dawn of the replicants - Glasgow King Tut's April 1999

Paul Vickers is suffering from a cold. Or something. He's well,wrapped up in the sweltering atmosphere of King Tut's anyway with several layers of clothing visible. He expresses the desire to dump his head in a bucket of ice-water, I think, it's heard to tell through what sounds like a Darth Vader voice simulator (which is a handy analogy, with hindsight). The band are nervous. Having nearly been dropped by their record company they have finally got their tremendous new lp "Wrong Town Wrong Planet Three Hours Late" out on the street, and they're here to promote it. Hopefully they can do it justice.

  They start with "Gasoline Vine", a raucous guitar-driven track which also kicks off the album, which gets things moving nicely. The gig really is a showcase for the new album, and though I know the album quite well already I would say that the tracks being new wouldn't be a hinderance to the enjoyment of your average punter. The songs are more instant than many on "One Head Two Arms Two Legs", and perhaps more 'rock'. The one concession to their sensitive side is a piano-based version of "Candlefire", all backlit and moody. Then it's back to the BIG guitars and BIG hooks again as they run through "Big Hefty Hounds", and the single "Rule the Roost", which in the hands of a Britpop chart act could be described as 'anthemic'.
Mind you, if they had an anthem, it might well be "Science Fiction Freak", which perhaps sums up their weird streak, as Paul tinkers with the 'device' in front of him - what looks a bit like a toy flying saucer, but which emits the most alarming squeaks and squeals. This permeates the aforementioned track and continues into an enormous wall of noise which signifies the end of the gig. Apart from the theme to Star Wars, of course, which just about sums things up...