diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like

FIREWORKS NIGHT – It’s a Wide, Wide Sea (Organ Grinder)

Posted: March 2nd, 2005, by Alex McChesney

In all fields of entertainment, there’s much to be said for the carefully planned opening move that grabs your audience from the get-go, leaving them rapt and attentive for the rest of your set. Fireworks Night clearly took this advice to heart, because “The Gold Leaves”, track number one on this, their debut album, immediately makes the listener sit up and take notice. And not with a gimmicky sledgehammer to the ears, either, but by being such a mournful and delicate song it makes you feel like slipping into a warm bath and opening your wrists. It’s a lovely, dark thing constructed out of minimal, booming percussion and delicate vocals. Sadly, It’s also the best song on the album, which does the collection as a whole no favours. Fickle buggers that we are, being grabbed in the first minute isn’t quite enough when you spend the rest of the album’s running time waiting for one which does the business as well as the opener.

It’s a pity, really, because, on first listen at least, it takes a lot away from what are generally fine songs. The Bill Callahan-esque baritone never returns, replaced by a Wayne Coyne-like squeal, though the trend for carefully understated but imaginative instrumentation happily survives intact. While the acoustic guitar reigns supreme, there’s still room for some nicely trashy banjo, and a precisely-judged cheap organ sound that brings to mind a dusty back room in which there’s an old woman accompanying Daniel Johnston on an ancient Casio. But maybe that’s just me. The mood of the record is more hopeful than it at first appears, as though, once kicking you into the gutter, they invite you to take a peek at the stars. And it works, to a point. But misery is a force to be reckoned with, and it’s only on subsequent plays through the album that the beauty of some of the later tracks reveal themselves.

Entertainment is all about tweaking your emotions, and making you feel when the drudgery of day-to-day living has left you numbed. Fireworks Night are yet to break new ground in this area, but they have the tools and have demonstrated the ability to do so. I’ll be expecting big things from album number two. Don’t let me down, guys.

Fireworks Night

Alex McChesney

Alex was brought up by a family of stupid looking monkeys after being lost in the deep jungles of Paisley. Teaching him all their secret conga skills (as well as how to throw barrels at plumbers), Alex was able to leave for the bright lights of Glasgow where adventure struck him and he needed all his conga skills to save the world and earn the hand of a lovely Texan princess. He now keeps a low profile alphabeticising his record collection and making sock monkeys in the likenesses of his long lost family.


Comments are closed.