its audience the unexpected and often unique musical collaborations.  

According to Artistic Director Donald Shaw, the world's largest Celtic festival offers breadth, internationalism and camaraderie.  The festival will host Indie, Americana, International artists with connections to their own folk music, as well as traditional Scottish folk music. 

Two big concerts will be held at Glasgow's new SSE Hydro arena - eighties band Del Amitri and an International Burns Night Concert.   

This year will focus on a Commonwealth theme with several commonwealth and international artists appearing in keeping with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014. 
Headliners for Glasgow's biggest musical festival in 2014 will include BOBBY Womack, Suzanne Vega, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lloyd Cole, Nicola Benedetti, Seth Lakeman and Imelda May. Plus some of the biggest names in world, folk and Americana music.
Highlights include Indian and Australian music and a celebration of the 1960s “Laurel Canyon” music scene that inspired The Doors, Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
The line-up confirmed today features several Commonwealth celebrations to coincide with Glasgow’s hosting of the sporting games next summer.  Also a concert marking 100 years since the start of the First World War.
Festival favourites performing in 2014 festival are - Capercaillie, who are celebrating their own 30th anniversary, Salsa Celtic, Peatbog Faeries, Treacherous Orchestra, and Gaelic songstresses Julie Fowlis and Kathleen MacInnes.  

The festival will host 300 events, at 20 venues with over 2,100 artists and run from 16th Jan to 2nd Feb 2014.  

Sunday 13 October 2013

New Music 2013

Kurt Vile’s 5th studio album Wakin on a Pretty Daze,
New Glasgow band #Chvrches, worth checking out! Cool sound.
Strong melodies and memorable sound.

Check out HAIM's Days Are Gone, first album. Good vocals and cool bass lines -

Lorde (Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor)
Only 17 (!)  is a New Zealand singer songwriter with a style all her own, I saw her on the Jools Holland tv show and I was impressed. She has topped charts with her first EP The Love Club and singles Royals. Interestingly her mother is a poet. Her debut album Pure Heroine, was released Sept 2013.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Haim's Days Are Gone

The three LA Haim sisters grew up with rock n roll and so their sound draws heavily from 70s and 80s pop rock. 
I like that they are playing basketball in their Save Me video and that they look good without having to totter around the stage in enormous heels the way most girl bands do. They actually play instruments too (!)  - Este plays a mean bass guitar, Danielle energetic rocking guitar and Alana dynamic fun rhythms on percussion, drums and keys.  
Their first album title, Days Are Gone, has been receiving mostly good reviews. They are strong vocally and all four singles are quality funky indie rock pop (Don't Save Me, Forever, The Wire, Falling). The track Go Slow shows a bit of an XX influence. The later tracks veer slightly into a poppy sound and with Let Me Go reminiscing for 70s rock. 

Otherwise the girls write and produce their own material and do it well. I would prefer that they stuck to the raw rock sound that they play live. I like their fun energy and new sound vibe.
I saw them play an upbeat and cool gig at Glasgow's SW13 venue last May, where they did a rocking version of early Fleetwood Mac's Oh Well. They also played Glastonbury 2013 and other UK festivals and they topped the BBC's Sound of 2013.  I noticed them firstly on the Jools Holland tv show earlier this year and I thought they played a distinctive rhythm that made them stand out.

Haim at SW13 Glasgow