Skip to main content

Biffy Clyro, Idlewild, Honeyblood - Concert in The Gardens 2015

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

Atmosphere may have been to the fore in the build up to Biffy Clyro's first live show in over a year, but when astronaut Tim Peake beamed down a pre-bells message from space, it all but stole everybody's thunder. By that time Idlewild's impeccably mannered frontman Roddy Woomble had predicted that it was too cold for even Biffy's vocalist and guitarist Simon Neil to take his top off, only for Neil to prove him wrong. With be-jerkined bass player James Johnston being the only band member to be sporting anything above the waist, what there was of Neil's billowing outfit gave him the appearance of a genie who had just burst free of his bottle.

Prior to this, Honeyblood's duo of singer and guitarist Stina Tweedale and drummer Cat Myers offset any potential for boys club machismo with a set of raw, drawled-out pop-rock bounce, while Idlewild's surprisingly funky brand of literate Celtic-tinged rock was the sound of a band in their grown-up prime.

With some very loud-looking speakers stacked up onstage, Biffy Clyro entered after a pre-show spin of Motorhead's Ace of Spades set the tone of things to come. Sure enough, while some of the band's stadium-size epics are leavened with a down-home sentimental warmth, new material from the forthcoming follow-up to 2013's Opposites album suggests that Biffy's fleshed-out line-up are keen to get back to their sludgier, less anthemic roots. With all three bands having honed their craft in the sort of small venues that property developers and city planners would rather bulldoze away, this in itself was testament to their worth in what might well be a very loud 2016.

The Herald, January 4th 2015
 
ends



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…

Nomanslanding

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 …