We Don’t Have That Kind of Bread – (old) Zoey van Goey video

Because:

1) MPK2 is rehearsing an audition piece for the school musical and this kind of suits his voice;

2) it’s a cool video;

3) it’s a cool song, and

4) I don’t have any more time right now!

 

The Night Club Blues – Randolph’s Leap return to Dundee

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Randolph’s Leap will be bringing their exhilarating live show back to Dundee for a Cool Cat Club/Manic Pop Thrills co-promotion on Friday 3rd October at Beat Generator Live.

Having last played the city as support to Lost Map label mates Kid Canaveral (and earning an encore in the process!), the Leap will aim to build on the success of their debut LP for the label ‘Clumsy Knot’. No band is guaranteed to put a smile on my face at the moment more than Adam Ross and co and we’re very much looking to them playing their own headline show.

There will be two special guests on the evening. CCC regulars Blood Indians are about to launch debut single ‘Lioness’ which has already picked up airplay from the likes of Vic Galloway. Now playing with a regular 4 piece line-up Joanne and Rowan are quickly building momentum and gaining attention after the release of their excellent self-titled E.P. earlier in the year.

The wonderful St Kilda Mailboat will be opening the show. The Mailboat have built up a cult reputation for their theatrical and eccentric shows which mix up their tunes and surreal sense of humour. We’re very much looking forward to being shot at by rayguns to get the evening started!

More details on the show can be found here whilst tickets are available in Groucho’s and online here.

Here’s a recent video from the Leap to get you in the mood for the show …

Time Travellers – The Wedding Present live

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The Wedding Present / Rogue Freak Vote – The Greenside, Leslie – Friday 29th August 2014

Until their last visit to Fife, the Wedding Present had played a peripheral role in my collection with one 99p E.P. (‘Brassneck’) and one L.P. (’Bizarro’) in my possession. In fact at that stage I was probably most familiar with an early (pre-George Best) Peel session on a tape.

But their performance that night persuaded me to delve into the back catalogue and to get their last LP ‘Valentina’ albeit on download.

For all that, I didn’t rush out and buy tickets for this intimate show largely because I was toying with the idea of seeing them the next day as part of the Last Big Weekend. In the end, despite a very attractive bill, I ditched LBW with this show as some form of, less physically demanding, compensation.

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First off it was an unusual set as the regular band members were all unavailable. So David Gedge was backed by members of past (and possibly future) line-ups. With limited rehearsal time, I think it was intended that the set would be the same as the LBW set so we got a short set at barely 45 minutes. But it was still very impressive.

Whilst I have no doubt that the set drew on fan favourite songs (each one was greeted rapturously at least) there were few of what I would regard as the hits. The only songs that I recognised as singles were the aforementioned ‘Brassneck’, an extended ‘Cordurouy’ and the stone cold classic ‘Your Favourite Dress’. (My relationship with the Weddoes might have developed rather differently had I heard that song at the time.)

So if Friday’s set was less obvious (to these ears at least) it was still as every bit as good as their last, longer, visit to Fife. Whilst their recordings have never been short of energy, it has to be said that the songs do gain another dimension live.

I didn’t manage to follow up that last Leslie show with a bigger show but Friday was a timely reminder to do so at some point in the future.

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Support came from Fife act Rogue Freak Vote featuring Tomas Bird, who with his band at the time, the Blonde Spirit, also supported the Wedding Present last time out. If I was a little ambivalent about that performance, this time I’m convinced. At times, particularly on the penultimate song, they sounded like a wired version of the Phantom Band (no bad thing) whilst at others they sounded more like a psych band.

I confess I find some of that genre a little self indulgent but RFV were never that. Far from it in fact. Rather they were purposeful and at times quite thrilling. I’d definitely like to catch them again.

Rather shamefully this was only my second visit to the Greenside. The venue has certainly been refurbished since the last time but fair to say I’m not 100% convinced by the disco curtains!

Photos from the show (but not of the disco curtains) here.

Five Years to Get To This (2) – Randolph’s Leap and Tuff Love live

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Hen Party entertainment

Randolph’s Leap / Tuff Love – Electric Circus, Edinburgh – Saturday 23rd August 2014

It’s not as if we’ve not seen Randolph’s Leap recently but we ended up taking a fairly late decision to go to the Electric Circus last Saturday. The opportunity to purchase tickets for Kid Canaveral’s Christmas Baubles probably tipped the balance but the chance to see Leap and Tuff love on the same bill was too good to pass up. Almost inevitably the show lived up to expectations.

First up were Tuff Love. Having enjoyed their set at the 2013 Baubles, I confess I was slightly disappointed not to be completely blown away by the debut E.P. It’s not that it’s not a good record, it certainly is, it’s just that my expectations were unreasonably high.

Yet this set illustrated why that was the case because, in a live context, they were really great once again.

It was one of those nights at the Circus where the sound was pretty wild and Tuff Love’s mixture of the Breeders and summery pop sounded pretty loud. Even though Julie’s vocals initially were pretty low  in the mix, the extra volume suited them well.

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We got (I think) the whole E.P. but the other songs were just as good. If they manage to bottle some of this energy  on the next record then it WILL be everything I’m hoping for.

Randolph’s Leap are an absolute joy live at the moment and last Saturday’s set, probably the longest I’ve seen them play, was no exception.

The additional volume lent their performance an untamed edge and may have encouraged a version of ‘Real Anymore’ that was taken at such a ridiculous pace that it was even faster than the Kinning Park version (‘Ramones Anymore’, anyone?).

With more than an hour to play with, the Leapers ripped through pretty much everything you might have expected from  them. But there was also time for rare outings for ‘Unnatural’ and a wonderful ‘Mutiny’ alongside old favourites such as ‘Crisps’, ‘Counting Sheep’ and ‘Undergod’.

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“I thought she’d catch the popcorn like this!”

Adam was also in a somewhat irreverent mood to match the untamed sound  with mentions of the SDL and Billy Bragg as well as slagging off the capital and throwing a mouldy piece of popcorn he found on the stage at an audience member! (Neither of those with any malice, I would suggest).

In fact the whole band was in such good spirits that both Vicky and Heather addressed the audience for the first time that I can remember. (But TMI, Heather!)

Yep. As usual the Leap sent me away with a broad grin on my face. In fact I’d go as far as to say that they’re already my live band of the year – case closed.

Randolph’s Leap played:

1. Unnatural  2. Goodbye  3. Foolishness of Youth  4. Mutiny  5. Nature  6. Real Anymore  7. Microcosm  8. Weatherman  9. Isle of Love  10.Light of the Moon  11. News  12. Hermit  13. I Can’t Dance To This Music Any More  14. Crisps

Encore
15. Counting Sheep  16. Undergod

Photos from the show here.

The Song That Never Ends (Again) – Withered Hand, Samantha Crain and Adam Stafford live

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Withered Hand / Samantha Crain / Adam Stafford – Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh – Thursday 21st August 2014

My August Edinburgh madness continued last Thursday with an eagerly anticipated Withered Hand headline show at the Queen’s Hall. With a long established favourite opening the show and a completely new name before the headliner, it looked like an intriguing line-up.

MPT favourite Adam Stafford opened the evening and it’s probably fair to say that he wasn’t an obvious choice as an opening act for a show like this.

By his standards Adam played what can fairly be described as a pop set, certainly compared with Aberdeen’s more experimental guitar-less outing recently. Additionally Thursday’s set was rather less complex than that Northern outing.

Much of the set was drawn from ‘Imaginary Walls Collapse’ (including pop hit ‘Vanishing Tanks’ – to the delight of the MPKs) but it was also slightly longer than I’d expected. So there was room for both the classic ‘Shot Down Summer Wannabees’ and a new song which is more song based than the sound collages of the Tunnels show (although hopefully its working title of ‘It’ll Probably be Shite’ doesn’t stick!).

It was a brilliant display of Stafford at his most accessible and hopefully the performance will have won him some new fans. Certainly his set was well received.

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Next up was Samanatha Crain whose name I had seen before but about whom I knew absolutely nothing. Her solo acoustic performance therefore came as a delightful surprise.

I’ve only got positive things to say about her set. She brought a real energy to her performance, both in her singing and her guitar playing, she’s a good storyteller both through her songs and in between.

All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable set which was particularly well received by the growing audience.

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And so to the headliner. To be honest it wasn’t the best show I’ve seen from Dan – indeed at times it sounded a little flat.

When there’s a 10 piece band on stage, you want to hear all their contributions. Unfortunately there were instruments which just seemed to disappear into the mix, particularly Pete Harvey’s cello, and instead of the zip you’d expect from a big band, the sound ended up rather stodgy. Which is more than a little ironic given how bright and sparkly the production is on the second album.

This was more than a little frustrating because without question Dan has the songs to carry a 90 minutes set like this (just look below at the set list).

But for me it was the slower songs that worked out best on the night, particularly ‘California’ and ‘New Gods’.

The faster songs suffered the most but the likes of ‘New Dawn’ and the irrepressible ‘King of Hollywood’ were notable exceptions.

Content wise, the set largely rejigged the Liquid Room setlist from April but the longer running time lent itself to some notable inclusions in the shape of ‘Hard On’ , ‘Love In The Time of Ecstasy’ and ‘I Am Nothing’.

After thinking that the Liquid Room show was approaching a slick rock gig, this show perhaps redressed the balance, as the band had to restart no fewer than THREE songs! In fact the opening ‘Horseshoe’ was almost halfway through when it fell apart to, it has to be said, some cheering from the crowd.

“Don’t fucking cheer!” was Dan’s reaction to that and the band thereafter maintained a semblance of order until the encores when both ‘New Gods’ and ‘Not Alone’ suffered similar fates!

An intriguing evening then which didn’t quite reach the heights that it might have done. But I’m pretty certain next time will.

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Withered Hand played:

1. Horseshoe 2. Providence 3. Black Tambourine 4. I Am Nothing 5. New Dawn 6. Love Over Desire 7. King of Hollywood 8., Love In The Time of Ecstasy 9. Fall Apart 10. Religious Songs 11. California 12. Between True Love and Ruin 13. Heart, Heart

Encore
14. Cornflake (solo) 15. New Gods 16. Hard On 17. Not Alone

Five Years To Get To This (1) – Randolph’s Leap/Tuff Love photo review

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Randolph’s Leap / Tuff Love – Electric Circus, Edinburgh – Saturday 23rd August 2014

I’m now two written reviews behind schedule and will try and catch up in the course of the week. In the meantime here’s a few photos from last night’s excellent show at the Electric Circus.

I’ve started the photo set with photos of Tuff Love here. Leap photos to be added in the course of the week as well.

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