Stereolab/Tortoise, Glasgow Garage

Usually you can tell what kind of gig is on by looking at the people going in. A load of old punks means SLF are doing a comeback tour. Young punks mean that SLF are probably supporting Green Day. However, at the Garage, there's a bizarre mixture of youngish studenty types, plus older people, with goatee beards and corduroy jackets with leather elbow patches. Yes, Stereolab and Tortoise are in town.

 

Last time I saw Stereolab they were in a smaller Venue in Edinburgh, and they appeared to be going through something of a noise-art-terrorism phase, meaning that we got more feedback than actual pop tunes. Tonight the were really on form however; the sound was very good and the band were able to play all our old favourites like Ping Pong and French Disko. There were the occasional wibbly noises that we come to expect as Laetitia

 
fiddled with the Moog and Tim sat on the floor to play with his new effects pedals, but really we had slightly spacey pop all the way. Strangely, influences like Can & Steve Hillage, though not Santana, can be picked out.  
     
Tortoise, in case you didn't know it, are part of many strangely named musical movements, blending math rock, lo-fi, slowcore, prog-rock and avant-garde freeform. It's the latter that's attracted people who look like they're extras from the Fast Show's Jazz Club. They play a variety of the aforementioned styles, sounding at times like those old hippie        
   
                 
                     
Until the encore that is, where Phil MacEntire from Tortoise was invited up to play drums and we
bands like Gentle Giant, other times like more credible hippie bands like Can, and quite often like John Coltraine or one of his ilk. One of the audience exclaims 'Santana' and although this was a finely-weighted insult, there was more than a little truth in there. In all they were well received. Tortoise. Cool. Yeah.    
     
                     
had a completely deafening wall of noise for around 10 minutes, as the band proved that they can rock and shock, and the audience proved that they can leave before the end if they like. So if your last bus is due kids, don't go hanging around - your ears will thank you for it.