SHIFT 2: 65daysofstatic / Sound
Development Agency / Drat / The Marcia Blaine School for Girls /
Salon Boris / Nucleotides / The Kitchen Cynics
And they say that good bands never come to Aberdeen. Ignore them - if
anything, Aberdeen never comes to anything good.
For today to be possible, Drakes Productions, Interesting Music Promotions
and Peacock Visual Arts came together to ensure that the impending logistical
nightmare did a U-turn. This event was well managed, professional, and
had a very exciting, eclectic line up. It’s great to see that Aberdeen
can pull this off: it’s unlikely that you would see such a festival
in “hotspots” like Glasgow and Edinburgh. The event was also
supported by Aberdeen City Centre Partnership and Aberdeen City Council,
with funding from the Scottish Executive’s City Growth Fund as
part of the Energising Aberdeen initiative.
As with the initial SHIFT, the event coincided with the clocks changing.
To open the event we were treated to quirky and unique local singer songwriter,
Alan Davidson under the moniker “The Kitchen Cynics”. Alan
has a tremendous talent for song writing, and is arguably, Aberdeen’s
best kept secret. The audience were taken on a 30 minute journey of wonderful,
toe-tapping lo-fi folk gems executed with the charm and charisma that
can only come from someone who genuinely has a passion for the music
they write. Alan was an absolute joy to watch.
Do yourselves a favour and check out any of his extensive back catalogue.
Oh dear, 5 guys dressed in tacky uniforms and a brain (!?) have begun
playing very clichéd surf rock scales to a bemused audience. Luckily
though, that only lasted for 5 mins and after that we hear the real Nucleotides.
I found it quite difficult to put my finger on who this bunch reminded
me of. This band had some awesome songs laden with awkward rhythms, clinical
pauses and great hooks. The keys, synth, sampling also added some great
depth and atmosphere to the sound. The Nucleotides have a very full sound
and one of the tightest backlines I have heard in a long time. The brain
had some rather humorous banter along the lines of “We are the
Nucleotides, you are not”.
I wanted to hate them but the fact is it is very difficult. 8/10.
Salon Boris looked the part and from what I had heard about them, I was
definitely going to enjoy this. Perhaps it’s just me but these
guys looked bored, I mean they looked booorrreeeddd. It didn’t
start off on the best of feet, the set was baffled with sound difficulties
and they appeared to lose any kind of coherence they may have had. The
songs comprised of fat synth, guitar, lazy vocals and deep beats that
were quite hypnotic. I felt there was no hook and it was a very lacklustre
performance, maybe down to the venue? To sum it up; sleazy lo-fi electro
pop, no doubt about it, I heard Human League, The Fall and the usual
Try harder next time, guys. 5/10
3 young chaps and their toys were next to the stage, The Marcia
Blaine School for Girls were setting up their gear for what seemed like an eternity,
but the wait was definitely worth it.
TMBSFGs created a very intense atmosphere inside the tent, the music
itself making hairs stand on end. The music varied from ambient electro,
post-rock, to dreary lounge. The loops were hypnotising, the swirling
effects were sharp and the melodies were layered perfectly. The talent
with this act lies within the way they create a wonderful song texture
that dictates the tempo and mood of the songs.
Absolutely superb. 9/10
Why on earth are Drat not dominating our radio and TV sets? This band
are simply sublime, every single song played tonight is an anthem of
epic proportions. Lo-fi indie pop at its very best, Drat drip with enough
melancholy, melody and harmony to make even the most miserable Aberdonian
smile. Drat execute their songs with charm, precision and conviction,
leaving current media angels Snow Patrol looking rather lost and tuneless.
They depart on their final number, a superb cover of “Video Killed
the Radio Star”. It was manipulated, twisted and slow, one of the
Can this day get any better than this? 9/10
Sound Development Agency is another one of the bands who make the crossover
between dance, funk and rock music. Like most in this genre (The Music
et al) they get it spectacularly wrong. Chunky drums, “funky” bass
and clichéd guitar scales were the script of the day.
I should have gone to the local takeaway for my dinner. 3/10
65daysofstatic are a band who have graced my stereo very much recently,
so I was very excited to see that their first ever Scottish gig. 65days… are
truly amazing, epic yet chaotic instrumental music laden with driving
guitars, keys, synths and loops. I don’t think I have ever seen
a band that has moved me this much. Set highlights included the wonderful “Retreat!Retreat!” and
the piano driven “I Swallowed Hard, Like I Understood”. 65days
literally swamped the audience with sonic explosions that rocked the
foundations of the tent, is it post-rock? Who cares?
All hail 65daysofstatic! The most exciting live band of 2004/2005.
Not a miserable Aberdeonian in site. Truly life affirming. 10/10