Louise McVey and Cracks in the Concrete, La Somnambule, Fur Hood live at Stereo in Glasgow
What's the world coming to? You ask for a pint of Guinness and you get a can of Guinness that has been put on some sort of shaking device. The bartender says it tastes the same as the real thing - a pantomime voice in the distance goes "…oh no it doesn't!" - then admits he is not a Guinness drinker. Exit stage left in search of the real thing. She serves the real thing. She smiles as I tell her my tale. Real Guinness and sympathy - that's more what I was looking for. Once more at peace, it's time to cross the road to a Ten Tracks night at Stereo to put pen to paper on Louise McVey and Cracks in the Concrete, Fur Hood and La Somnambule.
La Somnambule are first. They're less of a songs band and more of a mood band. They could, of course, just be at the forefront of some sort of underground beatnik revival but there was an undeniable charm to their rounded off tunes punctuated, as they were, with fragments of guitar and drifting plaintive vocals. I reckon that if you were to wrap the Jesus and Mary Chain in candyfloss and cardigans, you'd get something very similar to this band's sound.
Less charming were Fur Hood. Showing the kind of calculated petulance that you would expect of teenage boys expressing themselves in music, Fur Hood gave a rambling and unfocussed performance that suggested they might benefit from the purchase of a sat-nav to guide their songs from start to finish in a timely manner. Hit or miss? That's an easy question to answer.
Last on were Louise McVey and Cracks in the Concrete. Again, this was a band that built their songs from fragments - piano figures dance in and out, guitar riffs that chop the structure of a song up with surgical precision - but they glue it all together with the sultry, entrancing voice of a siren. In this digital age, this band is an anachronism. Ones and zeroes can't do them justice. Their music cries out for the spinning splendour of vinyl. You see, it's possible to capture magic in those grooves for that's what they have and seeing them live leaves you with more than a song in your head on the way home.
Out once more into the dark for that free freak show that is Glasgow at night with a song in my head and something else in my heart.
April 7, 2010
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