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Showing posts from 2009

Whitehouse

Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Thu 6 September

For a quarter of a century, Whitehouse have existed in a flabby imaginary hinterland where late cock-er-knee geezer Mike Reid duets with shamed gang-master Gary Glitter. Or at least that’s how it seems as the double act of William Bennett on old-school techno clatter and Philip Best on incomprehensible potty-mouthed harangues play their first ever Edinburgh show, a treat made ever more possible since Bennett took up residence here.

Named after deceased anti-porn campaigner Mary Whitehouse, the duo’s shtick is simple. Two middle-aged geezers in market-trader shades offload a bucket load of venom before whipping their shirts off to show off their pasty flesh, throw X-Factor shapes and indulge in a spot of casual frottage. This is hardcore, then, on every level. Except, not really, because for all the sturm-und-drang relentlessness, their camp, cheeky-chappy charm comes on more Grumbleweeds than guerrilla warfare, resembling a pissed-up Gilbert …

Happy Mondays

Still Game

It may be 15 years since the last album by Happy Mondays, but as Neil Cooper finds out, Shaun Ryder refuses to act middle-aged

‘Hola!’ Shaun Ryder is just back from Spain, and has clearly been learning the language. In between shows leading up to next week’s T on the Fringe gig, though, the surprisingly sharp and decidedly affable Happy Mondays frontman is at home, ‘catching up on me telly. I’m really liking Heroes just now.’

Such an image of domesticity is a far cry from Happy Mondays’ Madchester heyday, when, by melding indie guitars to dancefloor shuffle, they more or less invented Baggy, democratising the dancefloor as they went. The Mondays’ shambolic gang mentality was a long way from the too-cool-for-school attitude that then prevailed in a music scene geared towards posh-boy students. Ryder and co proved anyone could do it. As original Mondays Ryder, Bez and Gaz Whelan return with Uncle Dysfunktional, the band’s first album of new material in 15 years, just how mello…