Skip to main content

I Murder Hate - On-U-Sound do Burns

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh/Tolbooth, Stirling
4 stars
“Robbie Burns, we know you’re not dead, it’s just a different frequency,” Ghetto Priest declaims during the culmination of a remarkable collaboration between artist Graham Fagen and Dub producer Adrian Sherwood, which sets the bard’s lyrics to a reggae backing. Commissioned by the Tolbooth’s Blend festival of roots music to coincide with Fagen’s Somebodyelse exhibition in the centre’s adjoining Changing Room gallery, the result is a live extension of Fagen’s earlier Clean Hands Pure Heart project. Where then Sherwood reinvented Auld Lang Syne and The Slave’s Lament, here the full band tackle I Murder Hate, A Red, Red Rose, The Tree of Liberty and A Man’s A Man For A’ That in a magnificent hybrid of styles.

The night before, Sherwood, Ghetto Priest and percussionist Pete Lockett re-launched Sherwood’s On-U-Sound record label at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms with an extended set of chilled-out Dub, replete with Sherwood’s maverick sonic trickery. With Saturday’s two sets augmented by veteran On-U-Sound guitarist Skip MacDonald and folk picker Ian King, the band warmed up with MacDonald’s solo Afro-delic blues and a Ewan MacColl cover.

Following a percussion solo by Lockett, the band tackle all six Burns songs with maximum respect, not least from Sherwood, who mans the controls at the back of the room, lobbing little explosions into the mix, but never drowning out Ghetto Priest’s honeyed vocals. A Red, Red Rose is transformed into the sweetest lover’s rock, while The Tree of Liberty becomes a rolling centrepiece that could happily go on for ever. By the time Ghetto Priest attempts to cast MacDonald’s guitar notes into the spiritual ether, you’d happily hang around twice as long.

The Herald, March 16th 2009



Popular posts from this blog

Ron Butlin - The Sound of My Voice

When Ron Butlin saw a man who’d just asked him the time throw himself under a train on the Paris Metro, it was a turning point in how his 1987 novel, The Sound Of My Voice, would turn out. Twenty years on, Butlin’s tale of suburban family man Morris Magellan’s existential crisis and his subsequent slide into alcoholism is regarded as a lost classic. Prime material, then, for the very intimate stage adaptation which opens in the Citizens Theatre’s tiny Stalls Studio tonight. “I had this friend in London who was an alcoholic,” Butlin recalls. “He would go off to work in the civil service in the morning looking absolutely immaculate. Then at night we’d meet, and he’s get mega-blootered, then go home and continue drinking and end up in a really bad state. I remember staying over one night, and he’d emerge from his room looking immaculate again. There was this huge contrast between what was going on outside and what was going on inside.” We’re sitting in a café on Edinburgh’s south sid

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL