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What’s worse than thousands of dawdling tourists?

Posted: August 10th, 2002, by Marceline Smith

Thousands of dawdling tourists WITH UMBRELLAS!

Hello, I’m back from a day in Festival frenzied Edinburgh. Can you tell? It was precisely while stumbling my way between people with umbrellas bigger than my house that I began to feel the beginnings of regret in choosing the acoustic niceness in Edinburgh over the crazy rock in Glasgow. But, hey, I got to eat pizza and watch Top of the Pops with Elizabeth. That was an experience in itself, not having a TV in diskant HQ and not having watched TOTP in a very long time. We were mostly struck by some new American boy band doing the live vocal acoustic slow number on stools thing and, astonishingly, being able to play instruments but not be able to sing in tune. What’s happening? In my day boy bands couldn’t sing or play any instruments and quite often they were quite ugly and couldn’t dance either. Then we got American boy bands who made a point of doing staggeringly dull acapella nonsense at every opportunity to prove that actually they could sing. If I could remember this new band’s name I’d be vaguely interested in whether their new boyband format actually works.

Anyway…fun though that was, I was over to see Chris Brokaw, James Orr Complex and the wee Stuart Mogwai. Except I’d been enjoying TOTP too much and having slight troubles finding the entrance to the venue and so missed most of Stuart’s set – booo! I did get to hear Cody though so I was happy enough. The whole night was one of those quick changeover and then kick out everyone so we can set up some crappy club night deals which annoy the hell out of me. The venue was really nice but give the promoters the time to spread the show out, give people time to arrive and enjoy the evening. So Stuart was quickly followed by the James Orr Complex aka Chris Mack who I’ve not seen for a while. He was damn lovely as always, intricate melodies tripping over themselves, the vocals translating emotion into poetry. And all honest, humble and friendly. Album out in a couple of months on Rock Action. You’d be an idiot not to buy it.

Another quicksmart stage swap and here we have Chris Brokaw, formerly of Come. I’ve not got anything by Come though so forgive me my viewpoint of ignorance. His presence was much more assured with more volume and power. The instrumental songs kept my attention in the main with the vocal tracks giving a helping jolt from the dreamy lull it was easy to slip into. The tracks I liked best were when he just riffed up some distorted noise in loops and waves. It was kind of like when Unwound hit the perfect riff and just keep at it and you wish they’d never stop, that the record would have one of those infinite grooves and it would go on forever. Yeah, it was like that. I could have done with way more from everyone. It should have been in a dark draped basement and carried on til dawn, taking shots and requests, making stuff up as it goes along. After felt too early, too wrong. I came home.

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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