The end of radio

Friday was the Hoose with CJ, Nicky, et multiple al. Work had been very quiet. The boss is away again, but mentioned that there's a possibility of another confocal being sourced, as one of the new groups may have considerable microscopy needs. You heard it here first, folks : LSCMs are the new black.

Saturday involved sore teeth, Boots, paracetamol/dihydrocodeine and improvement, followed by a trip to Ascension (bleep bleep thumpthumpthump) and a party, which went on way too long. Fun at the time, though. I woke up this afternoon at about four (!), had a bite to eat and started thinking about the Shellac gig. CJ dropped by with a Deine Lakaien record and a couple of tasty beers, and then I went off to pick up L&S for the gig.

The Liquid Room was hot, packed and smoky. No surprise there. Fairly soon I was regretting partying so much last night, and I thought at one point that I was going to be sick. On top of this, the support act - James Orr of the James Orr Complex, I think - wasn't to may taste at all. Maybe if I'd been feeling 100% I'd have been more convinced, but I thought he was tedious in the extreme. A good guitarist, though. Could possibly do with being chattier, but then maybe I'm not really the target audience. I tried leaning back and stroking my chin - it seemed to be working for some of the other people - but the music didn't improve much so I stopped.

Between that and the smoke I was worried that I wouldn't appreciate Shellac when they arrived. Some chance. They were unsurprisingly quite like the last time I saw them, except funnier. This is something to remember - Shellac are more flippant live than on record. Actually, on stage they aren't much like any other band I've seen. Steve has returned to his strange way with guitar straps - I didn't think last time that he was doing that - and clearly it's not good for them. He broke two during the set and had to tie them together to keep his guitar on for the last part.

It was a good set, too - they had to finish by ten, so they played for an hour and a half with no interruptions and no encore. A good amount was new. During one of the Q&A sessions (while Steve was changing or fixing his guitar strap) Bob said that they've part-recorded eight songs for a new album, which he promised would be out by the end of 2008. The ones that were (I think) new were good, except for one (starting "Can anyone hear me? Is this thing on?" and continuing with a lot of stuff about a radio presenter's last broadcast) which was fantastic. I can't wait for a new album if that's going to be on it.

Apart from that, what can I say? It was upfront, punchy and very abrasive. They're going soft, though: someone asked for Wingwalker and they actually played it. Immediately. Damn fine it was, too. I can't remember exactly what was played, but we got the Squirrel Song ("This is a sad fuckin song. We'll be lucky if I don't bust out crying") and Prayer to God and a very spirited Copper right at the end. The sound was good, but then you'd expect that coming from them. They didn't have the custom amps they did before. Apparently they'd borrowed kit from Mogwai, so there were no problems of volume inadequacy.

So, to those going along this week - be happy, because they're on good form. To those who can't make it - I'm sorry. Hopefully you will next time. And to those who've no idea who Shellac are or why they should care - you're missing something good. Make me play you some sometime.
  • Current Mood: impressed
  • Current Music: Electrelane - This Deed
As you should. Remember to think about whether you have any questions for them. Someone always asks about Big Black songs. They were comparatively gentle with the woman who did it this time.
ask if the drummer really is pete murphy's long lost half-dog brother.

We didn't get The Squirrel Song. I was disappointed by that. I couldn't see his guitar straps, but they didn't seem to be over his shoulder, was he tying them round his waist or something?
Indeed. Hence the breakage. You haven't seen the Pigpile video, then?
They very obviously had their guitars tied round their waists in that, which is what he seems to be doing these days. It seems to be hell on straps.