Coffee in the Quarry / Kelty Millennium showdown
It's a sunny-but-showery Saturday afternoon in a big park in Fife where a local fair is taking place. Face-painted local kids run around, and the coconut shy seems to be doing great business. I Am Scientist are cranking it up in the corner. Double take.
It's a local event organised by the Kelty Street Kids and earlier local acts Stone Cold and Tourniquet from the Mad Cow collective have rocked the, er, field, and Fridgehopper have surprisingly, given their presence at a festival with caravans and trailers in it, toned down the Levellers sound they sometimes favour and played a lively set of more straight-ahead rock.
And now it's up to one of the 2 guest acts from outwith the area to perk up the audience. I Am Scientist are a band with a variety of material, some kind of, you know, ok, but some which sounds like it's (a) the future of rock'n'roll and (b) so much beter than the rest of their set that you wonder if it's actually written by the same band. So, in order of appearance - Cancer Stick, what they call in the reviewing trade a 'slow burner', You Are Not Alone, which despite the lack of live glockenspeil still has one of the year's great riffs, and Glasvegas, which is the best end to a set you're likely to hear anywhere (whether this is a contrast to what went before may be significant).
Follow that then. Snow Patrol have this sussed since apart from a bunch of decent new songs, they've also somehow roped in some members of Belle and Sebastian to help out - Richard is percussing while Mick takes up guitar and has a trumpet strategically placed. Unfortunately, the generator's low on petrol (it's that kind of event) and disaster looms. Since all the members of I Am Scientist are visible we must assume it's no act of sabotage, but the sound starts to falter as early as the brace of new songs that start the set and it's during 'Absolute Gravity' that the whole thing eventually breaks down. Mick is fortunately on hand to entertain the throng with the Muppets theme tune, and the band decide to cut their losses with a final couple of numbers, a very distorted 'Starfighter Pilot' ending the set. It's no way to launch a new album, but we've heard enough to hint that Snow Patrol could be a force to be reckoned with soon.