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Trail of Dead, Oran Mor, Glasgow

Posted: February 18th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

It really has been a while. I last saw Trail of Dead live maybe two years ago (maybe three!) and this was a bit of a come down for both of us. They had been downgraded from the QM to the much much smaller Oran Mor and I was reduced to standing on a chair at the back of the venue rather than stageside. They are so much more suited to smaller venues though that it was more of a treat then anything. But first there was Forget Cassettes, the other band of one of the new TOD guys (I keep getting them mixed up…) who had so many technical difficulties that they only got to play about 4 songs. With retro grumbly keyboards, strong female vocals and swathes of guitar noise they were a bit like a noise goth PJ Harvey, the singer similarly striking. I was not in good shape though so they mostly gave me a sore head. Later I managed to totally bash my head in and have a nice bump to show for it. In the olden days this would have been due to excessive fun, these days it is because of tiredness and not looking where I’m going. Sigh.

So, Trail of Dead. The first two songs were utterly atrocious, so much so that I actually almost left. Relative Ways has never been in my top 100 TOD songs and I don’t think Conrad has ever managed to hit those high notes so it was all quite painful. Surprisingly, it was another song I never liked, The Best from Worlds Apart, that turned things around and had them back at what they do best – riot action prog rock. A few Jason songs with him careering around the place like the mentalist he is ( in the audience, up the speaker stacks) got everything properly started and from then on it was all good, if a bit ragged round the edges. Never having been the biggest followers of professionalism or, well, being in tune, they just pulled out all the old stuff and had fun with it, the new guys helping free up Conrad and Jason for more audience interation. Totally Natural, Richter Scale Madness and, of course, A Perfect Teenhood all got the extended fervoured spoken word extended middle treatment and were triple the fun. It all felt like a celebration, like those early days of mayhem and over-excitement. I felt quite nostalgic really. They may have never fulfilled their potential or made their millions but they still know how to work a crowd and how to entertain and how to make me laugh and that’s good enough for me.

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


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