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flag Scotland - Full Moon 34 - 07/28/99

Nice'n'Sleazy's, Glasgow, July 17th 1999

'An Evening of Stealth Rock' is what the flyer says, and, within the confines of that description, is what we get. Genres however are a tricky cove, pigeonholing bands is either a source of worry or great amusement depending on your preference.

Take Aereogramme for instance - the label says '', but they say NOT, being from Glasgow like all tonight's bands. They do look however like doppelgangers for members of Grandaddy, Green Day and Tad (a slimmer, better looking Tad, I hasten to add). And their sound is a bit Rex, a bit Shellac, though oddly not much like Slint at all. Bearing in mind that I appear to have come to the wrong city at the wrong end of the decade, this isn't such a bad state of affairs. Their sound, then, well, the opening song could indeed be mistaken for something of that US indie genre, but much of their set is instrumental, and the Glaswegian/stealth/math tag does apply, at least some of the time. The openers, by the way, feature one Craig B (he's the be-hatted, bearded one), formerly of Ganger, and famous connections is (apart from the stealth-rock bit) the common theme of tonight's bands.

concertpic Thus, Eska used to have a famous member, or at least used to drink in the same pub as Stuart out of Mogwai. There the comparison ends, and I'm not sure what the Mogwai fans who have come to study indie-rock geneaology would have made of Eska, but they are not much like their Gremlin-monickered cousins at all. Tough they don't do many 'songs' and what they do produce doesn't have loud/quiet/LOUD structures. There's occasionally more of a Bogshed element to their art rather than the Sl-band, but this mingles with decidedly prog tendencies - they're tighter than the wrong end of most acquatic creatures, Willie the drummer impressing in particular, and with their niiice interplay - Gentle Giant meets Brand X, for you genre-spotters out there - a contract with Guided Missile surely awaits.

concertpic And so to Macrocosmica, headlining and gratifyingly retaining most of the audience, if not all the photographers. Their genre preference is Very Metal and although they've tempered (!) their sound of late they do still sound like Ozzy Osbourne meeting a Sherman tank head-on. The audience were doubtless gratified to hear that they have gone back to a mix of tunes along with frighteningly noisy rhythms, like on their groundbreaking Ad Astra album (many had feared that their death metal direction of late was more than a passing phase). The dictionary definition of 'stealth' says that "detection via sonar is made difficult, and progress is inperceptible"... Macrocosmica more that the others fail to meet that definition, but you wouldn't miss any of the bands in a crowd.

Copyright © 1999 Stuart McHugh e-mail address

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