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The Nectarine No 9

Rutherglen Town Hall
Five stars
By opting to reconvene after a decade to perform their 1995 Saint Jack
album in full, Davy Henderson's Edinburgh-sired guitar auteurs The
Nectarine No 9 proved themselves as maverick as the End Social
programme that hosted them to remind the kids where their new pop idols
learnt their chops. With the final Nectarines line-up having morphed
into the still utterly essential The Sexual Objects, it wasn't that
hard to round up the troops to recreate Saint Jack's poundingly dark
mix of skewed rock and roll eclectica. Ever the conceptualists,
however, Henderson and co don't do things by rote.

With the opening screening of silent movie, Death of the Kelly Family,
mutating into a Stan Brakhage style abstraction, Douglas MacIntyre
strikes up a garage-band bass-line before drummer Ian Holford comes on
sporting raincoat and boxer shorts. Holford remains standing to take
lead vocals on the magnificently named Couldn't Phone Potatoes as
Henderson and guitarists Simon Smeeton and Graham Wann wander on.

Unlike similar work-outs by more lauded acts, what follows accentuates
the album's multitude of subtleties or else reinvents the songs
entirely. Can't Scratch Out, an insistent jab of a song on record, is
helmed in by a complex and restrained arrangement and a whispered vocal
more resembling something by Sam Prekop. The emotional purging of
Unloaded For You becomes an appositely jaunty number recalling
swing-era Subway Sect.

Poet Jock Scott's contributions are heard from the ether, while the
instrumentals sound like twitchily inventive pre-cursors to what we now
know as post-rock in a thrilling reminder of why The Nectarine No 9
were and still are one of the most important bands alive.

The Herald, June 9th 2014


ends

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