Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sons & Daughters, Fat Sam’s, Dundee, 3rd December

It’s nice to have a gig on your doorstep once in a while. Not sure I’d have gone any great distance to see this, but that was good too: low expectations, all set to be quashed. Which they were. I had Sons & Daughters down as a tuneless and static bunch, more Scots pretending they were from Tennessee, tied to their two-to-the-floor beat and not adding a great deal to it. This was based largely on a not very attentive few listens to Love the Cup and seeing two minutes of their set when they supported Morrissey last year. They wouldn’t allow drinks in the auditorium – and they expected people to watch the support band?! Anyway. I was wrong, Sons & Daughters are a whole lot of fun live. They do think they’re from Tennessee (check the guitarist’s gelled-up-and-back hairdo), and they do go one TWO one TWO fast and frequently in the beat dept., but these turned out not to be bad things after all. It reminded me of the lone new song Vic Godard played when I saw him in June, the epic and clattering ‘That Train’ – the energy of it compressed into two beats instead of four. Making Dee Dee’s ‘One! Two! Three! Four!’ look prog.

The energy was what Sons & Daughters were about too. One song was announced as their ‘suicide song’, but they didn’t slow down to take on darkness. They didn’t even slow down to incorporate ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ into ‘Johnny Cash’ (prompting a flashback to a Spectrum show when ‘When Tomorrow Hits’ got wheeled out – it does the same thing, of course). ‘We started doing this on tour with The Stooges,’ they told us. ‘They didn’t like it.’ Annoying The Stooges being more of a boast than impressing them, possibly. You can see why they might have objected – there is nothing of their slow burn to Sons & Daughters. Singer Adele did swagger though. There’s a knack to knowing how to move on stage. Support band Victorian English Gentlemens Club shared this with them, or at least the drummer did: in a black-on-white polka dot dress, she stood for the first song, imposingly tall on stage + drum riser (in the lobby afterwards I was surprised to see that she’s actually quite diminutive), lifting her arms in triumph at the end. She sat down for the next few but then got bored and spent one song wandering the stage hitting just anything. This is how drumming should be. A fun night amongst the beat combos.

(It’s maybe a bit pointless banging on about a song no-one can hear, so I hope nobody objects if I post Vic’s ‘That Train’ here.)

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