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Sonic Youth, Barrowlands, Glasgow

Posted: September 2nd, 2004, by Marceline Smith

I went to see Sonic Youth last night and they were great! Despite having borrowed my first Sonic Youth album in about 1990 (EVOL from Elgin Library, if you’re interested), I never got the chance to see them live until the disaster that was ATP2000. So I was very very very excited to get a chance to see them play a proper set.

Due to the Barrowlands usual early doors nonsense, I arrived to find Decaer Pinga finishing off their set. It was certainly intriguing and fun to see about 6 people onstage at the Barras making layered drones with tape recorders, clicky things, dansettes and things with lots of knobs to fiddle with. There was an element of the audience who were not impressed but either the majority were enjoying it or that was a very loud sarcastic applause. I’m not sure if I liked it but I sure enjoyed it.

As soon as they left, two tiny Japanese girls ran about on stage setting up some drums and then reappeared 10 minutes later dressed in identical red outfits with mini skirts and tinsel and proceeded to yelp and squeal and batter the hell out of their drums and guitar, respectively. They were Afri Rampo and the whole audience was bewitched with adoration immediately. I’ve never seen a band having so much fun, running around, standing on the drums and beaming with sheer happiness. If they were playing on a trampoline under a shower of glitter and sweets they still couldn’t have looked happier.

And then it were time for Sonic Youth. Due to the No Pit Access rule, I was unable to take any photos ‘cos of my smallness, so I wandered over to my usual spot, a slightly raised bit beside the stage door. Means I also got to see SY up close and Kim is smaller then I expected and Thurston really does look like a stretched, aged toddler.

But, aye, Sonic Youth were awesome. Almost entirely stuff from the most recent couple of albums with lots from Sonic Nurse which suits me as that’s what I’ve been listening to a lot. And it all sounded great – lots of pop tunes and big swathes of noise mentalism. Thurston was running around like mad, rubbing his guitar up against speakers and bouncers and his own head, and even licking the strings. Mmm. Kim was looking amazing in a glittery black dress, ditching the guitars for a few songs to just sing and shimmy. And Lee looks like someone’s dad wandered on stage but his songs were two of my favourites of the night.

See this thread at Plan B for some ace photos taken by my mate Mark who is much taller than me.

Thanks Sonic Youth for not being terrible again! We’ll call this slightly in your favour. Next good set and I’ll stop moaning about ATP2000. Deal?

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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