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 live music reviewer Colin often signs off with the phrase "chips then home" but this week we've sent him along to an altogether different experience at Provender Browns Wine & Cicchetti evening as part of the Great Perthshire Picnic.
I have a bit of a love hate relationship with music festivals. I went to Glastonbury in 2000 with my cousins and although I loved the music, sunshine and banter I had such a pathological fear of camping that i had to practically drink myself unconscious before I could get any sleep. By early on Sunday afternoon I had a hangover nearly as big as Glastonbury causing us to leave early and miss the headliner David Bowie. I hang my head in shame.
August 27th Sunday 2017
Three powerful pieces of American orchestral music performed by NYOS's. Ranging from the enduringly popular American in Paris to Andrew Norman's 2014 technology inspired Switch.
August 23rd Wednesday 2017
A hilarious and captivating bike powered performance of one of Shakespeare's best and most enduring comedies at the beautiful Burmieston Farm and Steading.
August 21st Monday 2017