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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Love Music punk festival

Love Music, the record store, is virtually the last man standing in the war against the supermarkets, the online offshore tax avoiding outlets, and the convenience of downloading.
It's a war that has taken many casualties across the whole of the UK, and those who are trying hard to hold their ground are often finding themselves brought to their knees by the major companies.
Companies who are aided and abetted by a public who seem intent in pursuing aural mediocrity to consume like fast food.
It's a very sad state of affairs and very often the owners of independent record stores must look out from behind their counters at the lone shopper and wonder if it really is worth their while, if there really is any purpose to them sweating blood, and probably dispensing tears, to provide a service to a community that largely seems indifferent to their efforts.
Fortunately there can be a light at the end of the tunnel, but it can only be reached if people are willing to throw themselves behind the owners of independent record stores, and not just pay lip service, but actually go in and purchase some CD's and vinyl from them.
However for people to do that they need to be aware that stores like Love Music still exist, and it was to this end that Fraser of Glasgow punk band The Murderburgers and Sandy, the owner of the store, arranged an afternoon of free live entertainment in an effort to draw the music lovers to them, and to hopefully press gang some people into action.

The first person to perform, Cal Murray, was drafted in at the last minute to replace Uniforms, and to be frank that suited me fine as I've never heard Uniforms, but I'm very impressed with the direction that Cal (Plimptons/Jumkman's Choir) is taking his solo material in, and I'm always keen to see it getting a live airing as currently that's the only place you can lend an ear to it.
While it's true that young Cal has been treading the boards in bands for years - and all of them being very good bands - it's my opinion that it's with his own material that he really delivers.
While people drop the name of Frank Turner with alarming regularity as they promote their love of acoustic punk troubadours, I could argue that they are only doing so until they hear Cal.
While Frank pushes the earnest protest folk singer angle to great effect, Cal effortlessly manages to cover similar ground, but with much more humour, and dare I say honest passion, to it.
Whether he's singing about gender rights, how to kill a dog or questioning relationships he finely balances it all together and makes it sound hugely accessible, and it takes no great leap of the imagination to consider that great things could just be around the corner for him.
Today the corner of a record store, tomorrow the world.

Jon Zip was quick to follow Cal.
He's the elder statesman of the Glasgow punk scene.
He's been leading his band The Zips since 1978 and with a new album already out he's showing no signs of slowing down.
Equally he's providing audiences with no reason to say that he should.
Outside of the band format he's been stripping down old and new Zips songs and performing them acoustically, and similar to how someone like TV Smith can do the same with the songs of the Adverts, they don't lose any of the power they possess.
A song off the '19 Forevva' album called 'Straight to Helmand' amply provides proof of that.
It's strength lies in it being able to raise questions about the the loss of life that our government demands from those who are in the armed services while not banging a nationalistic drum, and juxtaposes that with the adulation that is given to television reality stars by the public.
Heavy stuff, but Jon's keeping the spirit of punk alive by vocally putting it out there.
Hopefully it wont be long until I see the whole band playing.

Next was Roscoe Vacant and the Gantin Screichs who easily maintained the momentum.
Each time I see them it sounds completely different. Mainly because there always seems to be variations of the line up.
Sometimes it's just Roscoe himself, on others it's the full electric line up, or as in this case it's sans drummer, but with new member Cal taking the place of the equally talented Ross Gilchrist.
Regardless of who is playing I've yet to be disappointed with whatever the band come up with, and this time they surpassed themselves in the entertainments stakes.
I couldn't really put my finger on why.
Maybe it was the quality of the sound which was excellent, or the bass lines that David Burns provided as they seemed to be right to the fore, or maybe it was the vocals that Cal brought to the mix.
In all probability it could possibly be a mix of all of the above.
Roscoe's delivery of the material itself was consistently strong, and even though he felt that his voice was giving out nearer the end as they went into Shortbread Tins and Tartan Hearts, it wasn't something that took from the performance, but instead gave it yet another twist.
Outstanding. Yet again.

Last time I seen Billy Liar was at the Wickerman festival virtually a year ago and for some reason I thought that this would have picked up from that point, but I was wrong.
In that year between then and now Billy has been road testing new songs, working on releasing more and grinding out performances all over Europe........and you can tell.
He's went from being an artist who would have been filed away as one to watch to being one who is here in the present delivering on every unuttered promise.
There's a bit of Hamish Imlach's observational humour being injected into his songs and along with how he barks it it, and thrashes at the strings, it packs a solid punch, even although it's being accompanied by a smile.
If he can capture even fifty percent of how it comes across live in the studio then I expect that we are about to get something that's going to cause some waves in the acoustic punk scene, and no doubt beyond that to.
It's very apparent to anyone who was in Love Music that the talent playing could hold their own against any of the major bands who play the much larger venues and draw much larger crowds.
Billy himself is an excellent example of this.
Give him some heavy rotation on a music channel and slap his face on the cover of some mainstream magazines and he would sell out the ABC that's owned by O2.
It's not that he would have to promote a different image, or even tailor his material to a different audience.
It's just that those who wouldn't make a trip to a local independent record store, or feel that they should check out an unsigned band in a club, need to have him thrust in their faces for them to begin to appreciate how good he is.

Sadly once Billy finished I had to leave and missed what I expect was a great set from the Murderburgers. (If anyone wants to review it then I'll put it up)
However as an afternoon for reaffirming my faith in independent music, and those who provide us with it goes, the job had been done, and apart from the smile I was wearing as I left I also had a vinyl copy of The Bucky Rage's 'Cut 'Em Down' under my arm.

Top drawer entertainment in a real music lovers environment.
You can't beat it.

Love Music Record Store

Murderburgers review by The Murderburgers.

"If these ugly young men had used less fireworks indoors then less people would have got hurt."

1 comment:

  1. I remember when there was a record shop in every town. Every street in the large cities seemed to have one to. Such a shame that my son will never be able to really understand the amount of joy they brought to us.