Gig: Earth / Sir Richard Bishop (Stereo, Glasgow, 9/2/08)

I primarily came for Bish, so in that respect I wasn’t disappointed. He played four fairly lengthy tunes, utilising elements of bluegrass, raga and plain old rock & roll. The final track, accompanied by an eastern drone, was particularly good. Live and electric, some of the intricacies of his acoustic material were lost, but it was still very effective. His guitar playing is loose, bordering on the slapdash, at times, but at others he comes across like the bastard love child of Davy Graham and John Fahey (as biologically impossible as that may be). He can be that good.

Earth. Hmm. The snail’s pace was expected – nobody goes to an Earth show to go mental in the moshpit. What I didn’t expect was the polite and anaemic sound. I thought there would be some physical force coming through, but there was just dreary, turgid and aimless noodling. Early Swans were slow but had a visceral, in-your-face, confrontational power. Codeine were slow but had tunes. Tonight, Earth were slow and had…nothing. It was one of the dullest fifty minutes I’ve ever spent. It was comical to see some audience members visibly yawning through the tunes and then go apeshit when they ended. Tiresome.

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6 responses to “Gig: Earth / Sir Richard Bishop (Stereo, Glasgow, 9/2/08)

  1. tiresome . . . ooooh that’s harsh.

    sounds like the last three records except slower and louder so i s’pose if that’s not yr bag then don’t imagine you’d be too impressed with them live these days. would’ve liked more trombone.

    you’re right about sir dicky and his fabulous flying fingers though. bloody awesome.

  2. good point about the disconnected behaviour of some audience members. this is no longer an irritant since i hardly ever go to gigs anymore. why do i feel in saying that that i ought to explain myself? what is this obsession with being in a room with musicians who mostly do nothing different from what they’ve done in a studio and often-for many reasons-do it much worse? a discussion for another day perhaps…………………

  3. disconnection? seem to be an awful lot of people who go to gigs these days just so they can say they’ve been there. perhaps frightened of missing some ‘iconic’ 100 club moment. then take up the entire front row watching through a camera view finder for fourty five minutes. how many pictures/video clips can you take of four guys on a stage? moan moan grumble….

  4. Funnily enough, I was reading an interview with Alison Goldfrapp in Record Collector just now which covered points made by both Rae and Karl’s whiskers.

    She was answering a question about those “get yer live CD of tonight’s gig” thingies that seem to be a mini industry of their own these days, and how she regretted getting involved. She said she hated ‘live’ albums, and made the point that the live experience was supposed to be just that – a live experience. The fact that it is fleeting and ephemeral adds to its charm. The good ones (and some of the truly awful ones) stay with you: not as a documented, super-realistic record, but as a totally personalised and individual memory.

    And as for the ‘mobiles in the air’ generation. Jeez, I’ve been to a few gigs where standing some way back (I’m far too old and frail for the moshpit these days), I’ve had to peer through a sea of flickering LCD screens. Even at the Underworld show last year, a writhing sea of dancing humanity was peppered by arms aloft clinging to phone-cams as if they were the only thing preventing their owners from plunging into the bowels of the earth. Knobends.

  5. What I want to know is what they do with the photos they take. A camera phone quality photo of Earth taken from about ten rows back…what use is that to anybody?

    Enjoying the two different perspectives on the same gig! I so wish I was there.

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