THE BOXER REBELLION
(reviewed by MWJ)
King Tutís has a banner outside saying "Best Live Music Venue" (Lamacq Live), no date to qualify it, but on my second visit I think itís definitely up there. Compact, two foot high but wide stage, but a fantastic floor shaking PA. And Glasgowís a pleasant place at night as well, check it out some time. No doubt there are places where youíd get killed but for the most part the city centre seems OK
Fi-lo Radio were up and running by the time I got in, but were instantly hitting the spot. They rocked. A three piece plying emotive heavy indie rock, maybe a bit like Ash. Pretty girl bass player, Kim Gordon-esque grinding out insistent rhythms, all exuding confidence and presence as they thrash it out on stage. Setting things off and up nicely.
I remember Rhys from Blacklisted raving about Oceansize after seeing them in Manchester a few years back and he was right. A random noise attack opening gives way to exquisitely and complexly structured epics. Cramming all of four songs into their set, they combine the lilting psychedelia of a Mercury Rev or Sonic Youth with blasts of throbbing walls of sound like Neurosis or Hawkwind. Three guitars provide this intelligently layered attack, even the bassist swaps to add another for one song. Thereís subtle sampled electronic backing, harmonious backing vocals, so many ingredients, they are mesmeric. End where they started in chaotic noise and the biggest satisfaction of the night.
In the proverbial hard act to follow slot The Boxer Rebellion still maintained interest. Primal Scream came to mind, with the driving rhythm section of bass runs and apeshit pounding drums contrasting with ethereal guitar and soulful vocals (and tambourine). They do a fair bit of instrument exchange showing thought going into their song writing, but kept the songs short and sweet. Fair play not something Iíd normally go out of my way for but a cut above most for sure.
Had heard one song of Kinesis on a compilation album but was a bit indifferent. Live they were an energetic on-off violent grunge type thing, kind of early Nirvana or Manics. The political angle that would appeal to me hinted by their "Handshakes for Bullets" album title, with cover art and stage backdrop of a businessman and soldier back to back doesnít get far as the vocals are indecipherable, apart from introductions to "Civilised Fury" and "Everything Destroys Itself". A cover of "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" is totally converted to their own. The set continues in the same charged vein, itís ok at times, better at others. Thatíll do for tonight.
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