planet pop creeping bent night - edinburgh cas rock, 19/8/98

adventures in stereo/the secret goldfish/policecat

  Scotland's second-favourite record label decamp from the leavy environs of Glasgow to the capital city and to the surroundings of the Cas Rock in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. There's a pretty decent turnout to welcome the Wegies to town, as befits the status of the bands concerned. Policecat are first up, consisting of a few organisers f the PlanetPop festival, so it's to their credit that they're taking a support slot. They seem to change in sound evry time I see them live, and tonight is no expetcion - they've come from a thrashy pub blues band to a semi-country combo to their current and most pleasing incarntion, where songwriting is the main thing. Singer Gordon anounces 'their obligitory happy song' , though I couldn't see much depression in the rest of the set. Mind you, this track didn't sound abnormally happy either, a very easy, almost laconic feel to the vocals all the time, some lazy (I mean relaxed) steel guitar, and as I said, tunes, and lots of them. Now that they're officially a Creeping Bent band they will hopefully put their energiers into getting an album together. When they're not organising festivals that is.
  Though I've seen both Policecat and Adventures in Stereo many times this is the first time I've seen the Secret Goldfish. Big favourites with John Peel, the band have a terrible soundcheck earlier in the night, which Katy apologies for. no such problems with the actual set. Again, a band who have seen changes from the sound of their first album, in fact their secnd album isn't on Creeping Bent at all but in Germany's Marina Records. That doesn't stop Douglas, cigar-chomper with the label, filling in very capably on guitar tonight. Also present is the ubiquitous Francis Macdonald who is manning the keyboards and giving the whole band sound that Hammondy feel. The sound problems arrive briefly but all is eventually well, and the band go back to their roots with a rousing 'Pink Drone' to close, leaving me wishing I'd seen them around the time of the first album too. Still, this'll do nicely.  

And so to Adventures in Stereo, who play as good a set as I've seen., for a band with a bedrooom past they are adapting to the live way of life pretty well. Now a six-piece, including occasional flute, they play a 100 song set which is over in 5 minutes. Well, not quite, but they do hit the half hour mark with an encore. Most of the songs aired are from the 'Alternative Stereo Sounds' album, though with some alteration - the whole feel is a bit beefier, though this is hardly surprising with THREE guitars on the go at one point. Judith's vocals still manage to soar above all this.

All in all, there's noreason why Underground Sounds of adventures in Stereo and their Creeping Bent cohorts shouldn't hit the mainstream, and deservedly too.