Gig Review: Louise McVey and cracks in the concrete and Julia and the Doogans

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I hate doing gig reviews, I really do. That’s why you hardly ever see one over here. However, for once I’m back rom a gig sober & lucid, so let’s give i a go, shall we?

The Place: The 13th Note, Glasgow.
The Time: October 15th, 2009
The Event: Live session for Glasgow PodcART

Two bands playing tonight, both with a female front woman. Y’know, as opposed to a male front woman, like Diva International or Jayne Country. (Don’t hit me, I know it was a cheap joke)

First up are Louise McVey and cracks in the concrete. I’m not terribly familiar with this lot, having only really listened to a couple of songs on MySpace and, as I tend to do while listening on MySpace, not paying all that much attention to what I’m listening to.
Withing seconds of the starting I’m transfixed. Is it because Louise is a pretty blonde girl? For once, no. It’s because I feel like I’ve fallen through a wormhole taking me from downstairs in the 13th Note to a David Lynch film. If a midget had brushed past me during the first song I’d have been freaked out, but yet not terribly surprised. I’m fairly convinced Louise has done some kind of shady deal to get her voice, the sound coming out of that girl is quite frankly incredible. Dark, soulful and riveting.
The band have possibly sold some souls too.
But back to the David Lynch bit. It’s test way i can think of to describe what I’m hearing, and it’s an image that doesn’t eave me throughout the whole set. This band would not be even slightly out of place playing in the background in a Lynch film, most likely in somewhere seedy and smokey. this is a Very Good Thing by the way. There’s a bit of Badalamenti about the arrangements, obviously, since I’m making the Lynch connection, but there’s also an awful lot of Bad Seeds in there too. Again, Good Thing.
Wait, wait. The guitar players has a bow. Oh Shit. Pet hate? Guitars, and bass for that matter, being played with a bow. Hang on… It works. It doesn’t annoy me. In fact, it’s pretty fucking brilliant. The bow will come into play several times tonight, and it’s a testament to the band and the songs that apart from that one brief moment when it was first picked up I loved it.
All in? Very impressed. There might even have been tingles.
Louise McVey & cracks in the concrete were fairly unknown to me before tonight, now they have my full attention. There’s an EP scheduled for release in November, and an album due next year. I’ll be waiting for both on the strength of that performance.

Next up are the headliners, Julia and the Doogans. I’ve seen them already, a few weeks ago in Pivo Pivo, and have a copy of their self titled EP tucked away on everything I own that plays music. I loved them that last time I saw them, I love that EP, but were they flukes?
Well, no. Even though the band is short a cellist tonight due to an unfortunate tea accident (no really, and get better soon!) they are still outstanding. Yes, I missed the cello, but only because I’ve hammered the songs so much that I know it should be there. A few songs in I’m over the missing member and enjoying what I’m getting, which is a wonderful, mellow treat. It’s almost like being hugged by music, with a soothing voice whispering in your ear that everything is fine. Even if everything is well and truly screwed you’ll believe that everything is fine, for the simple reason that Julia has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard.

When Julia later promises not to sue me for posting Glasgow without asking and gives me a free fridge magnet that’s a bonus. She could have stolen my pint and kicked me in the shins and I’d have still left happy. They play again in King Tut’s on November 2nd, you can do far worse than get yourself along.

Final result? Two fantastic performances, one from a known quality, the other I already had expectations of, neither of which let me down.

Since I’m hopefully not getting sued by Julia, here’s Glasgow again, which unlike at Pivo Pivo they played tonight, making me a very happy man.

Comments

  1. sean says:

    Nice one Jim, glad you came down to the gig. Always a pleasure to see you and read your words!

  2. Julia says:

    Awwww cheers for such a nice review! Was nice meeting you jim :)