Categories
Gig review

The Blue Aeroplanes / The Media Whores

The first gig of the year, and this was a stunner!

Hotly anticipated and even better than expected, Betty had not seen The Aeroplanes since 1993 (I think) so after an absence longer than many jail sentences, marriages etc,it was with some trepidation that the BM heels pounded the cobbles of Renfield Lane (the potholes are a bugger in 10 inch stacks but one has to keep one’s end up, as it were), and the ladders (TBA have a song about that!), good grief, went through 2 pairs of tights in three hours before deciding to go commando (you probably didn’t need to know that).

So the headlines here were:

– not exactly sold out, maybe 100 plus people on a gloomy Sunday night in Glasgow, Edinburgh at 200 capacity was pretty much sold oot…
– storming support act, The Media Whores again slaying it – see below!
– an evergreen headliner with plenty of new material plus some killer oldies and the biggest riff of the 90s, all to come…
– no Wojteck I’m afraid, he did not make it north of the border, issues, respect…some of us had to recreate his moves ourselves!
– far better review of this and Reekie gig on manicpopthrills blog
– lost voice, some sore limbs, January cobwebs blown away comprehensively, thanks so much!

So things started with The Whores, don’t think they would mind BM saying that they are quite long in the tooth but they kick hard, and have the riffs and the words to make an impact (again) in 2017. So BM was transported by the viscerality of the music, and nicked a setlist! Angry, wise and stomping of guitar when required, the Whores draw from punk, new wave and classic rock and roll. BM was reminded of Stranglers basslines, Magazine rumblings and pure Scottish ranting vocals.

The world is a mess in early 2017 and TMW try to make some sense of it, like a lightning rod of street news, not fake news. Life experience trumps (no pun intended, well actually maybe…) bullshit and they tell us their truth like it is theirs, or maybe yours, like another (albeit Welsh) long-running combo which BM could mention…

And of course there was an appearance by stunningly sultry burlesque performer ‘Scarlet Flame’ during ‘Black Widow’ – Scarlet is a pure legend and BM could literally feel, sister, the goosebumps on the nips as she disrobed to her scants during this amazingly righteous and straight-on-it number… hope for more soon…respect due!

So after some technical twitherings (lots of stuff to set up) , the headliners appeared around 9pm, good grief it was a bit a flashback to the 90s but with different players, and so good – BM does not have the time to name the amazing (Bristol job centres shout-out, success story here!) line-up, but they went for it – all under the ridiculous tutelage of Gerard Langley. BM hopes that he won’t be offended by the first impression, of a benign combination of Vic Reeves and Eric Morcambe, a comedy character but with a wry touch for music and possibly one of Britain’s original hipsters, no? He commands the stage but lets the other musicians do their thing as well, so cool, so so cool!

There is a guy, one of two who have traveled from places south, following the band up to Scotland, who has a custom-made T-shirt with the words “are you, or have you ever been, a member of The Blue Aeroplanes?” and on the back it has the names and serving dates of every single member of this combo to date – the type is quite small cos there have been quite a few – just as well he does not follow The Fall, possibly a “to the ground” raincoat may have been required.

At times it is like some form of physical theatre experiment – it is entirely theirs, and such a wonderful thing to behold – everyone runs in opposite directions while playing, on a small stage – mayhem and one or two exits into the audience for guitarist Chris (BM thinks) – we manned his cables anyway, and the quality of playing was just ace, and BM does not use that word very often, only in Viz Lager advert voiceovers…

So the set comprises the entire new album (buy it now!) – Beck, Chris, John on drums, Gerard – all just amazing, the best riffs of the best guitars – in the world! New highlights were ‘Looking for Xxs’, new tech combined with old regrets…and others too many to mention, Manic Pop has all these in his review, this is just babbling nonsense…

And by the time classics ‘Jacket Hangs’ came around, BM and others just lost it, “…in Stones” confirmed that BM “dance more in 2017” resolution, just can’t explain how good it felt but felt it hard Brexit next morning…

By the end of the set there was a small core of pogoing people, and BM was one of them, well like I said, the 2017 resolution was to dance more… ffs…exhausting…

TBA encore with ‘Breaking My Heart’, a Tom Verlaine classic, a further instrumental wig-out, with band members again lurching over the monitors and goading the audience, before a mass bow and show over, leaving us hungry for more – October dates were mentioned, BM suggested some good festivals to play when chatting afterwards, we wait with anticipation – January has spawned a monster, older, wiser but no less exciting, chaotic and life-affirming.

Betty Mayonnaise (apols this review has not done justice to these guys, incoherent in the face of wonderfulness!)