Sunday, March 01, 2009

Liechtenstein, The Sexual Objects and Peter Parker at Stereo, Glasgow, 27th February

Last month, the impeccably enthusiastic Brogues announced that he had organised a pop show. This seemed, to say the least, a splendid idea. I had no idea who any of the bands were, but when Brogues says pop, you had better believe he means pop. A big thank you to him for putting it on. The next morning, these were the things I could remember...

Two of Peter Parker had polka dot dresses. A third had a cherry coloured bob, shiny and immaculate. A fourth was male, and I forget what he was wearing, but between him and the bob were woven ringing staccato guitar lines that had me thinking of The Royal We, whilst the bob and the foremost polka dot traded call and response pop tunes which were less spiky altogether. Polka dot #2, on drums, stood for the first song (stand up drumming is back in, you know), then sat down. I should really look up their names, but back at A’s the following morning I already seem to have broken the curtains (you pull curtains, right?) and the TV aerial socket, above which hung until recently a small but heavy hardwood African mask. Turning on the laptop would be asking for trouble. But yeah, Peter Parker were fab. Songs were introduced, ‘this is about boys’, ‘this is about girls’, or ‘this is about boys and girls’, and what more can you ask of songs, really? I wish I knew some of them so I had more to say, but this will be getting fixed shortly, I’m sure.

The Sexual Objects are, I believe, something to do with The Fire Engines. From left to right, they had a bass that looked like it had been knocked up in (or out of) an old shed, a red Jazzmaster, a white Jazzmaster, and one of those thick bodied semi-acoustics on which rock ’n’ roll was probably invented. The latter sported by a man who didn’t seem to know whether he was Elvis Presley or George Michael – tall hair, pink / red jacket, white jeans. In fact, Jazzmasters apart, the look of The Sexual Objects was all over the place: Jazzmaster 2 could have played timpani on Berlin, Jazzmaster 1 (at a guess I’d say he was the Fire Engines chap) could have been the only sheriff in town, with maybe a cobra snake for a neck tie. He said hello to ‘the west coast of Scotland... no, the west of Europe’, started rambling about the show being beamed by satellite. ‘Twat!’ exclaimed S., who, having danced delightedly to the whole of Peter Parker’s set (and fuelled by several ciders), was affronted by the intrusion of pretentiousness into proceedings. The first song didn’t help – a folky dirge, sung by the whole band. It wasn’t ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’, but that was the general effect. Where did all the pop music go? But they were only fooling with us: from the second song onwards a raucous sleaze oozed. Towards the end of the set the sheriff announced with lazy glee, ‘this one’s called “Full Penetration”’. They got up and used us, it felt good.

Lastly came Liechtenstein, a Swedish three-piece. Rumbling Shop Assistants drums, harmonies. The singer had short blonde hair and a white T-shirt which read ‘Dolly Mixture’. All of which sounds fairly (very) cutesy, but for that kind of band, Liechtenstein are unusually regimented, there is a hardness there too. Would it be lazy to mention The Slits, vocals-wise? And then there is their single ‘Apathy’, which reverses the description I’ve just given: soft as snow, from the sound alone it could easily be a lament for a boy who fell short of perfection. Instead, the lyrics are a subdued renunciation of all things girly: ‘Abolish all cute princesses in pink dresses’ and ‘No gossip no girl talk no trendy catwalk / No spreading rumours no stabbing backs’. It’s an interesting disconnect. I don’t remember them actually playing it, though – the set kicked off with the rowdier ‘Stalking Skills’, and pretty much stuck with that level of energy. Palpably frostier than Peter Parker, but more intense, Renée’s unblinking eyes in the glare of the stage lights the fixed point around which the set revolved. And right at the front of the crowd Brogues danced to it all, grinning. I can’t help thinking that this is not the way gigs normally happen. More, please!

horsemeatpie’s photos

MySpaces: Liechtenstein, Peter Parker, The Sexual Objects

Update: More there is to be, as it says here, or, if you prefer, there. There has a slight edge, for saying ‘Cost: Glasgow!

4 comments:

brogues said...

As ever, sir, a tremendous review. Glad you guys had a good night and it was so chuffing to see S dancing to PP! Davy Henderson was indeed the only sheriff in town. He sang with them Fire Engines, y'know. Horsemeatpie certainly got some cracking pictures. The one of Roz with arms out-stretched is a smasher!

Chris said...

Thanks for putting on a great show! In retrospect, I'm not sure I went into enough detail about your dancing, though.

horsemeatpie said...

Yo.

I entered into a brief, Brogues-inspired, bout of correspondence with Peter Parker, who pass on the following information about their, um, formation:

"did u write that review blog thing of the gig? if so: roz (pink bob), jane (polka dot dress bass), tori (polka dot dress drummer) and jeremy (i can't remember what he was wearing either)."

Chris said...

He was wearing a lumberjack shirt, according to your photos. Under the circumstances, a certain amount of respect is due, I think.

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