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Vic Godard and the Subway Sect/The Sexual Objects

Citrus, Edinburgh
5 stars
Vic Godard and Davy Henderson are two of the most significant musical mavericks to walk this earth. Both arriving on the scene in the fall-out of punk, Godard’s Subway Sect and Henderson’s Fire Engines created something wilfully skewed and bone-shakingly primal, and which was steeped as much in avant-garde thought as garage band tradition. This double bill of Godard’s latest incarnation of The Subway Sect and Henderson’s latest guise as The Sexual Objects, then, was a master-class in experience, ideas and inspiration which a million and one ‘indie’ bands should bow down to.

The Sexual Objects are a short, sharp shock of deceptively straight-ahead rock drawl. With guitarist Simon Smeeton on a weekend break in France, Graham Wann of nouveau Sound of Young Scotland types Bricolage is drafted in to add an extra edge to a loose-knit set of six songs (because that’s all they have) that suggest a new boogie-doo-wop underground is being forged. It closes with Henderson on his knees twisting the knobs of a phaser that sends the whole thing into outer space.

Godard wears a blazer and spectacles that give off a raffish country club vibe. As he and his young band rifle through his back pages of tin-pan alley existentialism and punk chansons, the result is more music hall crooner filtered through northern soul with an eccentric pop twist. Anyone who can forget an entire verse of their finest moment, Ambition, because, as Godard confesses, he started to think of his wife making his sandwiches, is a star on any level. There were at least two geniuses onstage tonight. They should be cherished.

The Herald, November 17th 2008

ends

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