John Cale – ABC (22 January 2007)

People of Glasgow, hang your heads. I don’t care if this is officially the most depressing day of the year. I don’t care if you’re all skint, it being before payday in January. This is John Cale! A bona fide legend, live on stage. A man that rock ‘n’ roll owes more to than it will ever be able to pay back. There are barely enough people in the ABC‘s cavernous main hall to fill King Tut’s. Shame on you.

But, this Celtic Connections audience (well, at least he’s Welsh) are determined to live up to the reputation that glaswegian audiences have for being the best in the world. and, besides, IT’S JOHN FUCKEN CALE!!!! On he comes and batters through some of his more recent more electro-infused numbers. Woo! IT’S JOHN FUCKEN CALE!!!! And, he’s being quite good. All punk sprayed hair and Patti style whiteshirtblacktie. IT’S JOHN FUCKEN CALE!!!!

But, after a couple of tracks, the novelty wears off and you begin to notice just how uninspired and session player filled his backing band are. His lumpy embarrassing-uncle moves stop being quite so endearing. And, ultimately the stench of Later… just becomes completely overwhelming. the voice is still brilliant. He plays some really astounding piano on one track. But, the whole thing is just too much of a lumpen muso rock-out. I’m reminded of the opening of some not very good Faith No More b-side, with the band never really igniting at any point. It gets dull and very single faceted. He finishes with a medley of songs (mainly his, but some he’s produced) which only serves to emphasise that so much of what’s gone on this evening could’ve been lumped in with them without the need to change key or tempo.

Maybe the rest of Glasgow caught him last time round…

Can I add a huge thanks to the bloke that gave me a ticket for free. I don’t think I was effusive enough at the time, but this was mainly because I was that stunned.


Written by Tony Kiernan

23 January 2007 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Gigs

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