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flag Scotland - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 22 - 08/08/98

10 Day Weekend
Summer in Glasgow

Summer's traditionally quiet in Scotland, though it's not what you'd call summer anyway, but in an attempt to liven up things a bunch of chancers have started off a series of events called the 10-Day weekend. A load of gigs, films and talks crammed into 10 days, these stave off the lonely nights before autumn when the gig season starts again.

The proceedings started off with Alan McGee, head of Creation and the man who gave us Oasis, 'in conversation'. He explained his 'vision' of how the music industry in the UK (and I suppose, the world over) will change in the coming years. He sees the Internet (hey! that's us!) as taking off to the point where the large record companies won't have any need to exist any more as bands will simply sell their releases over the internet or as downloadable sound files to CD burners.

His other current interest is in radio - he has bid for a new radio licence in Central Scotland which will go to a non-mainstream station (everything from dance to jazz to Christian stations have bid). I asked him if he planned to have worldwide webcasts from his station if he gets the licence. He said they certainly would if possible. As we know, technically this is very straightforward, but the BBC only this week removed all RealAudio streams from its website due to copyright problems.

Finally, McGee talked a bit about the success of Creation, saying (in jest, I think) that "he was the most surprised person when Primal Scream had a hit single" and "Rod Stewart does Bobby Gillespie's songs better"!

On then to the Nice'n'Sleazy's where a slimmed-down Macrocosmica are trying out some new material and playing a few old favourites. As usual they rock really hard, deafening the audience good and proper. Headliners AC Acoustics, perhaps inspired by the patronage of Placebo, have changed in style quite considerably since the days of Able Treasury, more pop than grunge, and though more recent songs like Stunt Girl are fine pop tunes, can I be the first to say "I prefered their earlier stuff"?

There have been a few innovative things at the Weekend, such as showings of classic films like Rude Boy and Urgh! A Music War, talks on the makings of classic albums - the first being The Associates' Sulk, and a debate on the aforementioned radio licence - but the main thing is of course live music. Apart from the appearance of Vic Godard, surfacing after some years in the wilderness, there is the closing night extravaganza of The Delgados plus friends. El Hombre Trajeado is a band whose music I like but I can't be doing with their lyrics. Good news for me at least, then, that the sound here is incredibly muffled to the point where no-one can understand a word the vocalist is singing. They're in that Slint area, a bit jazzy too, 11th Dream Day, anyone?

6 by 7 are - well, when I say that I've seen the Delgados half a dozen times and they've never brought a downright bad support act along... 6 by 7 just about break this cycle, though their first song sounds like Anarchy in the UK - hardly a bad start - but after that it's all downhill. A few good moments for sure, they enjoy rocking out, but they eventually get all angst-ridden-Radioheady on us. A band who really aren't sure what they want to be - variety is a fine thing, but it doesn't always make any sense if you want people to listen.

The Delgados have variety for sure, they have chosen the Mitchell Theatre as the venue for tonight so that they can showcase the songs from Peloton better, with the string and woodwind section. They go the whole hog too, with a couple of projectors which display the song titles (so no need for audience interaction) and some arty flashing film loops. They do the songs more-or-less in order from the album, and though they sound like they're on form, this is only what I can guess from the muddy sound which contrives to muffle Alun's vocals. Emma sounds fine, but again, is occasionally drowned out by the backing and on Repeat Fail she has to scream over the backing. So the whole spectacle is just that, better visually than aurally - the effect of strobes and flying silver paper on The Weaker Argument is particularly pleasing to the eye. Just a shame that from our comfy chairs in the auditorium, our ears weren't as rested as our bodies were.

Well, next month we move east to the Edinburgh International Festival - well, to be exact, a couple of sweaty pubs just behind the castle where a pop extravaganza is being planned. Stay tuned...

Copyright © 1998 Stuart McHugh

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