Gig review gig reviews (Scottish)

The Monochrome Set / The Cathode Ray / Stoor

This was a great triple header, so great that BM offloaded her ticket to see Sleater Kinney at the Barras that night (although fellow music blogger Manicpopthrills tried to do both, involving a lot of hopping between venues in the rain…).

First up were Dundee’s Stoor, whose music BM has admired for years but had never witnessed the live experience, and it was well worth it.

They played a set of great variety, with a smattering of tracks from both their albums but also some new and some obscure tracks. Heavy of bass and guitar thrash, the nine songs passed very quickly, highlights for BM being older track ‘Tungsten Lung’, ‘Chivers’ (the highlight of last year’s album ‘Fleam’) and instrumental closer ‘Sure Beats Me’ from the first album.

The twin guitar attack worked really well in this venue and musical influences stretched down the decades, from glam, punk, The Fall and just the sheer warped alchemy that such a unique combination of musicians can bring to the table….

Next up were East Coast-based The Cathode Ray, another BM favourite, led by Jeremy Thoms, they gave us eight or nine tracks of class rock n roll, channeling The Velvet Underground, shoegaze, rockabilly and goodness knows what else.

They know how to write songs, that is very clear from the start. Incredibly tight guitar licks, paired with an amazing backbeat of bass and drums. ‘Heightened Senses’ , title track from their most recent LP, fair thundered. Songs came from across their career, including several new songs, this lot don’t stand still for long, and for some tuneful rocking with added muscle, BM recommends them highly!

And finally, BM faves The Monochrome Set appeared to a now pretty full venue. Currently a four piece comprising Bid on guitar/vocals and Warren, Moran and Urban on (maybe not in this order) bass, drums and keyboards.

The fairly lengthy set gave us tracks from across a long career, including early highlights ‘Jet Set Junta’ and ‘Alphville’. There were tracks from most recent album ‘Fabula Mendax’, their nearly hit “Jacob’s Ladder” and a welcome encore of ‘He’s Frank’.

Bid must have a picture of Dorian Gray in his attic as he still looks about 35, addressing the audience with his usual mixture of wit and disdain. But we wouldn’t have it any other way and these forays to Scotland (all three bands played Dundee the following night) are not an exercise in heritage rock, they are still kicking it with new material…