Gig Review: The Pastels/Electrelane/The Royal We
The Bongo Club, Edinburgh, April 29, 2007
And so…Triptych, the annual Scottish five day event that brings great music from around the world and celebrates the homegrown variety in Scotland’s principal cities draws to a close. A night of three bands at the small but delightful Bongo Club (which has some damn fine programming).
First up, the Royal We, who look almost as young as some of the kids I teach. They seem a little awkward, but they short but sweet set wins me over. their singer is like Siouxsie Sioux’s delightfully demenetd niece, and the band look like the archetypal scots indie twee kids (that’s meant as a compliment. Hey, we’re at the Pastels’ gig). ‘Three is a crowd’ sounds great, Is This Music? have covered them, so let’s hope they are getting more ocverage very soon.
Electrelane have just put out their rather fab no Shouts, No Calls (go, buy it. Now) album – hopefully will post a review here in the next day or so. They are a revelation live. I have never seen them live before but I would drive a long way to see them. They remind me of a more Germanic Stereolab, though the sheer attitude is unbelievable. Not in a riot grrl sense, but the utter subversion of what music sometimes expects of women. I swear I sore the ghost of nico look down from her great opium den in the sky and smile approvingly. I say to Mr. Toad from Song, By Toad that I think if Nico were alive and well in 2007 and she’d be seeking out Electrelane as her backing band. He points out, not unreasonably, that they are doing pretty well without her. And the soon to be Mrs. 17 Seconds is suitably impressed too.
Before Camera Obscura, before Sons and Daughters, Belle and Sebastian – heck, even before my beloved Delgados, there was The Pastels. Legends on the scottish indie scene – in fact, indie legnds full stop, the expectation tonight is high. Unfortunately, much as I want to be blown away by this legendary band, who I love on record, they have horrendous sound problems. They are joined by Japanese band The Tennis Coats, whose contributions add a nice touch that reminds me a bit of Durutti Column, but Stephen Pastel seems like a rabbit caught in the headlights. It’s a measure of how highly The Pastels are regarded that the crowd patiently waits, but his discomfort is obvious. I hoep there’s another time, because I want, so badly, to
love them live as much as I do when I hear their music on their stereo. Another time? Please??
For another, perhaps more positive review of this gig, visit Song, By Toad. See if you can spot the reference to the soon to be Mrs. 17 Seconds…and hear some great stuff by the bands from the last two nights’ worth of gigs.