Friday, March 04, 2005

A missive from Monorail Music to those in the greater Metropolitan area of Glasgow...

Monorail Music12 Kin
"Monorail is proud to announce the launch party for Alasdair Roberts' excellent new album, No Earthly Man. We are often found listening to Roberts' music, his crisp Caledonian tongue ringing out on a bright afternoon with impressive, austere authority. Roberts moves purposely forward with every release, and on No Earthly Man he presents a set of traditional British ballads and songs, each concerned with death. If this idea seems potentially drab or gothic, the album is far from. It is a celebratory, sometimes positively joyous album, lovingly sourced and compiled (often from different versions of the songs) by Roberts, who manages to bridge the worlds of historian and singer unselfconsciously and brilliantly. No Earthly Man is produced by fellow traveller, Will Oldham."

Further info at Monorail Music

12 Kings Court, King Street, Glasgow, G1 5RB. 0141 552 9456
So what validates the “brand” of a band for you? I’m talking about a combo who meant something in a previous dimension that maybe disbanded, or didn’t play for a while or well, just about any combination of all that. For me, I think that at least two previous members should be involved. If something is particularly good with just the one then I’d let it slide but that is almost never the case. I bring this up because I saw “The Saints” last night and to be honest, it wasn’t very good. It didn’t outright stink but it was very pedestrian. Had it been billed as a Chris Bailey show then the low expectations may have been ratified. He’s a disarming enough performer but his “band”, nice guys as I’m sure they are, just don’t cut it. “I’m Stranded” was the second song in the set and it appeared to be set on muffle. In fact, despite the guitar wrangling aerobics of Chris’ axeman the sound was decidedly fluffy. The loudness usually associated with The Saints clout just wasn’t there. And it wasn’t the club PA, because earlier The Primevals kicked up a gutsy, strident traipse through their not insubstantial back catalogue in readiness for a collection that should be out on Last Call in May. The Primevals always existed outside the axis of Glasgow pop and were somewhat more successful in Europe than they ever were in the UK. The straddled a kinda Gun Club meets Radio Birdman terrain with a soul bravado that sounded really sharp last night. If they can do this after two rehearsals then two dozen shows down the road, they’ll take your head off. This manifestation of that “brand” consists of people who have been involved in and around the band for a while. Their contributions allow the material to breathe and take on additional matured shape. The shapes that Chris’ most recent Saints throw are altogether more superficial and I don’t get any pleasure out of saying that. When you see Bailey with a real band like The Nomads, hammering out his “I’m Stranded” hymn then maybe it sets the bar too high. What can I tell ya? Mr Spence told me that they were better than they were eight years ago. There may be some solace there but not for me.

RIP - MARTIN DENNY... the great grandfather of exotica is gone!