Archive for March 2nd, 2006

The Violent Femmes – Shepherd’s Bush Empire (26 February 2006)

Sometimes I can’t help but ask just why the hell I do stuff like this to myself. By rights I should be in bed peacefully recovering from the previous day’s rocking and rolling. But no, that would be far too easy/sensible. Instead I find myself running round the London Underground refusing to believe that there are genuinely two stations called Shepherd’s Bush which have absolutely no relation to each other.

Of course when I talk to people about traveling to so often to gigs, I always semi-jokingly explain that I really don’t have a life. When I say that I’m alluding to the fact that doing so does have a certain obsessive fanboy-type aura about it, or that, genuinely, these days there’s not even a cat that I need to think about feeding. Just how empty is my existence that I have to wander the length and breadth of the land desperately in search of some fleeting moments of happiness?

Of course, if that’s so, then this is one of those tomes of ecstatic sheer joy that’s just gonna make me do it all the more. Actually, thinking about this, I realise it happens a lot more than you’d think. And, no matter how many gigs you attend it always comes as something of a surprise that music can reach inside and move you such a level of emotion. It’s great that way. However, this time I danced like a tit and sang along to everything, arms aloft and grinning at complete strangers. Even more than usual. What must life be like for the Coldplay fans?

So, what was the highlight of all this fervor? Is the addition of Dr Eugene Chadbourne on Jesus Walking On The Water that transfers the band to some mutant bluegrass supergroup?
I Held Her In My Arms‘s insistence on being a heartbroken misery in the face of happiness? . Or the jazz idiocy of Black Girls? Nah. It’s all of it!! Next time I’m going to all their dates.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

02 March 2006 at 5:33 pm

Posted in Gigs

Julian Cope – QMU (25 February 2006)

Pictures courtesy of Joste Bowen. Well, I say courtesy, he was positively rude about it.

Blurry HippyIt’s that time of the week where I post about something Julian Cope has released/performed/whatever. Or, at least it seems like that. And, to be honest, probably everything I’ve said about him on here has probably seemed rather negative and sounded deeply disappointed. Often, this may be somewhat over amplified. It’s just that the man can be so near to transcendent that when he misses the mark he’s got so much further to fall (and not just because of the six-inch platforms). Mr EAlthough having always (well from an early stage at least) released off the wall side projects to compliment his ‘proper’ albums, recently these have been becoming less and less separately identifiable. Thanks to the success of his books (mainly the megalith ones) he can release this work on his own label, unfortunately this has led to an increasing lack of any editorial input at all.

DoggenAnd, so to the current tour. Still on his faux-metal trip, we are presented with the three piece that were Brain Donor back in September. In addition to the stuff that they did back then that later surfaced on Dark Orgasm, we get a mix of Cope ‘classics’ from across his career (yes, including the “shut your mouth song”), and one BD track. Maybe it’s thinning of the latter that means this is a much more focused and entertaining band than four months ago? In fact, this is probably the best performance I’ve seen from the man in over two years. I’m kinda kicking myself for not catching any other dates on the tour. It’s not monumental, and didn’t really inspire me to go dig out either of last years albums. Largely the overt metal trappings feel tacked on top as decoration, not intrinsic to the music.

They finish with an inexplicably dirged down version of Spacehopper, hardly a song that has any real substance to warrant the reworking. I’ve been told that when The Teardrop Explodes originally did the track it was in this style. Well seeing it never saw the light of day back then, then.

Written by Tony Kiernan

02 March 2006 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Gigs