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Scars

Picture House, Edinburgh
4 stars
if there’s one song that sums up the thrilling return of Edinburgh’s
original post-punk fabulists, it’s Yesterday’s Kids. This is not a
Scars song, but is an anthem penned and performed by support act Shock
and Awe, whose singer Murray Ramone was instrumental in bringing the
main act’s disparate elements together for this show to promote the new
Grassmarket presence of Avalanche Records. By the time Scars take the
stage, we’ve traversed thirty years of home-grown indie-pop, with
ballboy’s john Peel friendly miniatures and TV 21’s power pop leading
the charge.

Scars themselves launch into the Clockwork Orange referencing
Horrorshow with a conciously melodramatic flourish. Singer Robert
King’s twisted cherub curls may be long gone, but, with the words ‘Marc
Bolan’ scrawled on his leathered-up chest, he strikes poses like a
cyperpunk stick-insect Nosferatu to a musical backdrop possessed with a
startling urgency. This is most apparent in the guitar work of Paul
Research/Mackie, whose metallic but melodious chimes are easily up
there with John McGeogh or Johnny Marr.

Most of Scars Author! Author! album is unleashed in arrangements that
are as fresh as they are ambitious in structure and delivery. King
becomes more messianic as the set progresses, and by the time they
reach a cover of Cockney Rebel’s Psychomodo, the second coming is
complete. Later at a more bijou aftershow gig, King, Research and co
are joined by Shock and Awe and Rezillos guitarist Jo Callis for a
trilogy of Johnny Thunders epics, a version of David Essex’s Silver
Dream Machine and a revisitation of Yesterday’s Kids, with King
scatting an autobiographical yarn like a man who fully understands
exactly why his band matter.

The Herald, December 31st 2010

ends

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