Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Drugstore @ Dingwalls 7 September 2009

The first gig after 8 odd years away - Drugstore - always a favourite of the sniffer and seen on many occasions. Loud-quiet-loud done better than the Pixies and the vocals of a siren.
What really carries this band though is that Brazilian Isabel Monteiro makes such an enthralling front. Verbal, witty and sincere, you really feel the effort she has gone to - as though it's a personal favour to YOU, to gather the band members up for just one more gig. And hell it was worth all that work and stress as we're given a two hour set of Drugstore's finest, reminding us all of what a great band they were. Somehow, years later, the songs seem even more poignant - songs about the mistakes we've made, the opportunities we've missed and the failed loves in our lives. And when she sings them, you know: it's real. She's been there, and you feel touched that a complete stranger is sharing all this with you. Even down to the fact that the new boots she bought for the gig broke and had to be gaffa taped up, she voluntarily shares. As the show reaches its final moments we can all feel the sadness that's welling up inside her - of how great these guys were together and now it's all over. Final song, Fader, goes though it's final refrain over and over, just to keep the animal alive for a few more moments before we all let go.

Here's the problem though - why didn't Drugstore really make it? Well, there is no reason. It was just bad.... ......timing. In the 90's indie was just indie. These days even the most cretinous indie band can become gigantic in months. (c.f. Kaiser Chiefs). Even credible indie bands these days would have been floundering back then - the Cribs in 1996? No chance. Still - while she still has the voice and the looks she can still compete. Come ON! (5/5)

That's two (5/5) in a week. The autumn gig season has started well... don't miss out on your gig tickets.

More Drugstore pictures here.

Magazine @ Festival Hall 1 Sep 2009

Jumped on this one even though it's an all seater. Still - turned out to be for the best as the sniffer had mashed his leg up in a freak mountain bike accident the day before. So, I had to turn up like some old geezer with a walking stick and hobble round the place. Somehow though it's kind of fitting in an eccentric Devoto kind of way.

Tonight is a complete rerun through the whole of Correct Use of Soap, interspersed with Devoto reading snippets from an old "how to care for your records" leaflet, while demonstrating the advice with a copy of the Soap vinyl itself. It's always hailed - even by the band themselves - as Magazine's finest yet to me its actually just THIRD best. You could read that as second-worst, but I don't think we can count that awful pink album. So the Correct Order Of Vinyl is, in fact, Secondhand Daylight, Real Life THEN Soap. So let's hope they are doing the play backs in reverse order meaning we've got two more to come before he collects his library card again.

The setting I think did it it justice - sitting dead central towards the back the sound was spot on and the playback was lapped up by all. After an interval we got a selection of other songs delivered with the same precision, for which the crowd even lurched out of their seats. I think the obsession with "Soap" for many people is *slightly* emperors new clothes as what song got everyone out of their seats? : Rhythm of Cruelty (Second Hand Daylight). And the biggest cheer? : Permafrost (Second Hand Daylight). So you see - even if people don't say it, they know it's actually the best album and so now we cant wait for the full playback next feb. Finally...back to nature. (5/5)

Festival Hall Magazine Tickets