Auf der Maur

The Garage, Glasgow

Jane and I travelled through to Glasgow for this gig, on Easter Sunday evening. I bought Melissa Auf der Maur’s debut album a couple of weeks ago, and I love it. Can’t stop listening to it. It is intelligent, twisted, beautiful and engaging. So when I heard from friend Mhairi that they were coming to Glasgow I had to go — Easter Sunday evening or not. Jane agreed to come with me, although she doesn’t remember doing so, and was nervous about coming to a rock gig.

We arrived just as first support act Amplifier were closing their set. They sounded amazing, quite Tool-like in places, and we were sorry to have missed them. Not least because the second support, an American Ramones-wannabe band, sucked! To be fair within their chosen genre of rock’n’roll (blues riffs, noise and shouting) they were very good, but within this audience context it didn’t work. The crowd were as polite as they could muster, and before too long (30-40 mins?) the aural attack was over.

The difference between that support (I didn’t catch their name) and Auf der Maur was like the difference between carpet bombing and a sniper attack. The former was brash, dirty and indiscriminate; the latter intelligent, refined and skillfully executed.

Auf der Maur only played for an hour, as Melissa explained, they were on a tight schedule to clear the Garage for an 80s revival night (?!) – the crowd boo-ed. I could have listened to their rock acrobatics for another few hours at least. Melissa’s stage presence, not to mention her physical beauty, was enormous; with or without her bass guitar wrapped around her.

It was over all too soon, and Jane was surprised at how much she had enjoyed it.

Fish – Field of Crows

Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh

I think this is my fourth Fish gig; seems like more, somehow. I met up with friend Ricky Carvel before the gig; he had a friend with him, I had Jane. We timed the support act interval to perfection and walked in just as Fish’s band took the stage.

There wasn’t a great deal of banter this evening from Mr Derek W. ‘Fish’ Dick. Maybe it was the small, dark venue; maybe it was because this was his 40-odd-th date on the current tour that has seen him travelling around Europe and back to the UK.

Fish’s showmanship is exquisite, the first few songs were acted out, Fish wearing a wide-brimmed hat, Arab-like desert scarf wrapped around his neck and gentleman’s walking stick in hand, that revealed itself as a sword during The Perception of Johnny Punter, I recall.

I got a copy of the set-list at the end: it landed on me! It read as follows:

  1. Rookie (first 4 songs into each other)
  2. Moving Targets
  3. Jungle Ride (Fish talk in song)
  4. Perception (Guitar; house right starts, fish talk in song, heavy)
  5. Numbers
  6. Zoo Class
  7. Tiki 4
  8. Cliché (Big guitar solo house right)
  9. Innocent Party
  10. Vigil
  11. Plague (last 2 – keyboard heavy)
  12. Encore #1: Felini/Lucky/Exile/Market Square Heroes (keyboard start)
  13. Encore #2: Company

Bring on the next gig.