Sunday, August 19, 2012
MEURSAULT/ADAM STAFFORD/SIOBHAN WILSON - STEREO, GLASGOW - 15 AUGUST 2012
The fact that I've more or less ignored music for the past few months means that I've a lot of catching up to do. Recently released LPs to be bought and listened to and I've got to again get into the habit of going out to gigs.
Original plan for Wednesday 15 August was to head over to Edinburgh, meet up with my old sparring partner Jacques the Kipper and take in Aidan Moffat/Bill Wells/FOUND in what was billed as an unusual evening. Sadly, the clash of a Scotland v Australia football match the same night in Edinburgh put me off making the journey....reckoned that by the time the gig was over I'd be fighting for space home on a crowded train with members of the Tartan Army which didn't appeal.
Thankfully another old sparring partner, Aldo, came up with an alternative suggestion which was to go see Meursault plus support at Stereo in Glasgow.
First up was a very pretty singer called Siobhan Wilson. It was a short set of maybe around half a dozen songs, mostly with just an acoustic guitar to accompany the vocal. Some of the lyrics were in English and some were in French. Musically, it was pleasant enough to listen to.....the girl sure has a lovely voice which was perfect for the tunes she was playing which seemed to veer from folk to friendly. The audience (and bar staff) were hugely attentive which was really nice to see....no talking or banging of doors or ice being dropped into buckets. She got a terrific reception at the end but I was left just a wee bit underwhelmed simply as the stuff she played isn't really my cup of tea. Having said that, I reckon she stands as good a chance as any of hitting payola in the fickle world of music stardom. She has the looks and the voice and the talent.
Siobhan's latest EP is called Glorified Demons and is available from here.
Here's some youtube footage of one of her earlier songs, recorded when she was living in France:-
Next up was Adam Stafford, an old favourite of TVV and once again he didn't disappoint.
If I'm going to be hypercritical then the middle section of his most recent release Vanishing Tricks ended up being a bit distorted and messy which was a shame as it is a cracking bit of music. Incidentally, it's only available as one side of a very limited edition 7" bit of vinyl, with Rick Redbeard on the other, that is still just about available from here.
The rest of the set however was stunning. Why does this musical genius not have a 3-week sell-out show at the Edinburgh Fringe, picking up all sorts of awards, critical acclaim and fame? This was a particular highlight:-
That video performance is entirely live. There really is nobody out there quite like him.
It's worth pointing out that Adam, being a very generous and decent sort, has made much of the rest of his solo catalogue and that of his previous band Y'All Is Fantasy Island entirely free to download over at his website. Click here for more.
And so to the headliners - a band whose 2009 debut LP, Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues was one that I loved but whose follow-up from the following year All Creatures Will Make Merry left me a bit cold (although I'm very much in the minority of my friends and fellow bloggers with my views on that particular record). However, based on reviews on both the brand new release Something For The Weakened and live shows over the past 2 years since I last saw them, this was one I had great hopes for.
The band had launched the new album last month while I was away In Ireland. They had performed with a nine-piece string section which is something I'm always a sucker for. Sadly, I knew there would be no such extravagance on offer in the sweaty confines of Stereo, but what followed caught me quite off guard.
It began in a very unexpected fashion. Opening with a solo, slowed down and completely acoustic version of the title track was a move that was particularly brave, bold and beautiful. I knew Neil Pennycook had a great voice but this was a whole new level. Another old song was aired - I can't for the life of me remember which one as I was still giddy from what had gone before. This was Aldo's first real experience of Neil in a gig setting and I could tell from glancing at him that he was also in awe.
My fear when three other members of the band then took to the stage was that nothing could quite live up to the first two songs.
Thankfully those fears were unfounded.
A set which leaned heavily on the newer material with an awesome rendition of 2009 single William Henry Miller thrown in for good measure, Meursault reached heights I never thought they were capable of. Those last few words sound as if there's a bit of damning with faint praise. Absolutely not.
I always had Meursault pigeon-holed as indie-folk with the odd bit of electronica thrown in and never thought they'd move on much beyond cult status. But this was a set packed with music that would sound great coming out of your radio and even better if you were standing in a muddy field staring at a stage away in the distance and realising at that precise moment that magical things can happen at the biggest of festivals. These boys can play and on this showing Neil Pennycook could give Malcolm Middleton a run for his money as the most talented indie-guitarist in the country. Even typing these words three nights later I'm still trying to get my head round it all. Especially when having finally got my hands on the new record at the end of the gig I've played it a few times and it is the melodic and folky stuff that I had expected to hear in the live setting!!!
In summary, last Wednesday.....Meursault rocked. Meursault rolled. Meursault left me wanting more, something which rarely happens at gigs nowadays. Matthew, their record label mogul at Song By Toad, should get a live LP put together for the masses.......
Here's one of the new songs:-
mp3 : Meursault - Flittin'
All Meursault product is available direct from here. It is product highly recommended by TVV................