On Friday (20th), a last minute decision was taken to catch the Wildhouse for the first time in several years – I’ve already written about that here. But it wouldn’t go amiss to remind you that the Wildhouse remain one of a kind, violently averse to conformity such that they are destined to remain the very definition of a cult band. But it’s a cult worth joining.
The next day we were up to Aberdeen to see the Twilight Sad headline show, also the first time I’ve seen them headline in several years although we did catch them at the Cure show in August.
Support came from the esteemed duo of R.M. Hubbert and Aidan Moffat, who were playing their penultimate show together. It’s difficult to imagine that the pair won’t collaborate again in some way but as a send-off for a fruitful couple of years, this was an excellent way to go.
Subtly backed by Jenny Reeve and David Jeans for most of the set, the duo completed their stint as a duo with final single ‘Cut To Black’ an effective way to end.
Perhaps surprisingly Hubby was the more talkative of the two but it was an excellent show. Highlight though was Hubby asking if anyone had been at his last performance at the venue – when he’d “called half the audience cunts”! 55%, Hubby, 55%.
The Twilight Sad have shifted up several levels since I last saw them at Doghouse (3) a few years ago. Now able to command attention on the big festival stage at the likes of Bellahouston, headlining a venue like the Music Hall is surely becoming second nature.
It was an impassioned performance drawn largely from the current album. That was largely a good thing for me as I think it’s their best since the debut. At their finest, they are simply devastating and that pretty much covers the run from ‘Videograms’ to the end of the set with the one-two gut punch of ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ and ‘And She Would Darken The Memory’ leaving everyone exhausted but exhilirated. No encore because there really was nowhere left to go after that.
Despite that finish, in truth, this was a notch below the Summer Sessions show, as they occasionally tipped into bluster. Yet it remains impressive and admirable that a band as uncompromising as the Twilight Sad have reached the level that they have without needing to alter their approach in any way.
September’s shows concluded with a comparatively low key show at Clark’s in Dundee. Band A are a group of Edinburgh based musicians doing shows to pay a not quite 40 years’ tribute to the Associates’ ‘Affectionate Punch’ album.
It was an engaging set with the album delivered in full but bookended by a couple of significant singles – the opening ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ segued into the title track whilst ‘Party Fears Two’ came after ‘A’. The only disappointment was the sound – with the keyboards largely inaudible for much of the set.
But it’s definitely a show worth seeing if you have even an outside interest in the album or the Associates. The band are next onstage at Celtic Connections in January.
More shit photos from the balcony of the Music Hall:.