RememberRemember‘s (***) Graeme Ronald chose his new musical moniker wisely, because by the end of every ‘song’ (in the loosest possible sense) the minimalist sequences and percussive noises are not live but recorded, looped, the stuff of memory. He may not be the first to compose and perform in this multi-layering manner, but with his use of a holepunch, bubblewrap, a plastic shark… oh, and a guitar, he is certainly the quirkiest. Joined by sax and violin, this trio is wilfully avant-garde in a kraut-rock style, and not as pretentious as you might imagine.
Upholding the leftfield Zeitgeist – with added electro muscle – Errors (****) emit bone-shuddering waves of synth, chiming, resonant guitar and a buzzing haze of glitch-core that sparks around the stone walls of the Cab. Salut France and set-closer Mr Milk are mesmerizing in their shamanic intensity, but their finest moment arrives in new single Toes, an elemental math-rock-out that shows that Errors are as tight as any of their more conventional contemporaries. Expectations of greatness, brilliantly fulfilled.
The scene is set for Clinic (***) to provide a rockier outro to Triptych’s Edinburgh curtain call. The Liverpudlian eccentrics appear in Hawaiian shirts and their trademark surgical masks; a rather bamboozling visual statement, given that their music is more in line with ’60s psych revivalism than conceptual performance art. But any semiotic confusion is obliterated by their klanging riffs and organ-led energy. It does all get a bit homogenous in a set that regresses from new to old, but tracks like The Second Line and Winged Wheel affirm their truly unique appeal.
Filed under gigs, music, reviews
There are perhaps more serious things to lament than the death of a mere music festival, but then Triptych is/was no mere music festival. This weekend it bows out with a typically diverse barrage of gigs across Scotland, and I at least plan to attend the Clinic show, with Errors and RememberRemember in support, at Cabaret Voltaire on Sunday night.
The thing about Triptych which distinguished it from other festivals was that even if you didn’t know the names on the bill, you’d probably trust the organisers enough to go off and look them up, and learn a whole host of new artists every year. Last year I discovered one of my favourite electro bands, Ratatat (pictured), thanks to the open-minded programmers.
[By the way, if you’re reading this thinking, eh? Triptych? what’s the frick’s he on about – and shame on you – then read a handy pocket-sized history of the festival which I wrote for The Skinny.]
The demise of this truly intrepid event ties in with a general murmuring that the popularity of festivals has peaked and is now headed for a trough, what with Glastonbury failing to sell out in ten nanoseconds, etc etc.
Tennent’s have announced, as a rather damp conciliatory PR exercise, that a replacement festival called The Tennent’s Mutual is to be launched next year. The lager company says that “it will offer music fans the chance to shape Scotland’s live music landscape”. I can’t help but react with scepticism. Can we really rely on the general public to create an event that was as eye-opening, esoteric and exciting as Triptych? I wouldn’t even trust myself to curate a line-up as well as they did for eight years.
Stay tuned for an interview with Errors on this here blog…