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flag Scotland - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 28 - 01/31/99

Nice'n'Sleazy, Glasgow, January 19th 1999

"Is Frances on the left?" whispers someone to me. I nod. "Hmm, she must be quite old by now, but I couldn't tell." Personally I couldn't say what age Frances McKee joined the Vaselines, when you think about what age the BMX Bandits were when they started, well, she could still be in her mid-twenties. "I don't know". Never guess a woman's age, especially if she's a rock musician.

After quite a while out of the live circuit, Frances, complete with new band, have decided to confront the animal that is live rock again. You wouldn't know that this was the band's 2nd gig, or that Vicky hadn't played live anywhere until tonight. In fact, the Vaselines are just a distant memory (and I won't mention them again in this review). There are no calls from the audience for Molly's Lips, which you might have expected. Perhaps the tone was set for the evening with the appearance of flautist Eleanor, no room for C86-style shambling here. In fact, not much room onstage, with the 6-piece (featuring McKee sibling Marie and bassist Alan stage right) generating a rich, almost dense sound. The songs that Suckle play are a million miles removed from, well, anything really - high on atmospherics, yet somehow catchy too. Frances says of Saturn: "This is the fast one", but that's relative, the pace doesn't get too frantic, always relaxed and under control.

At times the songs have a sense of forboding, like Nothing, other times they're more upbeat, driven as they are by Kenny (and it's good to see him back on stage following Long Fin Killie's split). The band work the audience like they're long-time fans, certainly the band play like a bunch of old pros, even if that description's only half right... yes, they are a polished and professional live act, in case you were wondering. Welcome (back) to the rock'n'roll circus.

Note: Suckle was the opening band for the Delgados this evening.

Copyright © 1999 Stuart McHugh e-mail address

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