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Trail of Dead / Smog

Posted: April 28th, 2002, by Marceline Smith

Oh dear, I can’t keep up with myself. I’m trying to extend my rock escapades into a third week and managing quite successfully. Just as my ATP hangover was beginning to fade I met up with my boys from Trail of Dead and went to party. Well, first we went to have a very nice dinner in a west end pub and then Trail of Dead played their rock in the QMU. They were preceded by two support bands though – Sunshine were a rather ace hardcore plus electronics noise rock band with numerous keyboards and pedals littering the stage while The Vue were really really dull garage rock. Bet the NME loves them. Also the singer looks like the guy from Starsailor- nooooo!

I stood at the back of the stage for Trail of Dead and took lots of rather good photos as they showed off what months of touring has done for them. Needless to say they were utterly fantastic with the stagediving antics never getting in the way of a damn good tune. I was supposed to leave half way through to go and see The New Year but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. If I had I would have missed the fun of Jason kicking the drumkit across the stage and Neil flinging a mic stand skywards before they all ran to each other and wrestled on the floor until Neil’s amp toppled and their weak little arms struggled to prevent it crushing them to death. Then they collapsed on the floor and eventually dragged themselves off stage, Kevin jauntily collecting his undamaged glasses on the way. The long walk back to the dressing room was barred by hundreds of people wanting a piece of Conrad’s ass so I skipped up in the lift and drank half their bourbon – hoho. Then it was off to the 13th Note to party although that nearly didn’t happen when the doorman advised me he wasn’t going to let Neil in ‘cos he was drinking in the streets [again]. All worked out though once we bribed him with $100 [nah, only kidding]. Um, I can’t remember much about the partying except for people continually buying me drinks, even when I was already holding one! There was some arm wrestling going on as I made my goodbyes and stumbled off to find the night bus. I miss those guys already. Still a couple of dates left on their tour – go see!

Last night I went to see Smog as an apology for missing The New Year but went with some trepidation as the general consensus on his set at ATP was that he was rubbish. I didn’t see him there myself apart from that running gag every time we stepped outside into the fog on Saturday (“Is Smog still playing?” etc.). I missed the support because, um, I was too lazy to leave the house earlier. Anyway, Smog for tonight was just Bill Callahan with an electric guitar and his superbly mournful voice. And, hmm, I don’t know what to say about it all really. There’s no denying that’s he’s got some great songs but there was something not quite right going on here. He seemed exceptionally tired, spending a good five minutes between songs sighing and yawning and forming chords on his guitar before dropping his hands heavily to his sides. He did strike up a bit of a rapport with the crowd though, chatting to hecklers and caling for requests. I dunno, I think I just felt he wasn’t bothered enough, that he’d rather not be playing and at one point it really seemed like he was singing his songs over random guitar chordage. I’d definitely go and see him again but I wouldn’t make any huge effort over it in case he wasn’t feeling like putting in any effort either.

Cinematic Orchestra, wee Stuart Braithwaite and Arab Strap today. Most exciting Sunday I’ve had in ages [well, apart from last Sunday…]

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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