I had such great anticipation for the Yellow Movements Christmas Party, as you know on the whole my festival commitments during the Summer months are taken up by activities that distract me from experiencing the musical brilliance on offer. So when i got the rather wonderful invitation to review this festive day of musical delights. I was fare brimming over with excitement because I knew all of the Bands that played.
Independently as people and as friends but in some cases,Like Mercy las Vegas, Dohnut (The Band Formally Known As eating Disorder) I have never seen live. The Girobabies who I have seen, but for various reasons had never seen them perform their new album (Who Took) Utopia. So this day of musical adventure was a sure way of fitting in what i had missed during the Summer months.
I awoke early on the Morning of the Gig, Completed a heart process that had been working me and started to put my day into order, Make up, wardrobe and then an appointment with the hairdressers to reacquaint myself with the Mohawk that I so relished in the summer months. Today was an important day, so Divine had to look his best. I jumped onto the 1pm Megabus from Edinburgh to Glasgow. walked swiftly with helpful directions to The Barrowlands in search of Old St Lukes. Now Old St Lukes is Divines kind of venue, a renovated church with a brilliant massive mural outside depicting St Luke as a bull with wings. The only thing that was different from a church of worship, was the removal of the pews and the inclusion of a bar serving drinks. Everything else was still Divine and Holy. Church’s are built for sound as well as worship so it made complete sense for this to be a healing venue that would compliment the excellent selection of Rock N Roll performances that had gathered here today.
Divine arrived just in time to witness the early acoustic set from the Dijon Juniors. This was a heart warming performance with all the little ones thoroughly getting into the Mustards groove. With all of the audience participation that we have come to love and respect from The Good Colonel and the Dijon Five.
Next on stage came a rather wonderful cabaret section to the days entertainment, which incorporated musical delight, mime and comedy from a duo called The Creative Martyrs. A Brilliant Magician called The Great Aziz that produced white doves out of thin air. Everybody,s mouths dropped open and echo’s of, “How did he do that” wrung throughout the day. Also in this Cabaret section, The very beautiful Miss Peggy P, a ventriloquist with the most amazing green eyeshadow. Divine approved and the junior congregation lapped it up. Then the Rock n Roll warm up began. With a solo artist called Haystack Monolith. Delivering original songs with voice and guitar, with a rather wonderful spoken word poetry section.
Brass Aye! assembled on stage. A Brass band with a difference playing contemporary interpretations of modern classics and traditional Jazz in a very Punky fashion. The Woven Tents then graced the stage. To take the musical proceedings on a more progressive musical journey. Rich and original smoking numbers that got the jolly congregation swinging. The evening was revving up as this handsome band of talented musicians graced us with a warmth that left a lasting impression on Divinexx Good Time!
Now Have Mercy Las Vegas, are another band that stems from the same Eden fold as Divine. But because of Divine duties at the very wonderful Eden Festival. I have never had the delight of experiencing them before. From this point on I knew that the night was to become more and more spectacular as each moment passed. The excitement was building and everyone was dancing. And Yes Have Mercy Las Vegas did the night proud. There were so many people in the audience that I know and love, In the interval between Have Mercy Las Vegas, I was outside having a fag taking in the Saint Luke Mural depicting a bull with wings.. Wondering! Hmmm just what is the significance? I still dinnae know.
Things were really beginning to heat up with excitement for Jamie and Shoony. This was one of the main draws for Divine. I have been championing this brilliant. Rock N Roll band for a few years now. And have had the pleasure to watch them rise up through the ranks with deserved Rock N Roll Grace. Shoony has always played a mean guitar coupled with the amazing showmanship and vocal prowess of Jamie. I knew that this was gonna be a performance of excellence. The uninitiated were about to find out why.
Jamie is a true front man who sings through the whole of his being with a power and vitality that can only be seen as a true Rock n Roll Star within our midst. With total engagement with this capacity audience he had the venue in the palm of his hand. Shoony’s Musical prowess as a guitarist also sang with a confidence, reminiscent of David Bowie, Scary Monsters era. Thoroughly captivating, With a brilliant rhythm section to compliment proceedings. The performance was also filmed for a future video release. The Yellow Movement Christmas Party was becoming more and more spectacular by the moment. Its a good job I’m fit, dancing for six hours is fun and with three more hours to dance. I summoned the angels to sooth my tired legs and energized back to dancing strength.
Next up, another example of Scotland’s brilliant rising unsigned Brilliance. Supa N DaKryptonites Just like Jamie and Shoony. Divine has championed them for some time. Lead by the amazing jay Jay Supa one of Divines favorite MC’s I was first mesmerized by Jay’s Vocal prowess when he was MCing at one the Beatmasters DnB gigz in Edinburgh. Then had the Joy of reviewing their first incarnation play at Audio Soups Winter Bash last year. Since that time this band of musicians have performed some of Scotlands biggest stages. With mesmerizing success its been a brilliant year for this rock n roll unit. With a superb horn Section, Supa N DaKryptonites certainly perform with a big band excellence that is at once unique as it is entertaining. A well rehearsed band on the rise. moving from strength to strength. The groove was Getting Groovier. The fun was getting funkier.
Like all the right components of a really yummy Christmas Cake coming together, The Yellow Movements Christmas Party was becoming Yummiest Christmas Cake on the planet. With all the right ingredients to make this a true festive Rock N Roll delight. Then Mark, Jess, Robbie, Jo D Arc and Gordy walked onto stage. The Girobabies took position and delivered the much anticipated performance of (Who Took) Utopia. Divine missed his first two opportunities, much to my own disappointment. So This was to be third time lucky for Divine.
Divine and The Girobabies go back a long way. I first championed Mark McG and his band as the voice of a silent Generation. Performing songs about things that really matter as long as five years ago. Indeed, the longer I have known the lead singer of this brilliant band. The more I have got to know a true maverick of our times. Gordy is a drummer that plays with an intensity and a skill that I have seldom experienced. Jess on effects and electronics is a celebrated addition to the line up. With Robbies guitar licks whipping everything into shape. To produce a collective art house collage. With flavors of The Velvet Underground meeting The Stranglers (Circa Jean Jacque Burnel.) .Powerful Punk as fuck references ringing throughout. Delivered by the voice of a true poet of our times. The whole Gig was thrilling, The Girobabies whipped the audience into a frenzy and with true Punk Rock spirit, a mosh pit erupted at the front of the stage. Divine was having a ball.
The Divine anticipation was at fever pitch for the next musical delight. Dohnut (The Band Formerly Known As Eating Disorder) This band had been coming at me from all directions for about 6 months, So tonight I was able to Experience Dohnut for the first time. With a much revered sartorial elegance Dohnut delivered with a passion. a rock N roll experience drawn from many many years of determination. A Master class in stage presentation and theatrical delivery. Age and maturity does have some benefits. The Dohnuts presented a sterling performance with its roots firmly planted in Glamrock. Divine and the Audience loved it.
During the interval between Dohnut and the crescendo performance of the very revered Colonel Mustard And The Dijon 5. Divine slipped into the Diner which is part of The Saint Lukes experience. A cool as fuck Dj was spinning Girlfriend Is Better by the Talking Heads Divine just had to dance.
Ohh yeh it took me. Just as it finished, The Mustards took to the stage and Divine slid back in just as rapturous applause greeted the Hero’s of this wonderful day packed with very entertaining entertainment indeed, The whole audience were up for it. The venue was bouncing. Colonel Mustard And The Dijon All Stars became one with audience. It was brilliant, as above so below, the Angels were loving it too and God definitely approved. as the grace of love blessed everyone.
It was one of those moments when one knows that someones hard work and determination had paid off. Everyone could feel it. It was one of them moments when people will be saying for years after. “I was there.” The Yellow Movements Christmas Party Was A Brilliant Experience
I was thinking about alternative titles for this review. I came up with a few.
Divine’s Dreaming Of a Yellow Christmas Or Divines Christmas Stocking.
“Honest, passionate and unpredictable’ are words that The Modests’ four band members – bassist/guitarist Fiachra O’Hara, frontman Jackson Harvey and cousins Daniel McGuigan and Liam Campbell – use to describe themselves. Influenced by The Pixies, Jeff Buckley, Eric Clapton and Ray Charles they have six years of gigging under their belt playing The Barrowlands, Voodoo Rooms, King Tuts, The Record Factory and O2ABC2. Their musical presentation is well-rehearsed and clean-cut, there is no doubt of these guys’ passion. Sometimes trippy, other times more rock n roll, the influence of the Doors shined through a tad too much leaving me wanting for a bit more originality to surface.
The acoustics were good and there is no denying The Modests’ musical abilities, but for me the atmosphere could’ve been more upbeat… especially since they have been the finalists of Hard Rock Rising ‘Battle of The Bands.’ It was alright. Not electric, not crowd-jumping or even dancing, more of a swaying and chatting with mates kinda night.
The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Monday, 14th December
Sound Atmosphere Performance
Having matured as musicians while honing their skills and developing their many talents on the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans during their busking days, these boys have come together nicely, creating a smooth, upbeat melange of nostalgic sounds.
At this particular gig there were 4 members although they often have several more musicians performing- from what I gather, the line up is pretty fluid, except for the band leader stalwart, Taylor Smith, on lead vocals and double bass. He may look green but this boy is experienced and driven- armed with his music degree he began arranging all the old classics and composing various ditties of his own. As well as being the lead man in this set up, he appears to have finger in many pies, as he also belongs to The Swamp Lillies (a Cajun/Appalachian combo group) and the Salt Wives, a klezmer band.
Other instruments featured were the trumpet, trombone and guitar. For those wishing to explore further, The Roamin’ Jasmine released their first official CD last year (self-titled). They explore many influences from different eras and genres- sounds of Dixie are woven through with swing, blues, classic jazz and some of the songs were definitely rocking a Latino twang, with a couple of lovely calypso numbers reminiscent of long, white beaches, palm trees swaying in the wind and olive skinned señoritas.
Their sound is reminiscent of the gaiety of old films set in the 1920s and 1930s, when hedonism and simplicity combined to produce a dreamy sort of atmosphere and it makes one yearn for the old days we never lived, when smart ‘phones were but a twinkle in a scientist’s eye- imagine ice cream on the board walk and children playing in the street.
Songs covered included instantly recognisable classics such as ‘We three (my echo, my shadow and me)’, made famous by Frank Sinatra and the Tommy Dorsey band, ‘My Blue Heaven’, a Fats Domino staple, and their rendition of ‘Blue Skies’, by Irving Berlin, was very good. It was a pleasure to be introduced to other, less well known songs such as ‘Got the south in my soul’ by the Boswell Sisters (a less well known group that the Andrews Sisters but excellent, nonetheless) and ‘Depression Paseo’ by Lionel Belasco, amongst many others.
On a slightly more critical note, it has to be said that, while this was certainly a competent, personable band with excellent musical skills, one can’t help feeling there was a certain something lacking, perhaps just a little too much restraint in their musical style- the arrangements were a little too samey, they need more stand-out numbers- none of it was in any way conducive to dancing so every member of the public remained seated throughout. Of course that is not necessarily a bad thing, it just depends what you are looking for of an evening, but it would have been great to see a few people hit the floor every 3r or 4th song- be warned that you won’t find a high-octane flurry of sounds, rather a mellow, light-hearted little piece of nostalgia that would do very nicely as background music or for relaxing to. Regardless, it is a lovely sound and die-hard fans of this kind of stuff won’t be disappointed.
Talking in Tones * Weirdo * North Country Boy * Oh Vanity / Bad Days * So Oh * Tellin Stories * Just When * Trouble Understanding * Blackened Blue Eyes * Let the Good Times * Soul Saver * You’re Not Very Well * Emilie * One to Another * In the Tall Grass * The Only One I Know * Come Home Baby * I Need you to Know, You’re so Pretty * Sproston Green
Scotland, Edinburgh, & especially East Lothian, are massive fans of the Charlatans. Its a tremendously family affair whenever they rock into town & despite the gig being on a Monday night, the lovely, large, yet intimacy-retaining, Usher hall was packed. The gig came half way through their second British tour of 2015, ostensibly to support their first studio album in 5 years – Mother Nature. Five years after their gentle songwriting session with Penny Rimbaud, turned into their 11th album, Who We Touch, they resurfaced into the musical ether with the understated but often brilliant electro, psychejazzy sounding ‘Modern Nature.‘ Born somewhat out of the loss of original drummer, Jon Brookes, who died in 2010, of its creation Tim Burgess told the Mumble;
We’ve been trying to write something since the beginning really of 2012, after Jon’s death we played a concert at the Royal Albert Hall which was a huge celebration of his life & made everyone feel really kind of good about the future in a way – the album started very small & things would kind of like naturally come – one idea sparked off another idea and you know we ended up with 5 or 6 songs without any drums on it – y’know, quite an interesting way to write, really – I 11feel in many way s that out of all the Charlatan’s albums it fells like the first
Up in Edinburgh the Mumble team took their seats in the Grand Circle & awaited events. After a DJ set from Ian Rankin & support from youthful fifties-throwback, Maximo-Park-buffered rockiness of Frankie & the Heartbreakers, on strutted the Charlies to deliver a set full of perfect pomp, underneath scenes of stunning digital visuals. New tunes were greeted warmly, while of course the classics were met with rapturous joy.
It is interesting to see a band of such peterpan longevity mix its new material with old, as you find yourself guessing which of the new tracks will find itself in a future classics set. For me, the whole of Modern Nature is fine counterpoise to the general malaise of proper band music these days, integrating modern soundscapes & poetic feeling into their classic northern sound.
As a beat group they are part of the new dance rock explosion which is changing absolutely the face of British pop music, & that of Europe & soon the rest of the world Anthony H Wilson
For me, a Monday night was perfect for such a concert, when past & present combine in a momentary blend of life’s quintessence. At times I was led in my bath back in Burnley, 1990, listening to Some Friendly as I scrubbed my football dirt from schoolboy legs. At other times I was discussing the merits of the new album’s sound with my girlfriend who enjoyed its summery vibes on this crisp midwinter’s night.
The band were great, a total 5 star performance as the Charlatans themselves, with blonde-dyed Adonis Tim Burgess strutting his school-disco moves to the effortlessly wonderful miasma made by his boys. The crowd were also great, from the mosh-pit at the front to the kids dancing to that topless geezer – clearly off his head – raving at the back of the Circle with a lager splashing in his hands. The only drawback for me was the sound, which was a bit abrasive at times & a bit muggy, but for genuine emotion & sheer pleasure, it was a great hour & a half.
Well, what can I say except that we were blown away by this band’s energy and talent…wow-wow-wow-WOW! The band was made up of 3 members: John Langan (lead vocals, guitar, cajόn & foot tambourine), Dave Tunstall (double bass, backing vocals) and Alastair Caplan on (fiddle, backing vocals). The venue was super relaxed and cosy while still being large enough to accommodate a large, excitable crowd.
Their synergy was such that it truly sounded as though every song was a high quality recording- every note, every explosive beat and harmony in perfect co-ordination throughout. These dudes are professionals to the core and clearly love nothing more than entertaining a roomful of sweaty revellers- by the time the 5th song burst forth, as though fired from a musical cannon, the movement in the room had reached a wild crescendo and this crazy tempo was maintained until well near the end- as the show ran rather late, we were forced to sneak away a song or two before the end and trying to get through the mass of human jumping beans without getting moshed in the face was no easy task!
What started off with a rich but slow and moving Mexican folk ballad, ‘La LLorona’ (and as I am half Spanish I can tell you that his accent was really very good), quickly gave way to a powerhouse of explosively energetic songs from many different cultures including Romany Gypsy, Scottish, Irish, Latin American and Spanish, with a little bit of Jewish thrown in and a sprinkling of Cajun on top.
Song 2 started off sounding a little like a Cajun melody, slow but gaining momentum, and was woven through with a definite touch of the Hillbilly- anyone with nerve endings in their feet was compelled to tap them, at the very least. This was followed by a sort of tango (I may as well say now that all their songs are ‘sort of this’ or ‘sort of that’…every single one seems to draw on a veritable melting pot of influences and in the space of one tune you feel you have travelled from one continent to another!) with some Andean harmonies thrown in and a definite nod to Rodrigo & Gabriela.
Song 4, ‘The Winter Song’, took us back to a more mellow sound, and very fitting it was, too, with the main message being one of accepting and embracing this dark, cold season for the beauty it brings, even if we have to look a little harder for it through the rain and long nights.
The 5th song was a rousing, Rumanian ditty all about a man desperately in love with his son’s wife, potentially leading to incestuous relations but apparently drawing back at the last moment, before he commits a crime too terrible to live with…phew! Next was a song about Aquaplaning. Yes, you read right, Aquaplaning. Don’t even ask me why or…what…or how or…hopefully this will illustrate the enormous scope and invention of this band and incite you to go an d see them at the next available opportunity.
Set 2 included, amongst others, a song about a drunken dwarf, followed by what is, frankly, the most bizarre composition I’ve ever heard (and we’d already heard a few of those in Set 1), named ‘A Formidable Marinade’ (originally by Amanda Palmer), and here’s a sample of the lyrics to prove it:
‘If sodomy is not just for animals Human flesh, is not just for cannibals I’ll feast on your body if you’ll feast on mine ‘Cause blood is thicker, and redder than wine Oh, lay ourselves out, upon the table Ravish each other ’till we’re no longer able When juices mix in the heat of the fray It’ll make a formidable marinade’
To sum up, most of this is not the sort of music I would necessarily listen to for relaxation at home but for a stompingly good night out dancing ye cannae beat it! These boys have been well known on the scene since winning the Danny Kyle Open Stage Award at Celtic Connections 2008 and have released 2 albums to date: ‘Bones of Contention’ in 2013 and ‘I’m Alive/Live at The Globe’ in 2015. I had a quiet word with John Langan during the break and he told me they may be playing at Kelburn Garden Party next year, amongst many other festivals and venues so, as it’s one of my favourite places, I will definitely be heading back up there and make sure I catch these talented madmen again, this time in a more rural setting.
My only negative comment is the timekeeping- they started a full 20 minutes late and then took a good half hour’s break- for what was approximately a 1.5h gig, this was pushing the limits, especially for those who had to be elsewhere at a certain time afterwards. I’m not sure if this was down to the band, the management or issues with the space itself but this could easily be improved and of course did not detract from the quality of the performance. Add to this that fact that these lads are very easy on the eye so I think we can forgive them this small transgression. Go and see them- and take a change of clothes for after as you’ll be soaked in sweat from all the dancing.
As Saturday the 14th of November approaches , the social media sites go wild with a child like excitement !!! Its only The Wee dub hosting Mungo’s Hi Fi at Studio 24. With the anticipation growing its like children at Christmas, just 4 more sleeps, then 3, then 2 , then 1 and bang its time. These nights are always talked about, before and after the event. A shared experience from all allows that special vibe to generate its magic.. I expected another sell out, and I wasn’t wrong. Arrive early is my advice and I stick by that… As 12pm grew closer the queues grow bigger and deeper……
As one enters the auditorium, you instantly feel that warm inviting vibe. The sound of Mungo’s bringing us that warm up music just captivates you onto the dance floor and allows yourself to be teased into a night of wonderful embrace. The speakers draw you in like a Fly to a Spiders web and don’t let you go. The bass just pumps away like a distant drum echoing in the mountains, leaving you caught in a trap of heart pounding music… Its sure to be another Wee Dub special…
As the crowd goes larger, so does the music. Space is at a premium now and its not long until the stage is completely overrun with Dubbers and Skankers looking to exploit the free space. Mungos Hi Fi, who follow the traditional Jamaican sound system bring us a mixture of reggae , dub , dancehall with live MCs and Dj-ing they have it all covered. From a number of years ago until now, the expansion of Mungos Hi Fi is historical and to be part of the nights they put on is a musical privilege.
The time is now at the midway part of the night and the dance is in full swing. This is the music that bonds us, teaches us, helps us, opens us, and feeds us that love.. You can tell that the audience are in a tranquil place, at peace and attached to the movement we call the dance. The Wee Dub always attracts a big hearted crowd that brings that soul to the party. The music is now building up to the final encore and like a hot iron it makes the crowd sizzle … Let rip and dance your heart out is the impression I got.. Another successful night of fun and peace loving music… Well done the Wee Dub and Mungo”s for fine performance.