Monday, 11 February 2013

Robin Guthrie Trio

Electric Circus, Edinburgh
4 stars
As My Bloody Valentine fever went into (interstellar) overdrive last 
week on the back of the surprise release of their first album for two 
decades, enraptured converts could have done worse than check out 
former Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie’s low-key shows to see where MBV 
copped some of their FX pedal moves from.
Previous visits by Guthrie have seen him playing atmospheric 
soundtracks to his own equally impressionistic films. With Australian 
bassist Steve Wheeler and Finnish drummer Antii Makinen co-opted into 
the fold, his new trio vehicle puts brevity to the fore in a series of 
instrumental sketches that drift between slowcore fuzziness and 
post-rock jauntiness. Each miniature is possessed too with a human 
warmth which at times borders on the sentimental.
Guthrie is a towering figure, whose bearded visage these days makes him 
resemble a hybrid of Vangelis, Jerry Garcia and John Martyn, a trio 
that reflects too on the different shades drawn from his exquisitely 
minimalist palette. There are times the simple bass lines and elaborate 
drum patterns recall long lost 4AD Records fellow travellers, Dif Juz, 
who Guthrie produced. Here, however, the washes of sound are looser, 
and not without levity as Guthrie messes up the opening of one number.
“Where’s your chat?” some wag shouts, but Guthrie only grins behind his 
beard. The only vocals of the night come from support act and former 
Ride vocalist Mark Gardener, who joined Guthrie for an encore of a 
co-written song that’s as up-beat, epic and triumphal as dream-pop can 
be. Guthrie ends the night with a solo piece that would make Pink Floyd 
guitarist Dave Gilmour blush, in this quietest of prodigals returns.
The Herald, February 11th 2013
ends

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