Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why Don’t You Sing In Your Accent?

Here is an example of what I was talking about with accents. Saint Judes Infirmary do American ones, even though they are Scottish. I suspect I am not going to be able to get past this. I just put their new album This Has Been the Death of Us on, to see whether it was going to change my mind. The first song is kinda New Order-y, which I am usually a sucker for. The third song is called ‘Tacoma Radar’, and Tacoma Radar, whose guitarist I used to play in another band with, are one of my very favourite obscure things. Not because of that connection, which made me if anything more likely to be cynical about their own blatant Americanisms (specifically their Galaxie 500-isms), but their one album No One Waved Goodbye is one of the best records you never heard. Must get around to writing about it one day. Saint Judes Infirmary take their cue not from Galaxie but from The Walkabouts, and they don’t really do it for me. I just don’t see the Pop in them. And Kid Canaveral – I can hear the tunes, but that isn’t always the same thing (credit where it’s due though, they get their own accent right).

Those are the reasons I politely declined a request to give this gig a plug. Not that it would make the blindest bit of difference to attendance either way, but that isn’t the point. Then on the way to St Andrews last week Andy was telling me about all the things you have to do to promote a gig, and it sounds a right pain. So what the hell? There are two good reasons, as far as I can see, to go along: Andy’s own outfit, Hookers for Jesus, which I am excited about because, having missed their debut show back in April, this will be the first time I’ll have seen him and Graeme strut their stuff for years. With their final shows as The Candy Store Prophets in 2000 / 2001 I remember them stripping back their sound and achieving a rawness that suited them well – there can be something reckless and liberated about a band on the verge of collapse. Here’s hoping they haven’t ditched the recklessness along with the collapse (the new names suggests not). The other reason to go is Panda Su. They have a massive Pop head start over the others in the fact that they wear panda face paint onstage, and they played a lovely set under dimmed lights at Drouthy Neebors a month or so ago. Laid back, an acoustic amble down painful memory lane, they have this line: ‘The problem with myself is that I long to be someone else’, which puts another spin on the face decoration. How can you not love that line? I want to hear more.

Saint Jude’s Infirmary, Kid Canaveral, Pandu Su and Hookers for Jesus play the Westport Bar in Dundee on Sunday 29th November. Sing local, I dare you.

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