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To mark Bob Mould’s imminent return to Edinburgh, here’s my review of the last time he played the Liquid Room.

I’ll confess I’ve never quite understood the fervour with which some people talk about the best Bob Mould solo shows. Including the short COLAS support set with the Flaming Lips in 2002 this is the fourth time I’ve seen Bob solo – and NOW I understand!

This was, by a fair bit, the best Bob solo show I’ve seen. The acoustic stuff sounded great whilst the electric section was even better. Overall Bob brought an intensity to his performance over the whole show that I’ve not seen from him before.

There were a couple of technical reasons for the quality of the show. Firstly and most importantly Bob’s most potent weapon, his voice, was deployed to maximum effect, even though he confessed before the encore that he had been worried about it beforehand. The sound for the show was also really clear both for both guitars and the vocals.

It definitely helped too that Bob seemed to be really enjoying himself again. He was at his most chatty when he paused for breath between songs ranging from an update on his forthcoming activities to some slight bitching about certain rock stars.

The setlist was very similar to that of the Glasgow show but I’ve not yet got to the stage of getting fed-up hearing any of this material . The only slight disappointment was that there was none of the new material that he played in the States earlier this year.

The only downer of the whole evening was the turn-out. Admittedly we were early in but I think Y and I were actually first through the doors and it turned out to be the quietest show I’ve ever seen at the Liquid Room (with the balcony not even opened). In truth it was probably less than half full which was a bit surprising after Glasgow sold out. Perhaps the relative proximity to the Glasgow show and the World Cup had an effect on the attendance.

Finally – the irony. Having had to fly to see Bob virtually every time in the last few years, the one time he plays less than 40 miles from home I had to fly anyway – back home from the Triffids in Belgium!

It’s a funny old world.

Setlist

Wishing Well
Hear Me Calling
Hoover Dam
See A Little Light
No Reservations
Needle Hits E
Hardly Getting Over It
High Fidelity
Sinners and Their Repentances
Circles*
Paralyzed*
The Act We Act*
Your Favourite Thing*
I Apologize*
Chartered Trips*
Celebrated Summer*
——————–
If I Can’t Change Your Mind*
Makes No Sense At All*

*Electric

Bob and band play the Liquid Room on Monday 8th February. [Tickets]

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