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Monday, 2 April 2012

The Cider Spiders, Masters of the Sea, OK Social Club, Colour Cells - Bakers Kilmarnock (31/3/12)

Who are The OK Social Club?
Spill it.
I want to know everything about them after seeing them play in Bakers in Kilmarnock.
Like a Scottish version of The Strokes they played a storming set in front of a partially disinterested crowd (their loss) who were mainly there to see the reunion of local heroes The Cider Spiders.
It's to the bands credit that the lack of an enthusiastic response from the audience didn't come close to putting a dent into what was an excellent 'you had to be there' performance.
By the midway point of their first song I was hooked and my attention didn't wane in the slightest as their set progressed.
To get back to the sound though, when I say The Strokes I don't want anyone thinking that they're the McStrokes, but instead that what I'm getting at is that they've delved into the punk past of the New York scene, and beyond, and drank from the same well of influences.
It's more a case that they're coming at the music from the same direction rather than trying to emulate Julian Casablancas and the boys.
There's a real freshness to their take on what they're doing.
This isn't the seventies, eighties, nineties or the naughties.
This isn't a band on a nostalgia trip.
Far from it.
This is young men forging their own path who simply have some excellent influences in their rear view mirror.
As short introductions to a band go this one ticked all the boxes and I hope to be hearing their name being whispered about rather loudly in the coming months.
They should get t-shirts printed that say 'The OK Social Club only do effortlessly cool'.
I'd buy one.
Soon after they had finished Masters of the Sea took to the stage and attempted to defy description.
I'm not really sure when the last time was that I seen such a musically anarchic band.
If there's a rule book to how music should be played then these guys have been tearing sheets out of it to use nonchalantly when the toilet roll runs out.
This band are the Twilight Zone. Nothing is as it should be.
You could lose count of how many time changes there are in a song, and just as you're managing to wrap your head around a Morricone styled waltz they start getting funky.
One minute Stevie Smith is conjuring up the ghost of Jim Morrison and the next he's encroaching on the territory of Grand Master Flash.
Sometimes it's as if the set hasn't been prearranged and we are watching a band jamming, but the bigger picture is that there's more cohesiveness to it than some may think.
Biggest surprise of the night is that people are getting it.
I've underestimated the crowds ability to be challenged and get on board with something that doesn't fit into the narrow confines of what is churned out on a weekly basis on television music channels.
I suppose I could rave about how much I enjoyed what they did, but it would just be a a bunch of jumbled words thrown down on the page.
I suppose the fairest and most accurate thing that can be said about Masters of the Sea is that they're not going to pander to you. You either get it or don't.
In a vibrant local music scene they're on the outside looking in, refusing to fit, and loving every second of it.
I guess what I'm saying is the world needs Masters of the sea.
The night was however always going to belong to The Cider Spiders.
This was the band that everyone was there to see, and expectations were set on high.
The good thing was that the Cider Spiders don't do disappointing if you exclude splitting up.
They're the shoulda, woulda, coulda band from Kilmarnock, and on the strength of this one solitary gig they showed everyone why.
With a name taken from the paranoid hallucinations that creep in the morning after the night before of binging on whatever is on offer the band more than live up to their local legendary status as hedonistic nutters.
Minx out front is a whirling and thrashing bare chested dervish who fires out tongue twisting staccato heavy lines like machine gun fire, and then intersperses them with moments when you can hear that this man really has some pipes on him.
The all out attack is only one string to his bow.
The band are solidly grooving behind him and there's a real sense that they can handle anything that is thrown at them.
It's been a while since this town has seen a crowd going nuts. Really nuts, and then with Kilmarnock Football Club wresting the cup from Celtics hands, and then this, it has been a double blow to the foundations of the town.
There's people on the east coats probably wondering why for the second time in ten days that their crockery is rattling in their cupboards.
It's the seismic shocks that are doing it that reverberated from Kilmarnock.
By the second song half the venue has stripped to the waste and bodies are being hoisted onto shoulders and rolling across a sea of hand.
It's not just the audience participating either.
Minx launches himself wildly into the crowd on more than one occasion and it's a wonder that the crowd let him out of their clutches.
It's a fantastic experience to see people singing along word for word with a local bands songs and losing themselves in the moment.
It's nights like these that smash the lie that the only good bands are the ones in the larger venues and stadiums.
Here is a band that could give any of the big boys a run for their money.
If there was any justice in the world then they would have been giant killers first time around.
That it didn't happen is neither here nor there. It has no bearing on how good they are.
Someone said to me that this performance was like controlled chaos.
Utter bollocks.
The brakes were off and no one was at the wheel.
As the last song imploded Minx once again took to the shoulders of the crowd.
Not to be outdone in the showman stakes guitarist Tiger joined him and very nearly crowd surfed from the stage to the bar at the back of the venue.
Security guys who are used to clubbers shaking their thang and the odd drunk throwing some macho shapes watched on in bemusement as this all took place, and fair play to them as they took it all on board for what it was and made sure everyone had a great evening without it being hampered by idiocy on the part of over excited patrons.
A fine balance was struck.
Unfortunately the same couldn't said about the alcohol consumption.
I'll be guessing that in the morning some fragile heads would have been held.
Beds would no doubt have been seen as an oasis of calm in a stormy sea, sick buckets would have been filled to overflowing and give it nine months and there could be a few new arrivals called Bakers to celebrate the night of their conception.
It was that sort of night.
'Mon the Spiders. You canny leave the story half written.
Come and save us from the mundane and take us to the land of unashamed debauchery.
(ColourCells were the first band of the night and I just missed them. If anyone want to contribute a review then I'll either add it to this (credited of course), or put it up as a stand alone review credited to the writer)


  1. Missed two gigs this week to concentrate on your favourites.
    Mechanical Smile had a launch gig for their e.p. and KA Radio had a fundraiser in Fanny By Gaslights.

  2. Okay here we go again.
    1) I would have been to the Mechanical Smile gig if I had childcare for the night. You want to volunteer?
    2) I spoke to Murray of Mechanical Smile at the Brown Bear gig. Nice conversation as always and I continue to support the band in pursuing their dreams. There's not an issue here apart from one you are trying to make.
    No one gives a fuck apart from you it seems.
    3) If anyone was at the launch gig and wants to review it then I'll up it.
    4)I was working on Sunday night so I couldn't attend the gig in Fanny by Gaslight.
    You want to do some shifts for me and provide me with the cash to get into the gigs I want to go to?
    Nope. Didn't think so.
    To mention Murray again. I passed him on my way to work as he was outside the bar.
    I'm sure he can vouch for me.
    5) Matt Scott, Masters of the Sea and Deadlock played at the gig and in the past I've praised all.
    The axe you see to think I have to grind exists only in your head.
    6) If anyone wants to review it then once again I'll post it.
    I'm curious though. How heavy is this rock you keep crawling out from under.
    Your posts don't actually annoy me.
    They're consistently entertaining in the depths of their stupidity.
    I have as much fun responding as I would shooting fish in a barrel.
    It's also as easy.

  3. *Seem to think.
    Spelling mistakes in a retort are shit. I wish I had spell checked now.

  4. Hi folks, Stumpy here. Hey Anonymous how are you? Can I ask were you at any of the gigs over the weekend? There was also a gig in Stewarton on Saturday night featuring Eras, The Aboriginals, Lions and a few others. I suppose it's one of the downsides to having such a vibrant and diverse scene in Ayrshire at the moment. For the gigs you mentioned all took place in East Ayrshire over the weekend, but I'm sure there were gigs on in Saltcoats, Irvine and Ayr over the weekend.
    Now are you going to criticise Mainy for not attending these? I've got to say your criticism is a bit strange. Have you asked Jennifer or Angus why they weren't at this gig? No, neither have I. You really can't expect people to be at every single gig. That is a sure fire way of getting tinnitus in the space of a month. So please please please Anonymous if you want to cover every gig in Ayrshire give it a bash but please stop trying to take pot shots at those who do what they can.
    Anyway I'd like to thank Mainy for his kind review, KA radio for broadcasting the gig live. As that meant those who couldn't get a ticket for this sold out show could still listen to it.

  5. As Stumpy pointed out, there are so many gigs going on in ayrshire, unless Mainy has a way to split himself into numerous versions of himself then it's impossible for anyone to get to them all. Also as he said he had no childcare. What I want to know is what business is it of anyone elses? Mainy doesn't do these reviews as a job, he does it as a musician lover and makes sure he can get to every gig possible, if people such as yourself don't like it then cry into your milk yourself. It's pathetic

  6. Ah, Anonymous you raise your ugly head again, do you want salt and sauce with that chip on your shoulder?

    I wasn't at the mechanical smile gig, does that mean i'm favouriting one act over the other? Wise up, just because theres a gig on in Ayrshire you don't need to go!

  7. hey guys just read the above posts .Robbie here I too could not make all the gigs that happened over the weekend due to work commitments other duties in fact the only one can make is su casa on thursday due to day off .many gigs that i attend i just leave straight from work but cant make everyone when the weekends come round .And have missed a few
    which i really would have liked to have been there .matt scott brown bear and the bandits ,and cider spiders .etc

    Everybody is entitled to your own opinion i suppose. But Anonymous it seems rather petty that you are totally obssessed and to totally focus on who is at a gig and who is not .I know when i attend gigs i am intrested in the band first and foremost but last but not least sure your posts warrant comments but really you are just showing yourself up robbie

  8. Roscoe Vacant.3 April 2012 at 11:15

    Why SHOULDN'T an amateur blogger only focus on his or her favourites? Any given radio station (professional or hobbyist) will have artists it will favour more than others too, and that's to be expected. Were you at the Cider Spiders gig, for instance?
    Unfortunately the responsibilities that come with having a family, a job and financial costs often mean that we can't go out to every single event we would perhaps like to (or would attend out of some misplaced sense of 'duty'). Jeez, this is so much of a non-argument it's not even funny. Identify yourself or get lost.

  9. Ouch. Amateur blogger Ross?
    I'm hurt.
    I prefer idiot savant blogger.

  10. I just realized that while I was responding to my non attendance at some gigs I completely missed out covering the allegation of favouritism.

    On the Wednesday night at the Brown Bear gig there was two acts who I had never seen before and on the Saturday at the Cider Spiders gig there was one.
    All were very highly entertaining and I have said so in the reviews.
    None of these acts were favourites as I knew nothing about them prior to seeing them.
    As I don't know them I don't have an agenda in praising them.
    I missed Colour Cells on Saturday, but I was very keen to see them do an electric set as I'm loving the material they have available for free download.
    I'm hoping someone will volunteer a review of their set.
    All above board and fair in my opinion.
    In the past I have praised the performances of people I may not personally like and made less than favourable comments about performances from people who I actually consider as my friends.
    This blog doesn't really do favouritism.
    That anyone considers that speaks volumes about how they perceive the world about them.
    I thought this needed said in the interests of clarification.

  11. As his partner I go to nearly every gig with Mainy.
    Over the years I've seen so many bands that I've lost count of them.
    Something that people maybe don't know is that we pay to get into nearly every single one and if it is an unsigned band and we are offered a guest list place we make sure we buy a t-shirt or CD.
    Up until recently I thought everyone tried to support the bands like we do, but I've since realized they don't.
    People get guest list places all the time and then don't review the gig, they don't even buy anything from the band to support them.
    Instead they treat it as a free night out.
    It's not very supportive is it?
    and then when he doesn't make it to a gig someone has a problem with it.
    Sometimes Mainy watched my daughter while I'm at work.
    Other times we are both working and very often we just can't afford to go to everything.
    Some nights there is even three gigs on that he wants to attend.
    He can't go to everything.
    With a quick text message or phone call he could get us on guest lists, but I have rarely known him to ask anyone.
    Maybe someone should think about that, and while they are at it think about the people who are on guest lists and don't do anything, or very little, in return for the band.
    It took me a while to write that. I'm raging.

  12. Just like to point out that Mechanical Smile love and respect Mainy and he told us he couldn't make it, he has seen us before, reviewed us acoustically and full band and featured us in a Q & A Interview (Best one we have done to date) and KelC has bought merch off us at one of our gigs which they paid for ticket.

    Wish people would support everyone, open their eyes and make this scene the best about or just fuck off and stop stirring shite.

    As a musician in a band I go to nearly every gig under the sun to support friends./local bands, and rarely we get the same support but we never piss and moan about it coz at the end of the day I/we go to gigs coz we love music and support our local music.

    Murray - Mechanical Smile

  13. Great night out in killie on sat night I was really impressed with the standards of the music being played by all the bands but one band stood out for me not only for the music they played but how professional they came across . Its nice too see a band make an effort on they're promotion aswell as their music ! Hats off to you guys in colour cells I will be attending more of your gigs in future GREAT BAND ! Not one to miss ;)

  14. It would be much appreciated if you reviewed it for the blog. Obviously it will be credited to you and I'll post it unedited. Any pictures would be great as well.

  15. Everybodys talking about people supporting local music. Ka Radio supports all music in the area and gets no credit from anyone. If it weren't for Ka most of you wouldn't know of most of the musos in the area.

    1. I was tonight pointed to this rather old post by a friend. But having read it for the first time I would whole heartedly agree with Mainy here. I don't have a clue who you are, don't know if you were part of KA then or now or not, don't know whether you were trying to be supportive or stirring the shit for giggles and laughs but it didn't help then, now or ever.

      I support all new music in my own small way, I don't look for favour or fame and definitely don't think what I'm doing is going to change anyones world but my own through enriching my life by witnessing others talent.

      I do what I do for the love of it and if I can build a semi successful business in the process to hand on to my children and grand children that will be very satisfying. However if it goes tits up then I will have had enormous fun in trying anyway. No more, no less.

      If anyone wants to, or feels they need to, defend or support KA Radio then put your name on your rants if not don't bother, it does me, the station and the local scene no good whatsoever. I foolishly got into a war of words in the early days (never anonymously) and some who turned out to be charlatans, thieves and down right loonies muddied the waters for everyone by turning one against the other in, like this attempt, to "support" me and KA.

      My sole instruction at the station was NOT to engage in these "debates" and i have no time for the trouble they cause anyway.

      Sorry again for re-opening this very old convo but reading it tonight made my blood boil too. These people of no name do not and never have spoken for me. I'm always open to be asked a direct question and will answer straight, even if you may not like the answer.

      Love and piece to you all.

      Cheryl xxx

      the gig was amazing as I recall

      oh and anonymous got it way wrong I have had way more support and credit than I am probably due and I think most people know and did know and will know more musos than I could ever try to push from my wee corner. Its a big world, plenty of room for us all. Im off now you will be glad to hear xx

  16. No disrespect intended to KA Radio, but people always find out about good bands and solo artists.
    They did it before KA radio existed and they will continue to do it when it is a memory.
    Similarly with this blog.
    All I do is carry a torch on from people who promoted the local music scene prior to myself, and that torch will be shared with, and then be passed on to others to do the same job in the future.
    We are but links in a chain.
    I'm not sure who this rat arsed missive is intended for, but if it is to the people who have commented then I would say that Roscoe Vacant, Stumpy, Ben, Robbie Mills, KelC and Murray of Mechanical Smile are all individuals who have their fingers on the pulse and could tell anyone who asks a great deal about local artists and music in general.
    Your loyalty to the station is admirable. Not that you are doing the station any favours in making public your support in such a cack handed manner though.
    Cheryl will probably want to kick your arse for this.
    I doubt she wants the support of the likes of yourself.

  17. Do you know what I find very sad, is that people are talking about this sole Anonymous twat. Who lets face it probably wasn't at any gigs over the weekend or contributing to anything that was happening. I'd much rather have people talking about the bands and the good time they had.
    Anonymous, if you fancy making yourself known there is a guest list ticket sitting at my next gig 21st April if you fancy. Doubt you'll make an appearance though.
    Cheers Stumpy

  18. I mean no disrespect to KA Radio either, however I would note that the relationships that make up any music scene go far beyond the scope of any individual blog or radio station. These channels CAN have a very positive or very negative role OVER TIME, but that scene will not live or die based on what they do. People helping each other out will make the scene flourish - people shouting about their own achievements and criticising others will not.

  19. Good to see the same old bitching and sniping still exists in the local music scene. i've nevr understood it and never will.

    i thought the spiders were really great. They have great songs and play with passion. It was brilliant seeing them play again. Brought back good memories. Masters of the sea were good too, I've saw them a fair few times and they get better every time. Really finding a groove with the new material. Not for everyone but thats a good thing. Didnt see Ok Social but they were nice guys and I thought Colour Cells were a bit boring but nowhere near the worst I'd ever seen.

    Great night, well done to eveyone involved. I have a lot of respect for the positive influences in the local music scene but must say I dont miss the utter dross you get flung at you on the interweb when involved. Great blog Mainy.


  20. heres yer problem and its gonna cost ya love put the kettle on, because music is so personal to everyone, we all feel its ours but in truth it belongs to no one,everyone has an opinion whether right or wrong its what makes the music diverse, so in short you are all wrong but at the same time you are all right the main thing is that you extract what you need to keep the music going and be excellent to one another, nothing that happens is bad and nothing is good its all the same once you see the wizard of oz youll understand (birch)