Tag Archives: japandroids

Idle Days In Summertime

Today i gave my heart away.

I fell back in love with being lazy. I supposed it was only a matter of time before we reconciled and what better time than the summer.

I spent the whole of this afternoon lying in the park with a farmers daughter (*) and some friends listening to some brilliant albums (on what was the best plug in and play speakers i’ve heard so far) and talking about general nonsense. It was an idyllic afternoon by anyone’s standards but one that was especially nice for me. I’ve been needing a day like today for ages.

I had two options when i woke this morning. Go through to Luss for a day out with Morgan and her family/friends or go to the La Fete De La Musique in the west ends Ashton Lane. The annual Glasgow West End festival kicked off on the 7 June and i’ve been lucky enough to take in a few bits of it so far and to be honest the music festival did sound appealing but i declined both in favour of lying on the grass and cloud watching. Luckily i convinced Simon and his on/off partner to join me in lazing around all afternoon, well at least until 7pm. That’s when they went along to Ashton Lane to join in the festivities. To be fair Simon does know a few of the DJs playing it so it’s understandable that he should go along. Me? I lay in the park for another half hour before the munchies kicked in and i made my way through the gardens and back to the flat. The sun was still splitting the trees. I love summer.

When i got back i made some pancakes and smothered them in nutella then polished off the bitesize jammy dodgers i bought on the way home.

As for now? Well i’m doing this post, gonna roll a few more smokes then i need to decide whether or not i should go to a party tonight. I’ve been invited to a house party that is literally 5 minutes round the corner from me. But i only know 3 people out of the apparent 77 who are going so i’ll either need to get really drunk and chatty or just do the usual and sit silently and get stoned and secretly plug my iPod into the sound system in without anyone knowing. Also according to Simon i’ll need to make an effort and dress nice as there will be plenty of “talent” there. Eh, no thanks man, i’ll stick to the tramp look. The world’s an ugly place so let’s keep it that way.

Here’s some tunes that we listened to in the park this afternoon….

MP3: Japandroids – Younger Us

MP3: Incubus – Are You In

MP3: DJ Shadow – Giving Up The Ghost

MP3: Jamie Lidell – Completely Exposed

MP3: Maelstrom – I Long To Be Free

MP3: Foals – Spanish Sahara (BangaTang Remix)

MP3: The National – Bitters & Absolut

Of all the things we had a stoned talk about in the park today there was one strange subject that kept everybody amused….Google. Google and the hours of endless fun it can give you. I don’t mean the fun that you can have by browsing endlessly all day. No, i mean the amount of  “Google Games” that everyone can play.

Example:-

A) Google your name and the word “needs” [i.e. JOHN needs]
B) Click search
C) Record the first 10 results

According to Google i need….

1. John needs 13 bottles of water from the store.

2. John needs father.

3. John needs charisma.

4. John needs a better wig.

5. John needs a better online ingredient.

6. John needs to tone down that profile.

7.  John needs our help!

8. John needs to get his patootie back here.

9. John needs a job.

10. John needs an acoustic guitar.


Another game, which is one of my favourites is “Question Google”. Type in “why”, “what”, “when” or “who” then follow that with a “are” or “is” and any letter  and be bewildered/amused by the amount of unbelievably strange suggestions that get fired at you.

WHY?

are Michael Jacksons kid white
are British people so ugly
are Americans so stupid
are adverts louder than programmes (i SO agree!)
are Jamaicans so fast
are Qwerty keyboards in that order
are men attracted to breasts
are Jews so successful
are x’s kisses
is there a dead pakistani on my couch
is belly button fluff blue (Whaaaaa? Who asked this? Someone from fucking Avatar?)
is Google racist

and last but not least, my personal favourite.

Why is water wet?

Well enough of this hazey tomfoolery. I’m off to listen to some Kyuss and make a decision on this party. On one hand it’ll be good to get out and meet new people but on the other hand i’m loving lounging in these combats and over sized tshirts with some weed and cans of Tennents. I’m scared that if i do go to this party it might be shite and ruin an erstwhile pretty glorious day. Yet again it might be the perfect ending to it. I’ll report in the morning.

S.I.T Wolf   X

(*) Farmers daughter = a quarter of weed. Si enjoys making up slang. That’s one of his better ones.

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Too Much Time To Waste (Part 1)

Apologies for the complete lack of attention i’ve being giving to the blog recently. I’ve had a fairly busy and eventful couple of weeks since i last posted. I’ve been to 4 gigs and also took a road trip to Aberdeen for a few days. I’ve put in a lot of overtime at work. I’ve helped my sister move house. I’ve gained a nice PA System. Oh and i’ve slept a lot. Exciting stuff or what?

Ok let’s see….my last post was on the 22nd February so lets begin the update from the 23rd.

23rd February

God Is An Astronaut @ Oran Mor

This gig was definitely one of the haziest i’ve ever been to. And i don’t just mean because of the smoke machines and lighting. Me and Simon somehow managed to work our way through an astronomical amount of our bag of weed. We didn’t touch one drop of alcohol all night. It was just weed, water, weed, water, weed. You get the picture. Some would maybe think that getting that stoned before and during a gig would maybe hinder or lessen the experience. Which is more than likely true in quite a few cases. But not God Is An Astronaut. It brings a whole new dimension to their music. I felt like i could almost see the music. Weird, yes? But i tend to find that with a lot of post-rock and instrumental bands.  That type of music is one that heightens my aural and visual senses. It gives me visions, makes me see things, mainly colours but other things too. Just random stuff that i couldn’t describe. Not because i don’t want to but i simply don’t know how to. The band also had a screen behind them so that would have added to the visual side of things. Butterfly Explosion provided the support for God Is An Astronaut and they were the perfect build up. Two bands i’ve wanted to see live for years and here they both were together. Couldn’t ask for much more really.

MP3: God Is An Astronaut – Suicide By Star

MP3: Butterfly Explosion – Sophia

Also, as a bonus (because i feel guilty about the lack of posting) here are some tracks by a few other bands i’ve really enjoyed seeing whilst under the influence of Dr Greenthumb.

MP3: Aphex Twin – Windowlicker

MP3: Mew – Comforting Sounds

MP3: Team Sleep – Ataraxia

MP3: Unkle – Lonely Soul

————————————————————————–

25th February

Errors @ The Grand Ole Opry

This was all set to be a strange night and if truth be told, one that i was a bit nervous/sceptical about. The Grand Ole Opry you see is a Western Themed venue. See for yourself….http://www.glasgowsgrandoleopry.co.uk/

It’s more famous for it’s live country music that takes centre stage every weekend. There are also “shootouts” (not real one’s of course…i hope) and Cowboy and Indian theme nights. And there’s no bar…..oh no, there’s a saloon instead. Nice. So as you can imagine i found it very strange yet somehow appealing that an electronic instrumental band such as Errors would choose such a venue. Could it work?

Yes it could and it did. It was a brilliant gig. One that will stay in the memory for a long time. The crowd were full of nice cheery faces, a mixture of the bearded muso types and trendy indie types and their girlfriends. The only gripe i would have was the amount of time it took to get served a drink. The venue has probably never been so busy before and you could almost see the panic written across the faces of the staff.  You could see that the barmaids, sorry, Saloon staff (Saloonettes?) were every but as bemused by us as we were by them. The staff is made up of mainly people that are about 50+ so it was surprising to see them cheerily bop along to the Errors chimes and beats. The new song “Rumour In Africa” seemed a favourite. It was the fourth time i’d seen Errors and they seem to be progressing at an almost perfect rate. Each album or EP becoming more expansive and complex than the previous. As the band themselves said in a recent interview it’s hard to keep making instrumental music that remains interesting and not dull. I know from experience that that is very true but they just happen make it look so easy and effortless. After the gig me and Gustav got a free taxi back to the city centre. We spotted a taxi driver stuck in a rut, well a big puddle to be more precise and decided to help him out in his hour of need. He repayed us with a fare-less journey. Nice man. We then proceeded to enter a club in Glasgow, those few hours however are a blur of strange coloured shots and plastic pint glasses.

MP3: Errors – Bridge Or Cloud?

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26th February

Japandroids @ King Tuts


Another great gig at the most reliable venue in Scotland. I don’t think i’ve ever left King Tuts disappointed. Ok, maybe once when my ex girlfriend happened to spill her blackcurrant and cider all over my freshly bought brand new Oceansize t-shirt but that’s all in the past. I’m over the t-shirt heartache.

The Japandroids seem to be getting a taste for this whole live headlining show malarky. They oozed charisma and charm on stage and had the crowd eating out the palms of their hands. They have anthems in waiting coming out of those amps and they’re finally just starting to truly embrace it. There was a lot of foot stomping from band and crowd alike. A lot of sweat (for once, not from me, i stayed up back this time). A lot of beer. And a lot of banter and sing-a-longs. The songs were making the crowd happy and in return the crowd’s reactions were making the Japandroids happy. Afterwards i took the option of a train home and a reasonably early night (1am) as i was up early the next morning.

MP3: Japandroids – The Boys Are Leaving Town

————————————————————————-

27th February

Lisa moves house…..i’m hungover.

The sole reason i decided to head home after the Japandroids gig and not join my friends at a club was because i had to get up early to help my sister and her family move house. In hindsight i should probably just have stayed in the night before. I had no idea how much stuff they had in that little flat of theirs! I was anticipating beds, some furniture, a dozen or so bags of random stuff, tvs etc. The usual really. What we (me, Symey, Graham and my dad) were faced with was box upon box of things. Really heavy things. I have a lot of DVDs and CDs but my collection pales into comparison with Garys (my brother in law). He’s been collecting vinyl, cassettes, CDs, VHS, DVDs, boxsets, and all other sorts of memorabilia since his pre-teen days. He’s now coming up for 28. So work that out. That’s right, about 22 years worth of stuff squeezed into about fifty million boxes. And that was just for starters. That was before we started on the really heavy stuff. And that’s just what it was just stuff. I asked Lisa what was in these heavy boxes and bags. Her reply? “Just stuff“. “What kind of stuff?” i asked. “I have the right to know what i’m lugging up and down stairs all day!” Once more the reply came, “I told you John, it’s just stuff, so just get lifting!” That was me told. So after all the “stuff” was out the way it was the turn of the sofa and wardrobes. Followed closely by the beds and baby cot. We started the moving at 10am and were finished by 4pm. That’s a fine shift if you ask me. Especially when you consider the amount of stuff to be moved and also the “sensitive” mood i was in. A hard days work followed by a night in bed and The IT Crowd Boxset. Why do i find Jen from the IT Crowd so attractive? There’s just something about her. It might be the whole ordinary girl from next door look and her sense of humour.

MP3: Moving Units – Between Us And Them

MP3: Ryan Adams – This House Is Not For Sale

MP3: MiKiX The Cat – Movin’ Around

“If you type google into google you will…break the internet”

Tomorrow or Thursday i’ll post the rest of the update which will predominantly be about the trip to Aberdeen.

Before i go though….i want to know exactly what it is that i’ve said/someone else has said/what i’ve seen in these pictures….

Any ideas?

S.I.T Wolf X

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Caught In The Act

Didn’t have  much time to do a post this afternoon…… i had an important meeting with a few friends and a few pints of Tennents round the local pub.

So, i’m just gonna do a quick post on some upcoming events that i’ll be attending. Some i already have tickets for, some i’m buying on pay day. Which is this Friday coming thankfully and boy could i do with it. I do the same thing every year, spend the November/December wage on Christmas presents for people and spend the majority of the Christmas wages during the festive season (nights out, parties etc) then realise, too late nonetheless, that i have the whole of January to wait before i get paid again. Maybe i’ll finally learn this year. Probably not.

Back to the gigs though..


You Can’t Eat The Word Food @ McChuils, Glasgow
Saturday 30th January

You may think i’m being biased here (the singer/guitarist is my brother in law) but if you want jagged indie rhythms that come tinged with many different influences from ska (Soap Opera King) to mod era punk (Rudiments Of No) and with a unique vocal delivery then get yourself along to one of their shows. Or at least their MySpace if you can’t make it. They’ve been together for years now and are one of the hardest working bands on the Glasgow scene, they’ve played all over Scotland and last year managed to get a London show in and impressed the audience. They’re signed to Headhunter Records and released their debut album in November 2008. They deserve to reap the rewards for their hard work, i’m sure they will this year. This show at McChuils is already their 3rd gig of 2010 and they’ve got many more to come this year. Try and catch them if you can. Oh and bring some food along if you do, they’ll appreciate it.
http://www.myspace.com/youcanteatthewordfood



The Sunshine Underground @ ABC, Glasgow
Wednesday 3rd February
MP3:  The Sunshine Underground – Borders
The Leeds quartet have finally decided to return and give us another album. And with it another tour. They release their second album “Nobody’s Coming To Save You” on the 1st of February. Will it have been worth the wait? Judging by new lead single “We’ve Always Been Your Friends” it’s a yes. Catch them live if you can. They come across as a very different animal in the flesh. Punk, indie and they tend to show their dancier edge when performing live.



God Is An Astronaut @ Oran Mor, Glasgow
Tuesday 23rd February
MP3: God Is An Astronaut- Forever Lost
These guys are all set to unleash their new album “Age of the Fifth Sun” at some point this summer or before and are proceeding that release with a tour. I only got into them a few years back through my friend Keane, they reminded me a lot of Mogwai and i’ve liked them ever since. They are one band that i’ve never managed to see live before and quite frankly i can’t wait to get the chance to bask in their audio/visual arrangements. Apparently their live shows are immense.


Errors @ Grand Ole Opry, Glasgow
Thursday 25th February
MP3: Errors – National Prism
I’ve already seen these dudes three times before. Each time was a stand out gig in it’s own right. The first was seeing them as a support band back in 2006 and i was very impressed. The second time was a herbal drug induced haze at the Connect Festival in 2008 and then i went and seen them again in October 2008 at the Oran Mor, that night was just unreal. One of the best gigs (and nights) of my life to be perfectly honest. They have an avid fanbase and trusted live reputation and when you add the fact that they have a new album on its way then this show begins to look even more appealing than it possibly ever could. They’re definitely one of Scotlands leading musical lights and they look like burning bright for many years to come.


Japandroids @ King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
Friday 26th February
MP3: Japandroids – Young Hearts Spark Fire
Anybody who is a regular reader on here will probably have read my review of the A Place To Bury Strangers gig back in November last year. Japandroids supported that night and added to the immense volume of that particular gig. I was hooked before i seen them live. Their hook laden anthems dragged me in from the first time i heard the opening chord of their debut album “Post Nothing”. Their care free lyrics are a refreshing change from a time where too much lyrics are focussed on the negative. And after witnessing them live, even if it was just for the modest 35 minutes or so they played, i wanted more. After that support slot they announced they’d be coming back to Scotland..and well, here they are. Headlining. This is one gig not too miss.


Ex Lovers @ The Warehouse, Aberdeen
Wednesday 3rd March
MP3: Ex Lovers – Incomplete
This is another gig that i’ve been looking forward to for a while. I only discovered this band last summer and since then i’ve been waiting for them to announce a Scottish gig. I didn’t have to wait that long. The band seem to have decided to miss out Glasgow and Edinburgh right enough and have chosen Aberdeen as the destination. It’s a bit of a journey for me to make but i’m sure it’ll be worth it. If not for the gig itself then i know it’ll be worth the journey to see my friend Emma who is currently living and studying in Aberdeen.


The Unwinding Hours @ Stereo, Glasgow
Friday 5th March
MP3: The Unwinding Hours – Little One
The Unwinding Hours gig at Stereo has the potential to be gig of the year i reckon, the return of legends . I’ll start from the beginning. Some people will know Aereogramme, some won’t. For those who don’t, i’ll explain. Aereogramme were Scottish post-rock cult legends that decided to call it a day in 2007. They were held in the same bracket as Mogwai when it came to pioneering Scottish music acts. Well, anyway the man with that distinctive, delicate voice known as Craig B has went on to form The Unwinding Hours with fellow ex-Aereogramme member Iain Cook. I bore witness to Aereogrammes last show in 2007 and it’s going to be amazing to see The Unwinding Hours first headline gig at Stereo. They have a small gig on the 31st January right enough as part of the Celtic Connection shows happening in Glasgow but Stereo will be their first headline gig and after managing to get my hands on a promo of their debut album (due out on the 15th February) i can safely say that this gig promises to be immense. Ps. their debut is an early contender for album of the year.


Four Tet @ The Bongo Club, Edinburgh
Saturday 13th March
MP3: Four Tet – Love Cry
It’s all set to be a chilled out noise fest when this one man show rolls into Edinburgh. Four Tet (Keiran Hebden to his freinds) is known for being very improvisational during his live shows. He can be dark sometimes but usually sticks to his more breezy brand of electronica, it’ll be the perfect gig to stand back and just admire. However, with the release of his new album “There Is Love In You” (out officially tomorrow but it’s being doing the rounds for a few weeks online now) he has glided into an even  more ‘dancier’ sound than usual. “Love Cry”, the lead single from the new album, is more than enough proof of this. It was the perfect way to tease his fans and build up anticipation of the new long player.


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ The Barrowlands, Glasgow
Friday 16th April
MP3: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – As Sure As The Sun
I’ve seen these guys so many times now that i could be forgiven for deciding just to give this gig a miss. But i’m going, i’m despearte to see them live again. I’ve seen pretty much every single show they’ve done in Glasgow since they got together. First time i caught them live was back in 2001 at the tender age of 16 and i was taken in by the “cool”  image they so effortlessly portrayed. They were named after a motorbike gang from a Marlon Brando film right enough. Cool? No? Every time i see them though they still amaze me. Their musicianship is second to none, they’re unbelievably tight as a unit and they swap between instruments and songs structures with enviable ease. They’ve also had their fair share of problems, like most bands do eventually i suppose, but they always come back stronger. They grow with every offering, each album bringing something different from the last.

65Daysofstatic @ Oran Mor, Glasgow
Monday 3rd May
MP3: 65Daysofstatic – Retreat! Retreat! (live in NY)
I’m actually just smiling to myself with the thought of seeing these guys once more. They’re everything you want and need in a modern band and then more, the Sheffield natives are an awesome proposition on stage. Live, they have the opportunity to delve into their impressive back catalogue and use any number of amazing tracks they have at their disposal. And being brave enough to have break beat samples backing up their live shows alongside live drums only adds to the appeal. They are certainly among the elite of instrumental bands of today. Like i mentioned before their discography/output is frighteningly good, in fact, the vast amount of unreleased tracks they have recorded (remixes etc) have inspired many a mash up i’ve made. And i’m not ashamed to say i’ve “borrowed” samples from them on more than a few occasions. This will no doubt be an absolute epic gig from start to finish and along with The Unwinding Hours this is the gig i’m looking forward to the most.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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The 30 Best Songs of 2009

Ok so a week into 2010 is a bit late for a “best of 2009” post but any regular readers (are there any?) will know i’ve had problems with hard-drives, my internet connection, my laptop in general and more recently some other stuff has came up that has prevented regular posting recently.

But back to the post..

Deciding on the songs and the order of them for this Top 30 was a hard decision (the Top 30 albums was even harder, post that at the weekend) to make. Basically there were only one rule when picking the list. The rule was that a band can not feature more than once in the list. If that rule wasn’t made then i’d have had the full APTBS album in there, shit, i’ve just gave away the identity of my album of the year haven’t i?

Apart from that it was pretty simple. 30 slots and hundreds of songs. Pick the best.

Remember though, having a song in the Top 30 songs doesn’t automatically mean that the artists will be in the Top 30 album countdown as well. Take for example Yes Giantess, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool and Stuck In The Sound. In the case of YG and OELSP they won’t make the Top albums cos they don’t have one out yet and in the case of Stuck In The Sound its because their album just wasn’t good enough (imo) to be in the Top 30. The song i included here however “Zapruder” is pure shoegaze genius. There’s also the other side of the coin. Bands like The Prodigy, MSTRKRFT and many more brought up absolute brilliant albums in 2009 but even though their albums as a collective were amazing, none of the individual tracks managed to make it into the Top 30 songs.

Sorry i’m not very good at trying to get my point across. I think i might just be trying to justify the fact that i had to leave some amazing songs out of the Top 30. I would have made a Top 500 if i had the time!

So away from the mumbled jibberish that i just wrote, here is the list in countdown style 30 to Number 1

SOMEONE’S IN THE WOLF TOP 30 SONGS OF 2009

30. Erol Alkan & Boys Noize – Death Suite (Bobermann Remix)
29. Paper Planes – Permanent Marker
28.  Ou Est Le Swimming Pool – Dance The Way I Feel
27. Freeland – Borderline
26. Nathan Fake – Basic Mountain
25. Stuck In The Sound – Zapruder
24.  Mew – Introducing Palace Players
23. Tigers That Talked – Artificial Clouds
22. The XX – Night Time
21. Yes Giantess – Tuff N Stuff
20. Bat For Lashes – Daniel
19. Miike Snow – Animal
18. Russian Circles – Malko
17. IAMX – I Am Terrified
16.  Maybeshewill – Co-Conspirators
15. Them Crooked Vultures – New Fang
14. The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition (re-release)
13. Japandroids – Wet Hair
12.  Tape Deck Mountain – Ghost Colony
11. Crocodiles – I Wanna Kill
10.  A Place To Bury Strangers – In Your Heart
9. The Tupolev Ghost – Diagrams
8.  Moderat – A New Error
7. Ex Lovers – You Forget So Easily
6. The Big Pink – Velvet
5. Cougar – Florida Logic
4. Zaza – Sooner Or Later
3. Lymbyc Systym – Ghost Clock
2. Passion Pit – Moths Wings

And the winner of Track of 2009 goes to

1. Ex Libras – Radar

Instead of making all these tracks available individually i’ve  put them all in a ZipFile for anybody who wishes to download the list. The songs have been numbered so they should play in the correct order.

Download it here:
http://www.4shared.com/file/190954768/e192dfa6/best_of_2009.html

Once again sorry for the delay.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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A Place To Find Strangers

WARNING: This article contains the abbreviation APTBS a lot, this is an abbreviation of A Place To Bury Strangers. Some people don’t know that, isn’t that right Chris?

The build up to last nights “A Place To Bury Strangers” and “Japandroids” gig at the Captains Rest couldn’t have been worse. I wasn’t feeling too grand (the beginnings of a cold i think), i was very tired, i had sore limbs from the previous nights 5-a-side football (Andy/Begbie nearly broke my foot!) and also due to certain circumstances i was now going to the gig on my own. Looked like i was set to have a brilliant night eh?

Well, actually, yes i did.

I arm myself with my camera, my bank card and my iPod and i’m off. I make my journey to the Captains Rest accompanied by a soundtrack of the APTBS debut album and 10 Marlboro Lights. I’m still not too optimistic about the night ahead. The plan is: sneak into the venue, hope nobody spots that i’m on my own, have a few beers, listen to the music then go back to the city centre and meet up with the rest of the guys that were out. They were away to see Kasabian and Alice in Chains respectively. My opinions on them? The latter band i love and if it wasn’t for the APTBS gig being on the same night i would be at the Barra’s watching them. As for the former, i USED to love them. Their self titled debut album was amazing, just what was needed at the time in 2004, a fresh change from the drab music of the time. Then somehow Kasabian just got shit. I won’t elaborate on reasons why or go into my feelings on them, i just think they’re now Oasis in disguise. Back to last night now.

I enter the Captains Rest and shuffle straight up to the bar, order a pint of Kronenbourg then retire to the end of the bar. I’m just standing there thinking bout random things (how cool would it be to have a triangle donut? does the postman deliver his own mail? why is Robbie Williams allowed to live?) like i always do, when suddenly a dude comes up and says “nice hoodie, where’d you get it?”. He’s referring to my DFA1979 hoodie. Which, by the way, is nice, i like it 🙂 I’m only just realising that it always seems to garner attention wherever i go so maybe i’ll stop wearing it now! I’ve never been one for attention, i prefer staying in the background. Although i’m glad i wore it tonight or else i may very well have spent this gig on my own! I’ll explain..

I get chatting to him about various things for fifteen minutes or so. Music, beer, football, weed, facial hair, the usual man banter really. I find out he plays guitar and loves shoegaze-y music, a good bonus , i also enquire about his accent and discover he’s French. His name’s Romain. Just as we’re bantering away, two girls walk over. Anna and Francesca. Francesca is Romains girlfriend, she’s also French and Anna is an English girl who is helping them settle in Glasgow. I find out that they moved here in the summer. More to the point i’m just happy i’ve met people and i’m not on my own at this gig anymore! We buy a few rounds of Red Stripe then head downstairs to watch the gig. Romain hands me a strange little box, i struggle to read it in the dark, i squint and can just about see the writing on it. Eventually i recognise the writing as “A Place To Bury Strangers” and “Exploding Head”. Romain says to keep the box but to open it up first. I open it and find ear plugs in it. Romain explains that he seen APTBS live in NY last year, consequently met the band and they gave him a few of these boxes and they sometimes sell them at their gigs. How cool is that?! Anyway, i thank him for the gift but then close the box back over. There’s no way i’m going to lessen the impact that APTBS and Japandroids have on my ears, on record they are loud, live they are absolutely frighteningly loud. I like it that way. No ear plugs for me.

japandroids1

Japandroids @ Captains Rest 12/11/09

The Captains Rest is the perfect setting for the the noise of APTBS and Japandroids. Its tiny “sardines packed in a tin” feel brings the audience closer than any other venue i’ve ever known. Any band that i’ve seen here previously couldn’t have prepared us for what was ahead though.

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Brian King: Guitars and Vox (Japandroids)

The Japandroids scramble on stage and introduce themselves, this is the Canadian duo’s first time in Scotland. They look pleasantly surprised at the amount of support they get from the crowd and then blast through a set full of punk noise the belies the capability of just two men. Brian King plays guitar and does the lions share of the vocals and David Prowse bangs the skins and screams and sings his way through his fair share of songs as well. I’ve been into the Japandroids since about March this year. I found them on Last FM and have tried my best to spread the word since. They remind me of a certain band. I’ll let you guess. Canadian? Two piece? Noise Rock? Plenty facial fuzz? Tunes to back up the punk attitude?….You got it yet? ….Make no mistake, these guys have the potential to be the new Death From Above 1979. Although to be honest i don’t like comparing bands to each other, it’s not fair on either so instead i’ll just say the Japandroids sound like they might be influenced by DFA and it’s a badge they seem to wear with pride. One things for sure though, they have a more “garage rock” feel about them then DFA, who had a more “electro” feel when they were around. I can only hope that Japandroids will be around a lot longer than DFA were and release a few more albums than their Canadian counterparts. They certainly made a perfect start with their debut album “Post Nothing”, it’s out now, get it bought. And don’t make any excuses! It’s not hard to find, i bought mine in Fopp. Like i said earlier, last nights show was the Japandroids first show in Scotland but it certainly won’t be their last, in fact they announced at the end of their set that they’ll be back over here next February. Be there. I will.

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David Prowse : Drums and Vox (Japandroids)

MP3:  Japandroids – Heart Sweats

MP3: Japandroids – Crazy Forever

The Japandroids song “Wet Hair” is my favourite track of theirs. My band Capgras covered it back in August and we changed the lyrics from “Wet Hair” to “Red Hair” and dedicated it to Si’s girlfriend!

VIDEO: Japandroids – Wet Hair

And now in the words of Japandroids drummer David Prowse “I hope you’re ready to have your face melted by A Place To Bury Strangers, you’ll lose brain cells if you’re down the front, they make us sound like an acoustic folk duo”. Brain cells? Lose? Down the front? That’s me fucked then. In all seriousness though that is mighty words coming from a guy whose band just about tore the ceiling off with their noise decibels. After all the roadies and guitar fiddler guys have left and the stage is good to go we move to part two of the gig. Enter stage left A Place To Bury Strangers. The dry ice ascends and the red mist covers the stage. My first thought is how the band have managed to fit on stage. Their amps are massive and the the pedals are spread out all over the floor, there’s wires, leads and cables going everywhere. How APTBS have squeezed on to this tiny platform is a mystery. But they’re here and they’re ready to blow us away. And they proceed to do just that. Starting off with some improvised effect intros and barging straight into “Missing You” then carrying on into a mixture of tracks from their eponymous debut album and new release “Exploding Head”. They hardly stop for breath between songs and Oliver Ackermann mumbles a few words here and there to the crowd. Nobody here though is bothered about crowd interaction, we didn’t come to have a chat with the band members. We came to have our ears assaulted. The band continue to pulverise our senses and end the gig with an extended wall of sound jam, leaving us with feedback ringing in our ears all the way upstairs and even 5 minutes later outside having a smoke we can still hear the lingering buzz of the Death By Audio pedals that Ackermann is famous for. We are well and truly bruised by the levels of noise we’ve just experienced. But thats what we expected, what we wanted and what we got.

MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – Don’t Think Lover

MP3: A Place To Bury Strangers – Lost Feeling

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A Place To Bury Strangers @ Captains Rest 12/11/09 (from left to right: Jay Space, Jono Mofo and Oliver Ackermann

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*I couldn't get all the band in the one shot cos i was right down the front!

VIDEO: A Place To Bury Strangers – In Your Heart

Afterwards whilst in the bar discussing the gig we all get talking about what we're upto the next day or at the weekend etc. Francesca and Anna are going shopping (might have guessed!), Romain is planning on watching the Republic of Ireland vs France football match on Saturday but has no one to watch it with (sound familiar?). But, yep, you guessed it, i'm going out to watch that game in the pub with a few mates and invited him along. A few more drinks and it's time for me to go catch the last Subway back to town or i'll need to taxi it. I kinda don't wanna go, i'm enjoying myself with these 3 "strangers" but needs must. Before i go we exchange numbers and i'm off into the night/early morning to spend what remains of this Thursday/Friday in Nice N Sleazys drinking White Russians and listening to my mates say how i bet i wished i'd just decided to go to Alice In Chains and how good Kasabian were…….. Well, i just had a fucking amazing night in the Captains Rest thank you very much.

S.I.T Wolf X

ps. i kinda wish i'd worn those ear plugs….i can still hear that feedback!

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