Malcolm Middleton / Spare Snare / Eagleowl – Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, 22nd May 2010
Given Malcolm Middleton’s official semi-retirement, this show was something of a coup for Tigerfest. However it was clear from the setlist that Mr Middleton has not exactly been idle in his retirement. As well as a previously featured unreleased song (with the memorable ‘I’m sitting on my fat arse on a Tuesday’ line), the setlist featured two news songs, which I’ll call ‘Moments’ and ‘Goldigger’ and an instrumental called ‘Hiroshima’ apparently from an imminent LP of songs about cities of the world.
When he announced this LP to the audience, one woman behind us found it so implausible that she couldn’t stop laughing, which left Mr M more than a little perplexed because it’s clearly true.
We left en masse in protest at the end of ‘Hiroshima’. Acoustic prog? I think not. Only kidding – the set went on much longer than expected and the wee one actually fell asleep necessitating our early departure. ‘Hiroshima’ was in fact rather lovely.
As is usually the case with a Middleton solo show there was plenty of between song banter (a lot of which centred around him teasing us about his Madonna covers set as part of the forthcoming JD shows). And a setlist that largely featured earlier material although ‘Box and Knife’ was a surprise inclusion which worked well in an acoustic setting.
In truth, I’m sure the kid would have been more impressed with a band show but ‘Red Travellin’ Socks’ got the thumbs up from the younger MPT minor.
I’m ashamed to admit I knew next to nothing about Spare Snare other than the fact that they originally formed in Dundee and have a reputation as a lo-fi act. Which isn’t what they sounded like in a live context. Eschewing the big chords perhaps but their set wais tight and confident. Despite a few false starts they delivered a thoroughly entertaining set with some tracks from their soon to be released new LP.
My only disappointment is that our early departure meant that I couldn’t get a CD.
Eagleowl opened the show with a quiet, haunting set which seemed designed to show up my recent comments about their variery! That may be down to the fact that they were reduced to a two piece for the show but fortunately their hypnotic set was met by a well mannered and respectful audience.
The six song set featured the entirely inappropriate ‘Sleep The Winter’ (on the hottest day of the year!) and a couple of tracks from with debut EP. ‘The Thoughts You Never Had’ was a stunning conclusion to the set, with Bart cutting loose to provide an unsettling finale. Eagleowl may never be big stars but they are currently making some of the most original music in Scotland.
More photos from the show here.