If Cumbernauld was a rosebush then Mickey 9s would be its sexiest, sugariest specimen of bloom; a flowering juggernaut of contagious quality that makes you just fuckin’ glad to be there. I’d seen them once before & was blown away by their turbo disco funk in a gold lame suit, but last night had a completely different feel. It was pure 21st century rock n roll, & you really didn’t need to be a fan to be swept up in the seething adulation of the moment. These guys exist in the secret realms where buzzin’ meets brilliance; & every song, every riff, every lyric, every note, drips with a confident & ethereal sublimity.
It’s the Mumble’s main mission for the foreseeable to cut a hot knife thro the bubbling blue brie of Caledonian cantari, so just who are Mickey 9s? Let’s just say they are punkishly political to the groove of bass & beat, & can bang out some slick videos. I’ll put a couple in this review for folk to peruse. Their origin myth saw four school friends go to a Daft Punk gig, returning from which explosion of music & groove compell’d them to craft their own vison – & what a treat it is to behold.
Coming on stage to Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer,’ the dance floor soon erupted into a magical mosh-pit of merriment, with the mysterious ‘St Cool’ infesting the vibe with his shamanic, hypnotic, kinetic front-manniness. Wearing eye make-up, all the women thought him hot as fuck & all the men rush’d off home to get their guy-liners out.
Mickey 9s are exciting, electrifying, energizing, & a load of other superlatives beginning with ‘e’ that means you don’t actually have to pop one. Their best tune for me, & clearly a lot of other devotees, went something along the lines of ‘whats rang wi me,’ a euphoric blast of supercool that’s still rattling round mi ‘ed as a type. An excellent gig, which Room 2 should be prais’d for facilitating… Scotland should be proud of Mickey 9s.
I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Westlife, me, as have millions over other people it seems, mainly the ladies of course, & thus, as the second fresh-faced leg of their ‘Wild Dreams’ tour rock’d into Scotland, they’d easily sold out the epic Hydro for a whole weekend. Melodic companions to people’s lives, ‘the lads’ are there for the good moments, & the sad. They do have some funky numbers, definitely, & a smart selection of get-yer-standing cover songs, but I wasn’t actually there for them (deep down I prefer’d Take That myself), I wanted to check out Ireland’s up & coming number female solo singer, Lyra.
I’m having a bloody ball Lyra
Jeesh, this girl can sing, & its absolutely amazing how she goes from her moving & dramatic Enyasque operatics, to the chirpy tween-song patter of a Cork lass having a crack in the pub. On one occasion it was a bit hankies out almost, when she gave us a brief nugget of wisdom from her mam saying, if she was the best version of herself she would have nothing to apologise for. That is some ‘grand’ bardic thinking there, like, & it clearly work’d as whatever version of Lyra we have today, if its not her best version it’s pretty damn close cos she’s a wonderful performer. She totally owns her gifts.
You’ll know a lot more about me by the end of the night, I swear to God Lyra
It was great to see her on a massive stage too – her cinematic images flanking the massive font-phalanx of her name, & watching her sing is a real pleasure. She totally means it, like. It’s nice to see someone so good on her ascendency, & next April she’ll be doing her first headline tour, a thoroughly exciting proposition. Of the songs – more disco-art to tell you the truth – I enjoy’d the most last night, her opener We Are Beautiful set the tone for a splendid set, in which her stunning New Day shone absolute divinity & Falling is pure, well, her, the song that encapsulates her voice & inner groove perfectly.
You’re gonna have a belter of a night with the lads Lyra
There was also this cool song about chess, a strange subject to sing about, but it work’d & show’d she’s capable of the originality needed in the competitive quest for musical success. So roll on 2023, when she should really blossom into the public consciousness. Singing to all the Westlife fans en route would definitely have help’d that process.
Last night I witness’d the rebirth of a dungaree-clad, amazing looking, sandpaper-glam Venus, rising gloriously from her oyster shell singing all manner of bangin’ tunes. It was Upsahl’s first ever day in Scotland on her ‘This Is My First Headline Tour’ tour, & I was swiftly moulded into groove-crunching appreciation by the drama play’d out before me. She is a cut above, like, & supported by just a drummer & a guitarist – gutsy groove machines in their own right – & sometimes picking up a bass or a guitar herself, the comblended sound is that of an epic flight of eagles.
Each delicious fruit from her song carousel is carv’d from the magma of a very poetical mind, which has then cool’d into the miasmic memories of everyone in last night’s audience. It was a massive sing-a-long, & as I popp’d my Upsahl cherry I began mouthing some of the words myself here & there, so sorcery-like is her chaunt.
It’s very simple – it’s you, it’s us, & we’re going the fuck off Upsahl
Sometimes delicate, sometimes dropping gardy loos on us ‘eds, she’s got very trick in the book up her sleeve, & a few I’ve never seen before, to keep us all enthrall’d on her tigervibes. I’ll be honest, I’d seen a couple of over-produc’d videos, & they came across a little twee, & the songs were nothing amazing I thought at first – but her live performance, woah, that is some arcane ethereality that, it’s like taking ketamine at Valhalla with the top dog Valkyrie or summat, her performance is so powerful. If this is her headline tour, she has definitely found her niche, perhaps even her true sound, as I’m sure the live versions were different, edgier, more important.
The crowd was about eighty percent female, & while we’re on numbers I’d say her set is already seventy percent classics, & a couple more albums to fill in the gaps & she’s gonna be massive. There are some genius bolts of brilliance in there, damn straight. I’ve embedded my faves from the night in the review, & as we were boinging along I was asking their names off this sound barmaid from Airdrie to my right who knew every syllable of every song, like. I’m like, ‘she’s really good int she,’ & she just smil’d at me back with a warm & wonderful welcome to the familyness.
She’s just got that thing, she’s just got it Teri Welsh
The love Upsahl was feeling from the room, well this Glasgow room at least, should be enough to propel our bardic beauty to some proper dizzy heights. Its like we all wanted her to be brilliant, because she is. I also noticed the way the lassies, as they sang along, would sometimes tighten their nostril muscles, & energetically squidge them into their faces as they mimick’d certain clearly fibre-grinding lines.
That was one cheeky fuckin’ vixen rave, that – well I certainly l enjoy’d myself, & the encore confirm’d her stunning stars ascendency, coming back on stage with a ‘Scotland, we aint fuckin’ done yet, every fucking one of you channel whatever energy you have left & find you inner lunatic,’ leading very elegantly to her last track…
Words: Damian Beeson Bullen Photography: Teri Welsh
Room 2, Glasgow, a proper gigging venue. Three quid lagers? Fuckin’ brilliant! This is a place to both enjoy yourself, & be musically educated at the same time, capturing the quintessence of what a live venue should be all about. David Blair’s the main man, running a tight ship as always, & showcasing some of the Central Belt’s finest talent. Last night was all about Hip-Hop; two acts, one fresh-fac’d, one establish’d. First up was Psweatpants – London born, but up in Glasgow now, doing his thing & clearly enjoying himself.
Nominated for this year’s best hip hop act by SAMA, his music has a massively serious bent, which is a complete contrast to the happy patter in between his songs, when he radiates an ebullient ‘joy to be here’ rarely seen on a hip-hop stage. A proper fun ride, at times it felt like I was in my 20s again, Road Raging down the Lea Bridge Road into Hackney for a night out at some squat rave in some industrial unit somewhere, so was the proper evocative atmosphere that Psweatpants had effortlessly produced.
It had been a fairly short set, & with the second act, SHEARS, pulling out thro’ Covid, the night’s main eventers, Stanley Odd, got a chance to do well over an hour of their harmonious fusion of ninja lyrics & bouncing beats. “Scottish as fuck!” beam’d one of their newest fans – they’ve been going since 2009 -, Keiran from Galashiels. He’d seen the Stanley supporting his mate’s band down Gala & was blown away. Saw them again a couple of weeks ago, was blown even more away, & so got a hotel in Glasgow last night for the sole reason of seeing them in action.
Scottish hip-hop is pretty niche, like. Over in America, its practically woven into the national DNA, but the UK has always loved its guitar bands more, pushing hip-hop to the fringes. But, as I watch’d Stanley Odd – who were using geetahs, drums, bass & keyboards actually, but were singing hip-hop, – I was genuinely saying to myself these should be in the mainstream, somewhere. Alas, no, but they do create an extremely talented sound worthy of success. They are also loyal to their musical bones, & just do their easy vibes velocity thing so well, & they love it too, so in the end all is good!
He’s like my best mate who just learnt how to rap & is on a stage – its like I grew up with him: Kieran Robson – latest Stanley Odd superfan
There was a healthy, mixed, aficionado crowd for both acts, & I got the feeling that there were many true fans in the crowd. especially when I actually dared to have a small conversation with Keiran about the intricacies of the keyboard sound & this nobhead in front of me turns around with a face as if a bulldog chewing a wasp had been stuck up its own arse & piped, ‘can you be quiet & listen to the band, show some fuckin’ respect.’ Proper funny & proper partisan.
There were moments of blinding brilliance, proper catchy choruses & elegant songcraftery. I especially loved the tune which went, ‘well that’s my life innit,’ & the one about a witch in the kitchen – see video -, real slick stuff, boys. The aforemention’d covid-hit SHEARS, is normally a co-vocalist with the band, but the singer, Solareye, carried the torch himself, & as a newcomer to the group I knew no different. I did leave thinking if they were that good without her, what would they be like with her? I guess I’m gonna have to join Keiran’s fledgling roving fan club & find the fuck out.
Words: Damian Beeson Bullen Photography: Raymond Mundito O’neill
Down in the famous 13th Note basement I had arrived early to take in sound checks, every amp was turned up and thumping drums kicked into the as yet empty room. I was then happy because I realised I was at a good old rock n’ roll gig.
‘All the Young’ are a group who have been getting better and better, in a movement that could be snow balled. The Stoke on Trent based band offer a great night of fun and muses. First up though was a band called ‘Oh Romance’, a four piece act with songs of love and lore. Mixing heavy metal with grunge, punk and rock n’ roll; their music was pieced together with an interesting style that came through greatly.
So around 9 o’clock on stepped ‘All the Young’ who also made the music as a 4 piece and kept up the sizable noise, reaching your belly and filling it with talent and great rich lyrical craft. ‘…the Young’ are fast on their musical journeys through pubs and clubs and they were able to enjoy so many levels each had to contribute; its pace and a calm but jovial and explosive lead vocals; who announced an escape through music in a desire to leave their roots behind, a thing familiar since early blues and rock n’ roll, all of which gave the music an edge of camaraderie.
Their presence grew as the songs progressed, easing in the compositions with fascinating guitar licks and good vibes coming from the stage. The songs were chopped up into fragments that went so well together, I particularly enjoyed the lead guitar, on a lovely white Gibson. His licks cut through every song making a kind of sultry beauty that was well worth enjoying.
The crowd too were loving it, and I noticed some lip synching so there were some fans there too. The band have the strength of studio work behind them and are touring with their new album ‘Tales of Grandeur’, a name that explains itself set to release this year 16th December also releasing a single from that album called ‘City of Love’
What they are bringing together is joy and sorrow in life put into some ruckus music to shake the walls but brings a greatly positive message so well achieved through their music. Creating a sense of looking up even at the lowest of times, but they also bring to the table a good grip on rock n’ roll and dare I say it British rock n’ roll. The conception of the music was free, the subject also and the style was a homage but also certainly had plenty of originality, that just made you jive.
Being back at the 13th Note, in all of its minimalist scribbled glory and cave like presence reminded me of all the music that has swept through, as bands have made their journey into the highs and lows. ‘All the Young’ suited the space; they stood there like they were at home, jiving through heavy rock, and making a battle through well written music that you don’t quickly forget, they are touring and recording with a sense of ‘we will go on’, so when you see them be prepared to get down.
The Brunton Theater, Musselborough Weds 9th November Directed By Brett Morgan Overseen By Tony Visconti
When this film was first released I was wiped with a strange virus, that caused a cascading nose for two weeks. so was grounded, By the time I felt well enough to investigate the only theatres showing the film, were not conducive to my enjoyment. My Angels spoke to me, “Och Divine, be patient the right time will come” So last week I came across a facebook post, a competition for two free tickets for Moonage Daydream at The Brunton. Yeehha, so I entered the competition and emailed Damo at the Mumble to see if I could get a review ticket. Bingo The lovely Josaphine at The Brunton replied immediately. Yes Yes Yes, Thankyou Angels
Now, The Brunton Theater is that conducive venue, housed in the lovely tranquil seaside town called Musselborough, Its a place that has always been very kind to me and never fails to bring peace to my heart, away from the maddening crowd of Scotlands Capital Edinburgh. Its a 90 minute walk along the coastline from Lieth. Its also on the 26 and 30 bus routes The 30 goes right outside my home in Niddrie Mill. Right to the door of the Brunton. It couldn’t be easier or more pleasant. Moonage Daydream is on
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a Stardust child. Devoted to the Grandmaster Bowie, he is the whole reason I started wearing makeup in the first place, Ziggy Sradust and the Spiders From Mars had been in my life since I was 4 in 1972. My big Brother John is 12 years older than me and was really into Glam, T Rex, David Bowie and Pink Floyd I grew up to, I shared a room with my Brother John. it was all he played, However, it wasnae until the 80’s that David started speaking to me through his music. Gary Numan was my man when I was a teen, it wasnae until 19 when I fell in love with Diane and David was her number1. I had always had Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and Changes 2. Diane introduced me to the whole of The Grandmasters 70’s cannon and I was hooked. Totally..
It wasnae until the Summer of 89 that I got to see David live and that was with Tin Machine, Bradford Saint Georges Hall. We queued all night for tickets and got them, It was like having Bowie in ones living room. Then in 1990, I had my first David live performance of Bowie performing Bowie in Birmingham at the NEC on the sound And Vision Tour. I was hooked and saw David live on every tour after, I was at Glastonbury in 2000 for possibly the best mainstage performance by anyone ever, before or since. I saw the Grandmaster live 9 times in total, The last time was the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in South Australia on the Reality Tour. Even when The Next Day was released, hmm I thought, David will play this live. I had the money stashed, to get tickets and airfares to where ever that was going to be. If only for the fact that David Bowie live is one of the best things in the Universe.
Alas as we all know. The Grand Master Ascended on the 10th of January 2015. The day after Davids’s masterpiece, Blackstar was released. Did David predict his own ascension with Blackstars predecessor? “The Next Day?” Spooky
I first met Linda when I ventured back from Australia and returned to live in Edinburgh, I was walking in Leith and popped into a shop and there she was. With an instant spark, I said Hmmmm this is a Stardust thing. we have been friends ever since. So after coffee with Linda on Saturday I mentioned that I was going to see Moonage Daydream. Linda hasnae seen it yet either. So its gonna be a first for both of us.
There can be only one David Bowie and only the Grandmaster can do his songs justice. This is why everything needed to be right for my first viewing of Moonage Daydream.
After spending some time reading reviews of this work of art. Not all were offering the praise that my Bowie pals, who had already seen it, were gushing its brilliance, so I had some reservations. However, moments in and I was hooked, Maybe because I have missed David so much, It didnae matter that the greater part of the experience I had seen many times before, but not as a cinematic presentation. One of my Pals asked if the film hadn’t been on telly yet? Well the answer to that question is yes, Some of it, Like parts of Cracked Actor, the 1975 Omnibus Telly special, directed and filmed by Alan Yentob, that documented Bowies American tour for Diamond Dogs, when he was at the peak of his coke and alcohol addiction, The Thin White Duke demonstrating the very thin line between Insanity and genius. And of course Ziggy Stardust The Motion Picture had also been on the telly, I taped them both when VHS was still a revelatory invention, I think I wore the tape out because I watched them both so much. Yes, with added extras that were new to my eyes, The very camp Bowie being interviewed by Russel Harty, So so gorgeous, Davids Ziggy stage presence androgynous with lots of horny crotch shots perfectly tantalizing.
Then the move to the creation of the Berlin Trilogy and the Stage Tour filmed at Earls Court again demonstrated the love that the fans had for their Rock N Roll messiah and on to The Serious Moonlight Tour and the mega gigs that David Performed in the early 80s, with a lot of the short film Richochet of Bowie taking Japan and its culture in while performing there. Before moving on to his acclaimed Broadway staring role in the Elephant Man. with very tasteful reminders of the films, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Just A Gigalo. Merry Christmas Mr Lawrennce and a quick blast of Labyrinth.
With snippets of The Glass Spider Tour. Tin Machine was completely omitted from the production, leaping to the backdrop film for the Sound And Vision tour, Reminding me of why Turquoise eyeshadow is my favourite colour. The Outside Tour offering and with very clear memory of why Halo Spaceboy is one of my all-time fave live Bowie Numbers. Climaxing with a snippet of Earthling, Heathen and Hours were also omitted, however backstage shots of The Reality Tour were included. There really is a lot to take in and I have written this in chronological order. But this is not how the film presents, There is no order and not one song is presented in its entirety. Its not a greatest hits, more a celebration of why David Bowie was and is the greatest Rock N Roll Star that ever existed
Blackstar his last offering closes the presentation as a way to help understand that the journey is not over and that we all have to understand that life in the mortal coil that we inhabit is temporary but art is eternal. For Divine this film filled a void that was created when David ascended.
By playing in erstwhile Dental College turned labyrinthine multi purpose arts venue Summerhall Arizona’s Injury Reserve score some sonic serendipity. Their first acknowledged release ‘Live from a Dentists Office’ (2015) having been recorded in producer Parker Corey’s grandad’s dentist’s dentistry.
I fucking hate apostrophes’
In a similar vein they are supported by Body Meat in the building’s Dissection Hall.
Couldn’t make it up.
Body Meat, Philly based performer muso producer and genre whupping beats laden nutjiob Christopher Taylor rocks up. A sound like the unwanted child of Aphex Twin and Burial banished to the cupboard beneath the stairs with a glitching ZX80 and all copies of ‘Now that’s what I call music’ !980-2010.
Have a listen to ‘Year of the Orc’ Partisan Records.
If you like that sort of thing.
Injury Reserve. not to be brought down by the loss of original chief rocker Stepa J. Groggs in 2020 step up. Ritchie with a T on the mic bossing the stage and Corey with a P and some other punter with a ? getting intergalactic on the electronics.
Blinding Lights Hawkwind on Acid Zombie Punk Public Enemy Anger Protest Pain and P Funk. Throbbing menacing bass ominously loud feedback way too much smoke over the top strobes mental electronica and a headbin shouting down a mic …
If that doesn’t spell top night to you
in the words of
Zigue Zigue Sputnik
‘You’re a sad cunt’
All I’m saying.
Excellent sound married to a proper pro performance
Like getting your tooth pulled by Lieutenant Uhura when they still gave out charlie at the dentists.
City Chambers, Recital Hall, Glasgow 3rd November, 2022
Glasgow City Centre was enjoying a nice evening as I made my way to the City Halls to go and hear ‘Brahms Piano Trio’. There was a great queue lined up for a main hall concert, I got my ticket and headed for the 1st floor recital room; taking a seat in the back row of the smaller hall I settled in and took a look around.
At the piano and at floor level sat Graeme McNaught, on Cello was Abigail Hayward and across from her sat on violin was Agnieszka Opiola. The celebrated talent of the three took hold of some amazing music.
Johannes Brahms was a German Composer of some renown known as of the Mid Romantic period. He is famous for his piano composition and for the evening we were treated to one such performance. On the programme were French composer Gabriel Faure and Norway’s Edvard Grieg’s. The emphasis of the trio central to the music reflected 3 instruments, 3 composers and 3 contrasting portraits.
The all white room and tall ceiling shed a light from high up as to give a transient mood to hold the music. No one was more taken away than the performers with their instruments.
I felt very much a part of the room in the still and silent audience sharing the stories of real human trial up and down to tear jerking effect. Little aspects were in fluency from heads bobbing to seeing the violin bow furiously appearing just above the audience line. The joy could be felt as each aspect revealed itself and every string brought out the charming story.
Brahms’ ability to comprehend opened up great challenges for him and I can’t help but feel a little rebellion yet humbleness in his choice of instrument, famously on the piano. He made it with integrity and moved through any and all subject available in the enlightened period of the 1800’s.
When I went to this gig, a beautiful recital, I internally asked for something fresh and new, how greatly music can be as it stands the test of time to always take over and make expression into a perfect composition.
Brahms was able to put together intensely interesting themes that you felt covers existence itself, both large and out there, and small and tenderly gentle. I witnessed a performance to express a loyal attachment to just how great he was; tuning into something to follow and spur out of as leads fluttered in the air and flew around those awesome instruments. It was breathtaking, honest and unbelievably intact.
In a splendid evening that went without frivolity, just straight forward music, I’d say make the choice of experiencing a gig like this like if for nothing else than to relax deeply and enjoy your ears, or to see effort and discipline in action. I caught a glance a couple of times of the three, and saw the profound tension of concentration on their faces, this drew me in to a feeling of compassion that seemed hard to bare, the bodies and the music sprang as if out of nowhere.
The direction of emotional content had such a power, again coming from the effort of skill, talent and a growing love. The life of the tunes rang out without a need for spoken narrative, yet the ability to story tell hit all the height’s that Brahms fame deserves, in the greatest collaboration possible fit to compete with so many other composers. The magically, majestically charged evening took its hold of a three together, that could only be carved by 3.
I helpfully slid down the page of the programme that explained the movements of Allegro, Troppo and so many other plot parts who were looking forward to play with beauty enough, pace, tones and thrill. Holding tension, finding unison and blessing the room in abundance of drama, exploration and well being (hope). Quietly they were all pulling back to find the joy in loudly letting loose.
The accolades melted out of his composition, faithfully played so long after his life. In music we call praise worthy, in brilliant intense intimacy enhanced by the size of the room. A simple act of purchasing a ticket that holds an invitation worthwhile accepting for all the reasons you can imagine, to enjoy the profundity of music told as a story that placed itself far beyond in thought or very near to something growing roots in you and in your head and heart and to part of this ever so professional entourage of three, whether you see this particular composer or another.
So, I’m just gonna keep this review nice & simple as I guess that’s how I’d sum up the 502’s at St Luke’s. Sorry to these lovely guys, who really do appear to be that kind of lovely you’d take as a plus 1 to a twee wedding. I really wanted to love them, I mean they had big smiles on their faces & an enthusiasm up on stage that you really wanted to be lured in by. But their whites were whiter than white & it felt rather apt that they were playing in a church as not only did they look like they belonged there, but I even felt slightly guilty for not being their fan.
For those of you who don’t know, the 502’s are a 6-piece Floridian folk-pop band comprising of brothers & close friends. They are all talented musicians, with bass, drums, keyboard, banjo, & horns among other instruments. They have such enthusiasm that you can’t help but smile & jiggy about at least for ‘just a little while’ (yip, that’s the name of their biggest hit) even if they’re not your cup of tea. But a few songs in & it just feels like you’ve been dancing to the same track for ages. Ironically, the name of their new release is ‘Just Another’.
Let me put this into context, Amil & the Sniffers were on just round the corner at the Barrowlands & I guess the best way to describe the 502’S is just as complete polar opposites. As always, the sound at St Luke’s was phenomenal. However, while attending the 502’s, I couldn’t help feel that I was missing out on something with more depth & layers; like chips with cheese & gravy or a sausage supper.
This isn’t to say that the gig was all bad, I mean these guys had almost everyone cheering & dancing, & the reason I really wanted to love them is because you can just tell that they are really good guys. I mean they even took a fan’s phone off her & took a selfie after the bouncer had got all angry at said fan for trying to get too close. However, that’s as rock & roll as they got. I wouldn’t mind knowing which soap powder they use for those whites though.