Skip to main content

Et tu Brutus

Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
Wed March 20th 2013
Edinburgh scene super-groups don't come along every day, yet the 
arrival of Et tu Brutus opening a four-band House of Crust bill 
headlined by Californian punks, Fracas, is a tantalising prospect. 
Initiated by Edinburgh School For the Deaf/St Judes Infirmary/Young 
Spooks/Naked auteur Grant Campbell and The Leg's Dan Mutch as a studio 
project, the pair have drafted in a rhythm section of Leg drummer Alun 
Thomas and former Sara and the Snakes guitarist Andy Brown to put flesh 
on the skinny-assed bones of Campbell and Mutch's avant-garage hardcore 

With Campbell wielding a microphone/intercom set-up that looks and 
sounds like it was looted from a 1950s black cab, the muffled fuzz 
gives the words he reads from A4 sheets of paper a rawness that's 
accentuated by the band's wilfully no-fi sound helmed by Mutch's 
guitar, which is played relentlessly, veering off into all kinds of odd 
angles before barraging its way home.

Thomas' intricate guitar patterns give things an equally adventurous 
air, while Brown's meat and two veg bass playing recalls Steve Hanley 
during classic era Fall. Until he starts playing it with a 
cheese-grater, that is, which is when things really start to shake, 
rattle and roll.

The six song set is all Et tu Brutus have for the moment, but the 
hellfire intensity that pulses them is still worth getting stabbed in 
the back for.

The List, April 2013



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…