Out of hibernation
March 9, 2009, 9:33 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags:

I didn’t realise it was quite so long since I last posted anything, but there’s no point in trying to cram 6 months worth into a couple of posts, so I’ll start with the recent stuff.

We went to see Elbow at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on Friday. It was a really good gig and I’ve been replaying their stuff all weekend. The set was a good mixture from The Seldom Seen Kid and Leaders of the Free World with a couple of older songs as well (Newborn and Any Day Now from Asleep in the Back) and they played for a full 2 hours. Guy Garvey has a fabulous voice and some of the quieter songs that I skip past really came alive.

The acoustics in the Corn Exchange are not great though and it was sometimes hard to hear over people talking round about me (bizarrely enough there were a couple of guys who talked at great length about why they liked Elbow – why on earth did they pay for tickets if they didn’t want to listen?)

All the same, it was a really good night and I’m listening to the albums in a new light.

September 16, 2008, 8:35 pm
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On Thursday night Bill and I went to see Calexico play at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh. I was looking forward to it because we had seen them in Glasgow about two years ago and it had been a really good night.

The Queen’s Hall is a strange venue. It was a church in a former life and the auditorium is oval with hard wooden pews still lining the walls and in the gallery. I’ve seen a few acts here over the years and all of them have been seated, so while it’s a small and intimate hall, you still feel a bit distanced from the performance, but acoustically it’s really good.

The support act was a Canadian band Wood Pigeon who I had never heard before apart from a quick preview on their website. They played about half an hour of sweet songs (maybe not quite so sweet as they sounded, I must check out some of the lyrics) and it was a pleasant introduction to the evening.

Calexico’s set started off quietly with just Joey Burns and Paul Niehaus (pedal steel guitar) doing a different take on Bisbee Blue – very slow and barely recognisable from the version on Garden Ruin but a good start to the set. The rest of the band came on and the tempo heated up and we were then treated to an hour and 45 minutes of diverse songs, mostly from the new album Carried to Dust. The album came out on 9th September so I hadn’t yet heard it, but the new songs sounded fantastic live and fitted in seamlessly with the old stuff.

All the members of Calexico are brilliant musicians and they play an amazing┬ávariety of instruments between them, including French horn and a vibraphone played with a bow. They all seemed to be really enjoying the evening (except maybe the bass player Volker Zander, I don’t know if he’s just shy but he never moved from his spot at the back all evening) and the audience certainly were having fun. There was a fair bit of dancing going on at the front and by the time we got to Guero Canelo and Alone Again, Or there was a lot of rhythmic clapping going on the gallery as well.

The sound was well-balanced and although we were standing very close to the speaker stacks, my aging ears didn’t suffer and were still working well enough to check out the album, which I bought on Friday. There are some good tracks on the album but they all sound better for having heard them live and listening to Calexico, Beirut and Broken┬áRecords always makes me want to get my trumpet out, but fortunately for the neighbours, it’s still in its case.

OMG I have a blog!
August 13, 2008, 9:55 pm
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This empty blog has been sitting around for 4 days now so it’s time to start typing. This week I have mostly been…… working unfortunately.

It was Hazel’s birthday on Sunday and I made a bunny cake with binary candles which I think went down well, but it was meant to be a ninja bunny cake and I bought Black Jack strips try and cover it with black stuff. Unfortunately I tried one of the Black Jacks and pulled a chunk off a tooth. The white rabbit was probably better all round really.

Hazel and Phil were working at Dare Protoplay at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival so we went along to see what was what, but after miserably failing to do my bit in a co-operative game I just spectated.

Friday included a trip to the dentist and a great big, huge, amalgam filling, held in place with pins. I may have just been lying back in the chair for half an hour but I came out totally knackered and with the usual fears of drooling and giving scary lop-sided smiles to kids on the bus. The anaesthetic didn’t fully wear off until mid-afternoon.

I’ll be heading out for a long run shortly in an effort to get fit enough for a marathon a the end of September but I’m going to see Broken Records at the Liquid Room later on so I hope I still have some energy left. I’ll tell you about the gig later.