The Mirror Trap
The Mirror Trap/Cherri Fosphate/Union Chapel – Duke’s Corner, Dundee and STOOR/Bobby Stickah – The Cool Cat Club, Beat Generator Live, Dundee – 11th April 2014
Friday provided something of a bad clash with the Mirror Trap’s eagerly awaited launch night for ‘Stay Young’ up against an intriguing five band Cool Cat Club bill. In the end, as I’ve been wanting to catch the Mirror Trap again for nearly a year after a brilliant Beat Generator Live performance last year, I settled on finishing the night at Duke’s with the transition to be worked out as the evening progressed.
So let’s take things in chronological order and the evening started with Bobby Stickah at the Cool Cat Club. I missed the start of his performance but, as with the last time I saw him, he was wildly entertaining even before he was joined by a bass playing cohort in a knitted Ood mask. The perfect way to start any evening of rock’n’roll.
Next up were STOOR and they were brilliant. A fair chunk of their set was instrumental but at various times they reminded me of the Clean and Wire in amongst a host of other less tangible names.
But no two songs were alike – the opening instrumental had a timeless simplicity that the Clean managed to pull off on a regular basis but things got more complicated thereafter particularly when the vocals came into play. I did think from the interview that Andy did with them that I was going to enjoy them but didn’t anticipate that it would be one of those eureka moments. Can’t wait to see them again.
At this point, with the CCC having slipped behind schedule, it seemed time to move to Duke’s Corner. Unfortunately my transition from one show to the other turned out to be poorly timed. Instead of an introduction to the Bucky Rage at BGL I caught Union Chapel’s set at Duke’s. Suffice to say their polished harmonies were not my thing.
Fortunately the main support for the Mirror Trap were Glasgow’s Cherri Fosphate and they were MUCH to my liking. The influence that stood out for me in a set of hard edged rock was We Were Promised Jetpacks . I wouldn’t have said that there was an obvious stand-out tune for me (which might actually be a good thing) but they were a really good live act and I enjoyed them a lot.
Which set the scene perfectly for headliners the Mirror Trap. After all the anticipation there was a risk that the show might have come up short against my expectations but that emphatically wasn’t the case.
The epitome of the modern rock band they’re versatile enough to move from heavy rock (the awesome ‘American Dreams’) through the sort of anthems that bigger bands would kill for (‘Killing Time’) to epic ballads such as ‘Waves’. There are numerous diversions in between, and they even managed to include a funked up number (maybe ‘Statues’ from the first album?).
I did worry (briefly) that they might have peaked too early after playing arguably my favourite three songs from the record in the opening four tunes. But the fact that things never dipped once thereafter indicates just how good the album is. I do have to give a special mention though to ‘Bell Street’, a tune I have to confess I wasn’t overly enamoured with as a B-side. I’ve no idea why that was the case because, if it works brilliantly on the album, then it was even better played towards the back end of the set.
As well playing almost all of the excellent ‘Stay Young’ they even managed to throw in a couple of new tunes. In fact they broke the cardinal rule of never finishing with a new tune by doing precisely that. But, on first listen, it sounded like the song belonged nowhere else in the set.
In short, the Mirror Trap are nothing less than a great live band and this show demonstrated ample reasons exactly why that is the case.
Here’s a live video from Friday courtesy of Daisy Dundee:
The Mirror Trap support Ezra Furman at Buskers in Dundee on Monday 28th April and play the Big Beach Ball in Aberdeen on Saturday 4th May.