Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Gummy Stumps (and The Breeders), Glasgow, 8th April

The Gummy Stumps have it in for the 1990s. They want to kick its dick into the dirt, and shuffle smoothly away, banging out rampage on a two-string guitar (always a winning idea), bringing down the past by naming and shaming its heroes. You were rich once, before your head exploded. But now, ol’ AMC, ol’ Breeders, you’re all washed up, you ain’t nothin’. ’Cause for every comeback roll around tour this city hosts from now on, there will lie in wait, at a vastly smaller venue nearby, The Gummy Stumps, here to shimmy on your grave, bark up bile, tear you to shreds, shred you to tears. It could possibly be a coincidence, but that’s two out of two so far for me this year.

Which wasn’t at all what I was expecting. The last time I saw The Breeders, at 2002’s All Tomorrow’s Parties, they were incredible, over-the-top exuberant, charging all over theirs and The Amps’ catalogues. Any set with ‘Tipp City’ in it ought to be unstoppable; it featured yesterday, a tad too mid-paced, didn’t quite get me going. ‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’ and ‘Iris’ had fire in them, but (and this wasn’t actually a bad thing) it got undercut by the squeaky Tanya Donnelly impersonations Kim and Kelley took turns at where her harmonies used to be. Poor Tanya, ‘Honeychain’ is so lovely. Maybe it’s all to do with this new supposedly quiet LP of theirs. All I’ve heard is the single, which broods rather than strides, as ‘Little Fury’ did. And where, pointed out Chris, is any of Title TK at all? ‘We’re Gonna Rise’ has a sumptuous warm glow about it, but in a barn like the ABC, y’know… there was still a warm glow, it just wasn’t very exciting.

All of which is to bitch far out of proportion, for who could really complain about an evening with the Deals, and ‘Cannonball’ (‘I always wondered how they did that’, said Rocket as Kim switched to the distortion mic for the ‘Awooo’s), ‘Pacer’, ‘Divine Hammer’. It was fun, it was fine, the LP is probably fantastic. But just a little later, across the road at Nice ’n’ Sleazy, The Gummy Stumps rode their own groove, at the edge of something only they could see, and the newness of it, the unerring drive to clatter and roar, were more rock ’n’ roll than Kim Deal.

Chris’ Gummy Stumps photos are here.

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