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  • The Sounds @ The Classic Grand

    7 mar 2012, 13:47

    Often I go through phases of "Heck, I don't have a clue what my favourite music artists are doing at the moment, I should check their latest tour/album info". Usually this leads to me realising that my favourite bands are doing a mega tour of North America, or maybe I've missed a European date just a short while ago. Damnit. However, I usually end up finding out about a gig happening nearby that I'm interested in checking out - so I'm content.

    Not this time. I go onto The Sounds website. A tour. Yus. Playing Ireland? No - but there's a date in Glasgow next month. Are there still tickets? Yes!! Buy, buy, buy. Book flights, will sort accommodation later. Woop. Wow, I've been waiting for a suitable chance to check out this band live for years and I can't wait. Luckily, I don't have to for long - just a short month OD'ing on their new album Something to Die For and before I know it we're back in Scotland.

    I'd never been to The Classic Grand before but I really enjoyed it as a venue. Not too large, nice atmosphere. Actually, since I'd waited to long for this event, I just assumed the place would be heaving. As it was the crowd was pretty small which I'd imagine was difficult for the band to get to grips with in the beginning. They didn't show it though. So we probably arrived 30 min after doors opened, which I usually find to be appropriate, but we never heard The Limousines play and I'm not sure if they played in this time, or not at all. I didn't know them before, but have checked them out since and I'm disappointed I missed them. We were entertained by the pumpin beats of Kids At The Bar as a warm up. This was really enjoyable actually, and as they just had decks it meant the changover between themselves and The Sounds was really swift. Much appreciated.

    With such a deep library of tunes to choose from at this stage, listening to The Sounds was like going on a journey. They mixed between old and new records, with Maja Ivarsson really keeping the crowd involved and in high spirits. She is certainly a crowd favourite, which shouldn't take away from the band as a whole. I think it's those amazing legs...and vocals, of course. I'm not sure what my highlight songs were as I enjoyed the electro beats of Something to Die For, old favourite Living in America and the singalong to Night After Night. It did seem fitting to close the show off with (an awesome version) of Tony the Beat as it resurrected memories of first discovering this band while living in Scotland.

    So thanks for visiting - don't be a stranger!
  • Tegan & Sara @ The Olympia

    17 jun 2010, 18:37

    Tue 15 Jun – Tegan and Sara

    Due to a delay in purchasing my tickets I ended up in the Circle of the Concert Hall. Luckily the venue isn't all that big, so I never felt too far from the stage - just pretty high. Provided a better view than most gigs I go to, seeing as I'm quite short.

    First out came Oliver Cole to give an acoustic session by himself, with a number of moans that the band never turned up (I still can't tell if this was a joke, or if they just decided to do a no-show...). Oliver did a great job of holding the fort by himself anyway. He had a great personality and it was fun listening to music and anecdotes. I loved the joke about feeling "left of centre" and his story about the song We Albatri. My favourite song of the session was actually the song by his former band Turn. I can't remember what it was, but I plan to check out some tunes from this band I hadn't heard of before.

    After a short interlude Tegan and Sara took to the stage with their 3-strong band. They immediately kicked off with a few whopping tunes before having a bit of a chat with the crowd. Again their chat between the songs was just as entertaining as the actual music itself. Honestly I went into this gig being a big fan of the So Jealous album (along with a handful of other songs), but I left the gig as a huge Tegan and Sara fan. There wasn't one filler song in the whole set, every one was top class, even when mistakes were made in a few songs by Tegan it just added to the entertainment. Most of this is due to the attitudes of both girls. The kind of people you couldn't not like. Incidents Involved an inflatable crocodile, fantastic drum solo, a number of items thrown on stage, plus talk of this fantastic Canadian beverage made of carrots and ginger, can't remember the name... Songs that stood out on the night were memories that Walking With The Ghost had first arose my interest in the band several years ago, finishing off the show with Living Room which is my favourite tune (though can't say I was the biggest fan of the version played) and finding a new love of Back in Your Head. Honestly, I was needing the toilet about halfway through the show (damn beer), waited for a lull in the entertainment to go, but still didn't get an opportunity until fit to bursting in the break before the encore. Could have been embarrassing.

    I can't actually remember the last gig I went to that has left me so satisfied. Makes me want to move to Canada! Another important factor in this was the crowd. The crowd had a great reaction and ambiance to what was going on on-stage. I'm already looking forward to the next gig!
  • Marina & the Diamonds @ The Assembly Rooms

    3 jun 2010, 22:27

    Sun 30 May – Marina & the Diamonds, Spark

    When this event was originally planned for The Liquid Rooms I thought "wow, so that club's going to be alive and kicking again", but no, instead the venue changed to the more impressive settings of The Assembly Rooms. With the hall host to a huge chandelier that seemed apt for the diva that was Marina. A likeable, quite down-to-earth diva. We took advantage of the seated gallery, after a pretty knackering weekend of events, which provided an alternate perspective on the whole show.

    First out came Spark. I didn't hate it, didn't love it. The most striking part of the performance was her black lycra catsuit. Does that go with a baggy, navy hoody?? I'm no fashion expert. Others were more impressed, so don't take my indifference to much degree.

    There was a lengthy delay between acts, at which point I was most glad of the seat and top class company *wink*. Eventually Marina and her 4 geekingly-stylish musicians appeareed and immediately kicked off the show with 2 songs I'd been checking out earlier that day - Seventeen & Girls. Marina has a wonderfully powerful voice, holding strong even at this the end of her tour. Every song was a joy with the vocals, instrumentals and impressive lighting. In her diva-esque way Marina referred to the crowd as her diamonds (not my cup of tea) and had 2 costume changes - first into a cheerleader outfit for Hollywood and, for the encore, changed into what could only be described as a silk duvet cover with a large picture of Bambi on it (I personally loved this).

    Although I enjoyed all the songs, with Marina taking goes on the keyboard for certain songs, and said she added an extra song for the night - Are You Satisfied? - (possibly the best song of the night!), it was great in the encore to hear her really soulful rendition of Katy Perry's Starstruck. Gave it an entirely different perspective.

    All in all. I had a fantastic time - loved the venue, loved Marina.
  • Sons & Daughters @ Queens Hall

    19 feb 2008, 17:38

    Sat 16 Feb – Sons and Daughters, Black Kids, Broken Records, Fangs

    I was disappointed that I felt the need to give away my ticket to see Sons & Daughters before Christmas because I was totally stressed about the big exams looming the next day(s). So was relieved when they arranged another date for Edinburgh so soon after. Plus, I kept my ticket this time :)

    I wasn't up for paying for the costly drinks in Queens Hall (nice venue) so twas a sober night. I was happy that I arrived in plenty of time to see all the bands from my front row spot. Broken Records were first to play, and I'm converted. Found myself too busy to check them out beforehand, but have been listening to them since. Particularly like the song A Good Reason.

    Black Kids disappointed me to be honest. Others seem to find them great, but I wasn't a fan at all. Would have much preferred to hear Broken Records after. They weren't awful, but the best part was the girl's reaction to everything the singer had to say. Funny. And I enjoyed noticing Ailidh from Sons and Daughters checking them out from the side.

    Sons and Daughters came out and easily got the crowd going, an element that neither previous band quite managed. I really enjoyed the set, but was a bit disappointed with the quietness of the vocals. Apparently I was just standing too far forward, and the sound was great further back. A lesson for the future me thinks. Red Receiver was played a few tracks in, and was the first to make a real impact with the crowd. There was a great buzz from then on. A number of new tracks from the new album were played that I was yet to hear, but I found them enjoyable too. Bodes well.

    Hope they return soon so I can stand a few metres back and enjoy it even moreso!
  • MC Flagchasers @ Black Tape

    19 feb 2008, 17:14

    You get a half hour spot to play tunes for picky music sorts...what do you choose?
    Our playlist, that went down a treat, except for one song which recieved much abuse was:

    I Wish I Was Someone Better - Blood Red Shoes
    Checkout - The Chalets
    Deceptation - Le Tigre
    Darling - Sons & Daughters
    Feed On me - Melody Club
    Patins - CSS
    He Said He Loved Me - Reverend and the Makers
    The Laws Have Changed - New Pornographers
    Handshakes - Metric
    Helicopter - Bloc Party

    Not necessarily in that order...
    Melody Club proved to be a floor-filler and, surprisingly, the winning choice of the night. Reverend & the Makers got the abuse. A drunken guy falling into the decks nearly caused a lot of costly damage, but somehow the situation was saved. Ended up only one deck got unplugged and caused a minor lull in the music.
    Helicopter was a late addition to let the next DJ organise himself. And we'd also wanted to play Date With the Night - Yeah Yeah Yeahs but the girls before beat us to it.