Monday, February 19, 2007

Home again briefly, and that Hold Steady gig

Where did last week go? Good grief, it was Up Helly Aa on Friday (Northmavine version) and I haven't had a chance to get the pictures online, or even think about blogging. We had friends to stay, including the indefatigable Daniel, one of the easiest house guests ever. I'll get to that eventually. Possibly tomorrow.
First, zooming back to The Hold Steady: every British gig seems to have been a triumph, and the Glasgow Cathouse appearance was no exception. They are truly amazing live - a band who rejoice in rock'n'roll, who exude positivity and joy and are not afraid to talk about it on stage either. While drinking copiously - always a good sign.
Craig Finn, lead singer is...cheery! Frenetic, perpetually shouting and miming off-mike, grinning cherubically and unleashing those torrents of extraordinary lyrics over his stupendously tight band...Tad the guitarist does that heavy metal trick with his guitar, spinning it around his neck and back in a full 360 degree loop...just the once, but it's eye-popping. Some songs, like The Swish from their first album Almost Killed Me, have come to mean a great deal to me... hearing the band do them live reminds me of the first time I saw the E-Street Band. Only I don't weep quite so much.
'Golden with bar light and beer...' I could quote them endlessly. I won't, but I will quote my friend Lindsay Hutton, who was not quite so impressed. 'Kaiser Chiefs for auld folk' he said, pithily. Read his opinions here. He agrees, though, that the band's time is now. There were 200 folk at the Cathouse, or thereabouts. I expect Barrowland to be packed for their next adventure north of the border.

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