There is always something to look forward to, and on the horizon this time was a great night of music, and a veritable fountain of cider to be consumed, the latter within arm’s reach in the NHC fridge. If only it hadn’t been scrumpy Jacks though. If only I hadn’t started drinking the stuff with a selection of strange, delightful, surreal music aficionados far earlier than normal. Lessons had not been learned from previous devilish dalliances with the scrumpy, and similar lessons will very probably not be learned this time either. Lessons are for gleeful school kids and forward thinking students after all. I’m now a more than occasionally inebriated adult, with a second-hand record shop. That mix generally makes for good comedy and great conversations… and not much else. So, it’s with these two things we make do. I’m okay with that though, some people have much less and we find true richness in the things we love, not in the things we covet.
The Gods of Heavy Metal themselves have returned to Glasgow – they have not lost their knack for masterful showmanship. Indeed; Dickinson was ceaseless in his bluster and guile, sometimes capering like an amorous baboon, at others with an ebullient insouciance no previous health concerns could lament. No, the pilot millionaire vocalist was at his indefatigable best. The head-scratching genius of the guitar work was handled with studied brilliance by Smith whilst Jers tried to steal eyes away from the front man, them frolicking, baiting one another – all the while stalwart bassist Harris and drummer McBraine brought up the rear, dependably.
A shadowy, blustery night rattles the old stained glass windows of a dark and brooding church, atop a lorn and lonely hill beneath grey broiling clouds that stand out starkly against the crepuscule, tracing their diaphanous tendrils across the face of the glowing moon. Ethereal cobwebs cling to the building’s decrepit frame like rags on a dying man. Tree branches creak and groan in the wind and trail their spidery, searching shadows across the ancient bricks. From within the church comes the haunting sound of an organ, the player seems consumed by madness as he presses the keys during his spiral into insanity. A raven with Cimmerian orbs for eyes and a gaze as pitiless as the midnight sun flutters up to a window ledge to take a disinterested look, its unctuous feathers catch the sheen of the candlelight within and it’s off again, rising up into the pitch night, black on black.
‘Breathless’ has a more traditional intro, just some great guitar and drum sequences that go together really well. Like the past few tracks we’re treated to a fairly long instrumental opening before the vocals kick in, I was expecting it by the time I got around to listening to breathless but by the two minute mark I was starting to think this was just a straight up instrumental track and then get the striking vocals of the group again.
13th May 2017, and another defining moment in our scene, as Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, a band we’ve watched go from tiny little ramshackle stages playing ‘Junkie Breakfast’ to a handful of mildly entertained folk, to playing almost every local festival there is, to selling out the Barras to rapturous crowds, to playing the far-flung corners like South Korea etc. play their biggest gig to date at the O2 Arena (or the Carling Academy to you stick-in-the-muds) to a large chunk of their 10,000 plus-strong following (and that’s just on Facebook, you could probably double that number in real life).
You know how if you ever go to McDonalds you look at the pictures of the burgers and they look great. The buns look well formed, the salad looks crisp and the burger looks juicy and its all stacked together perfectly. Then you order it and lets face it we already know it's not going to look like the picture on the menu but there is that briefest of brief moments just before you crack open the box that you think “This will be the one. This will be the burger that looks like the picture on the menu.” and you open it......
Before I start I want to say a little about the band. Kamp were formed in Winter 2012 in Athens, Greece. They consider themselves to be Alternative rock, but feel that their work crosses over boundaries and they aren’t afraid to explore new styles in pursuit of their music. The lineup for the band is as follows John Kampouropoulos on vocals, Nick Koutsopodiotis on electric guitar, Michael Evdemon on bass and Antonis Dounias on drums. This album also had contributions from Virginia Fragoulatzi.
Some nice female vocs on ‘Broken Poetry’ interlaced with good lyricism and a cruising beat, a good track to chill to. A melodious, pleasing, positive vibe. I can’t find a bad track on this record, there’s no fillers, it’s all good flow and an idiosyncratic sound, and it’s good, underground music, similar in style I would say, to the kind of vibe the Wu-Tang Clan were rocking in the early days. A talented MC for sure, influenced by all the great kings of the hip hop genre, and with his own unique style.
Taking a break from being the so-called “kingmaker of local hip hop” I go back to my punk roots and wrap my ears around what is said to be the final offering from veteran punk rockers The Sux Pastels. A great name for a band, but the first time I heard it I understandably assumed they were a Sex Pistols tribute act - but they’re not - heavily influenced by the Pistols, sure, but these seasoned, self-taught, D.I.Y musicians have their own original music which I am about to hear.
‘Play Dead’ opens to vocals, backed up by a gentle guitar thrum, She has the way of telling a narrative with her songs that is surprisingly rare for an artist, some songs connect with you emotionally and others have complex and smart lyrics but you can do either of them and still avoid telling a story with your song but Mclean manages to do all of it.