Review: Microdisney

It may have been over thirty years since The Clock Came Down the Stairs, but it seems no less punctual for all that. Tonight’s show starts on the minute at the venue’s advertised opening time, causing us (in cahoots with London’s transport system) to miss the start and Microdisney’s much heralded return to the stage. Given the band’s commercial trajectory, or lack of it, during their time together, maybe this ‘ahead of their time’ approach could fatefully serve to summarise their fruitful if not lucrative recording years.

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Review: Love From Stourbridge

When music is mapped according to its origins, an unexpected hotspot of activity appears on the edge of the ‘Black Country’, courtesy of a few white boys around the late 1980s. Glasgow’s population of Stourbridge’s finest sons swells tonight as a twelve date tour arrives at the O2 ABC. Though The Wonder Stuff may have claimed more column inches over the years, it is Ned’s Atomic Dustbin who most feel the love tonight. The Pop Will Eat Itself part of the story completes the triumvirate on this tour only interstitially via the decks.

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Review: Belle & Sebastian

This gig in a famous Frankfurt venue runs with such teutonic punctuality that we manage to miss Jane Weaver’s support slot. Instead, Belle & Sebastian greet us: “Guten abend meine damen und herren”. These girls (and boys) in peacetime want to dance, with hits from their critically lauded last album bookending tonight’s set. In between we journey through an extensive back catalogue which travels well and sees Batschkapp briefly turning Barras.

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Review: Hipsway

In the mid 1980s, Hipsway burst onto the scene and briefly the charts only to just as quickly fade into relative obscurity, if revered ever since. Guitarist Pim Jones and Grahame Skinner, predecessor to Paul Quinn’s quiff as lead crooner in the Jazzateers, remain from the original lineup. Back in the day Skinner formed part of Glasgow’s then ‘glycerin glitterati’ along with James Grant and Justin Currie. His though a more soulful voice perfectly lubricating Jones’ spikey guitar licks and the brooding basslines of Johnny McElhone (himself en route from Altered Images to Texas). Thirty years later they have reappeared and for the many happy ‘Hippies’ in the Queen’s Hall it’s as if ever they’ve never been away.

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Review: davesnewbike

Normally when BBC6 Music mainstay Mark Radcliffe endorses something I am inclined to agree, and so it was with davesnewbike. Radcliffe may have added a caveat teasing their unique choice of name though this would have done little to deflate the excitement of such high profile airplay. Still, the moniker sounds better on the radio than it looks in print, as my spellchecker can now testify. Formed in a Leith loft some eight years ago, the four piece fuse a range of genres around a strong narrative backbone.

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