Full disclosure. I know Majik Carpet. The band met each other in a Live Music Performance class that I attend at college. I remember when we did our first college gig at the Green Room feeling really nervous after seeing their set before I played with my own band. They were all so much younger than me and already much better at their instruments and I felt that my chops paled in comparison.
I caught up with them for a quick chat and pint at the Green Room just before their gig on election-day. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Olivia tells me they haven’t played live for a while because they have been hard at work on writing new material and are hoping to get some recording done soon at Clearwater Studios. Olivia recorded her debut E.P. Jessup there and the results were pretty impressive. Getting together to gig and record can sometimes be tricky as they all live in different parts of Scotland.
Although they clicked straight away and enjoy each other’s banter there's an element of compromise to being in a band. “When we do a cover there is always someone in the band who hates it and Ross hates everything”. After quickly asking them about their influences “everything from Michael Jackson to My Bloody Valentine, we want to put the guitar back in pop” we head our separate ways - me to vote and have a quick cheese and salad sandwich, them to do cool Rock n’ Roll young people stuff.
When I returned from voting the first of four support acts (five band’s that’s almost a festival!) singer songwriter Sophie Staniforth had just finished and Josef Lawrence & The Hypocrites took to the stage. The lads were subject of my most recent review so all I will say is that if anything the band were on even better form, playing with a real sense of urgency and confidence.
Next up were Empty Jahr who really brought the rock with an intense set, I really liked second song My Head Is a Mess particularly when the lead singers vocals kick in with full force. The real stars of the show for me, headliners excluded of course, was local band Brainglue. These guys have the sound and look of a late 70’s U.S. punk band, with just a bit of J. Mascis style guitar histrionics thrown in for good measure. Think New York Dolls, Iggy and the Stooges and The Ramones and you are in the right ball park. Hell, it felt like I was in CBGB’s! Original song Filth is a great track but the real standout was their cover of The Stooges I Wanna Be Your Dog. By the time they play their final song Psychotic and they've worked themselves and the audience into a frenzy. they play their final song Psychotic and they've worked themselves and the audience into a frenzy.
It was a tough act to follow but I was sure Majik Carpet were up to the job and after a few teething problems with tuning they get things off to a strong start with their cover of Black Honey’s Corrine, Olivia’s got a tremendous voice and this suited it down to the ground. What I was really looking forward to was hearing their original songs, the first of which was Intro an atmospheric instrumental that builds to another Carpet original House on Fire on which Callum achieves an epic guitar sound and see’s Olivia vamping on one chord on her rhythm guitar.
Callum’s lead guitar really shines on their cover of MGMT’s Electric Feel, I swear at one point it sounded like a steel drum! This song has an awesome bassline and really allows bass player Frazer Dewar to get his groove on with drummer Ross Stewart. The night draws to a close with Biffy cover That Golden Rule spurred on by Brainglues punk rock ethos guitarist Callum jumps in the air and lands perched on Ross’s bass drum. He motions me to take a picture but unfortunately when I picked up the camera from the office I accidentally picked up a lens normally used for taking close ups of food so this moment of Rock n’ Roll history goes uncaptured!
Our artiest Team Small City member was all paintbrushes and upcycling at the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Workshop at Underneath The Arches in Perth City.
Michael Kiwanuka gained widespread critical acclaim with his debut album, 2012’s Home Again and in the same year won the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll.
November 6th Monday 2017
We sent Gary along to see what it's like to be a pilot as he took the controls thousands of feet above the ground with ACS Flight Training out at Scone Airport. Find out about his experience and how you too could soar above the skies of Perthshire!
October 30th Monday 2017
Scottish Singer-songwriter Roddy Woomble found fame as the frontman of insanely popular indie-rock band Idlewild with whom he recorded seven solo albums. Since 2006 he has pursued, to much acclaim, a parallel career as a solo folk artist and last he played at Birnam Arts to promote his latest album Deluder. We sent Small City Muso Colin along to sniff it out.
October 23rd Monday 2017