Live Reviews

  The Zips, Kick to Kill, Lugosi, Synethesia live at The 13th Note in Glasgow

It’s the little things in life that make the difference. Like when the barmaid in the 13th Note pours a heart into the head off your first pint of Guinness of the week and, though she probably doesn’t know it, she makes your week. Or maybe she does, as women have powers that we mere mortal males will never comprehend. I reckon it’s all in her smile.

And so the music and the reviewing thereof. For a band so young, Synethesia seemed remarkably serious with post rock stylisations replacing the ubiquitous pumped up indie rock pervasive in this part of the world and, as Paul Wardop’s vocals swapped between monotone and metal scream, you couldn’t help but think that there was something more theatrical trying to take control of their musical soul.

Further on up the post rock road were Lugosi. Being fronted by a singer with the affected and near insolent cool of a Jim Morrison cut-out made for a curious counterpoint to the commendable complexity to be found in the structure of their songs with some particularly fine guitar work shining light on their true musical intentions. Judging by the pauses between songs, they were also vainly trying to recover from a case of poor on stage sound.  A worthy set nonetheless.

Pumping it right up were Kick to Kill. Intensity was the name of the game here with spectral guitars stealing from the fretboard of Tom Verlaine whilst adding more speed. Yes, more speed as song after song tore up the sonic highway littering it with rippling keyboards and retro pomposity. A set like this could only end one way and duly it ended in a wail of feedback. That’s the way I always hoped it would be.

The Zips are Glasgow punk legends so I shall not dwell on how well they played (you can take that for granted). What was interesting, however, was how their passion for what they do remains undiluted by the passing of the years. Despite this country having been involved in so many conflicts in recent years – do the Google thing and count them – very, very few bands have anything to say on the matter.  Listening to “Stop The War” made me wonder why the true spirit of punk lives on in the more mature protagonists but not in the youth of today and thinking about that point made songs like “Govern Meant”  seem a lot more ironic than they were probably meant to be. Fight a man you’ve never even met rather than fight for what is right. It is the modern way.

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