Skip to main content

Various – Some Songs Side By Side (Stereo/Watts of Goodwill/RE:PEATER)

4 stars
So-called 'regional' album compilations were crucial statements of 
independence during the post-punk fall-out that briefly shook up the 
bone-idle London-centric record company hegemony. Snapshot documents of 
blink-and-you'll-miss-em scenes in Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, 
Brighton and other cities proliferated on shoestring DIY labels, which, 
politically, were as much about self-determination as music.

By collecting and selecting new material from eight Glasgow-based acts, 
this new collaboration between three of the city's micro-labels 
(including the debut release by venue Stereo) does something similar in 
capturing the here-and-nowness of a fecund and forever-changing 
independent musical landscape.

Tut Vu Vu, Palms, Organs of Love, Gummy Stumps, Sacred Paws, The Rosy 
Crucifixion, Muscles of Joy, Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lock 
Pickers all present new work in an elaborate box set made up of two 12” 
vinyl LPs, a CD and a booklet featuring an essay by former Belle and 
Sebastian manager John Williamson, plus new artworks from the likes of 
David Shrigley and Richard Wright.

In execution, this more reflects the spirit of the Edinburgh-based Fast 
Product label's three Earcom compilations, released in 1979. Like them, 
this vital collection puts visual presentation to the fore in a way 
that demonstrates the umbilical links between art-forms that keep 
'local' scenes so vital.

The List, December 2012



Popular posts from this blog

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…


Tramway, Glasgow until July 2nd
Four stars

In the dead of night, the audience are split in two and led under-cover into lamp-lit tented structures. Inside, what look like peasant women on the run lead us down a ramp and into a large circular pod. It feels part cathedral, part space-ship, and to come blinking into the light of such a fantastical structure after stumbling in the dark disorientates and overwhelms. Sat around the pod as if awaiting prayers to begin, we watch as performers Nerea Bello and Judith Williams incant mournfully on either side of the room. Their keening chorales embark on a voyage of their own, twisting around each other by way of the international language of singing. As if in sympathy, the walls wail and whisper, before starting to move as those on either side of the pod are left stranded, a gulf between them.

This international co-commission between Glasgow Life and the Merchant City Festival, Sydney Harbour Foreshaw Authority in Australia and Urbane Kienste …


Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Four stars

A flying saucer orbits over Edinburgh Castle before landing outside the Usher Hall. That's the story anyway according to the animated visuals for this 3D extravaganza from the original electronic boy band. Whether the alien craft is responsible for depositing the over-excited stage invader who briefly manages to jump aboard mid-set isn't on record. The four men of a certain age lined up hunched over fairy-lit consoles and sporting LED laced Lycra outfits as they pump out their hugely influential back-catalogue of retro-futuristic electro-pop remain oblivious.

There is nevertheless a sublime display of humanity on display. The quartet of Ralf Hutter, Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert and Falk Grieffenhagen lend a surprising warmth to compositions given fresh pulse by the state of art visual display. While the band stand stock still at what appears to be a set of old-school keyboards, sound and vision are in perpetual motion. This is the case whethe…