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SCOUT NIBLETT – Bush Hall, London

Posted: November 1st, 2004, by Chris S

I went to London to see Scout Niblett open for Giant Sand at the beautiful Bush Hall. The beer cost a fortune and Scout played early but she floored me. She lived here in Nottingham for a while and up round these parts she seems to divide people’s opinion into polar opposites. An idiot that I know practically spits fire at her name. Seems to be mainly the ladies that have problems too. But jealousy is a green eyed monster and all that. Tonight John Parish formerly of PJ Harveys band plays drums on a couple of unrehearsed things, but its really just about Emma. The choice of songs is fairly dark and is centred around the noisy distorted guitar stuff she’s been doing more of and at times it’s really harsh and bare and a little uncomfortable. She plays the song about cheerleaders and when she gets to the part about wanting a cheerleader to “cheer me up, cheer me on” I was struck dumb by an urge to cry my guts out and had to hold my breath to make it pass and in doing so a large piece of snot squirted down my face. I think if you know anybody who dismisses Scout as a rip off of (for example) Cat Power then you should not be their friend anymore. They are reducing two people’s art to the lowest denominator – in this case tonal similarities and the fact they’re both women. See, Chan Marshall makes narratives and Scout plays with words until they’re the most simple statement they can be and thats why her songs knock you dead. This is the most minimal music there is, no words are wasted. It’s straight to the gut and whether she’s playing loud guitar or bashing the drums it still has the same effect because its always that sharp and that clear.

We are blessed!

Scout Niblett

Chris S

Chris lives for the rock and can often be seen stumbling drunkenly on (and off) stages far and wide. Other hobbies include wearing jumpers, arsing about with Photoshop and trying to beat the world record for the number of offensive comments made in any 24 hour period. He has been married twice but his heart really belongs to his guitars. All 436 of them.


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