Skip to main content

The Pop Group/The Sexual Objects

02 ABC, Glasgow
Four stars
Mark Stewart and Gareth Sager's reformed crew of original punk-funk provocateurs aren't an obvious choice for Celtic Connections. Then again, anyone who can mix up a multi-cultural stew of free jazz, dub and anti-capitalist agit-prop is more connected than most, as the Pop Group prove in their first Glasgow show for thirty-three years.

Tonight is also about celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the similarly eclectic Creeping Bent record label, and the evening begins with a set from The Sexual Objects, former Fire Engine Davy Henderson's latest groove-laden vehicle. Selections from their forthcoming second album are preceded by a magnificently audacious cover of You've Got The Power by Henderson's former band Win. Stripped of its 1980s production gloss, tonight it more resembles the Velvet Underground's What Goes On.

The Pop Group go one better with their opening clarion call of We Are All Prostitutes, as Stewart shrieks out his proclamations, towering over the crowd like a sniper, clutching his lyric sheets to his chest. Sager stabs out piercing guitar shards that take no prisoners, or else blows a strangled clarinet on the equally damning Thief of Fire. The sound is fleshed out by a youthful recruit on second guitar, with drummer Bruce Smith and bassist Dan Catsis providing the funk.

Stewart's prophecies of doom are nowhere better encapsulated than on the band's defining statement, She Is Beyond Good and Evil, which still sounds like the most dangerous song ever written. With Sager shimmying his way through a closing Where There's A Will and We Are Time, the end result is an incendiary call to arms and a soundtrack to a revolution you can dance to.

The Herald, January 20th 2014


ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …