King Tut’s, Glasgow, Thu 8 Feb
Mishaps in rock music are hardly a rarity. However, if we are to believe the far-fetched tales of The Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa, good can often come of them. ‘One stormy night in 2003, Dan (Smith, guitar) went up the ale soaked steps of the Old Tiger’s Head pub to make a roll-up and was struck by lightning,’ she explains. ‘I found him grinning, his body warm and the suave look that one often has upon receipt of a revelation on his face. After a short pause Dan said, ‘I think we need a drummer’. Towards the end of that year we met Jamie (Morrison) on the moon, through a friend of a friend and the Noisettes were born.’
Well what did you expect from a girl whose life ambition was to join the circus? One thing you can put faith in when it comes to this lot, however, is the quality of the music. Raised on a diet of Alice Coltrane, Patti Smith, Howlin’ Wolf and Mbira (thumb piano from Zimbabwe), Shoniwa and her refreshingly unique outfit have made one of the most diverse records of the year in the form of infectious debut Whats The Time Mr Wolf, mixing scratchy guitar-fuelled punk with soulful smoky vocals, bluesy attacks and the occasional pretty acoustic ditty.
Live shows are as unpredictable as their eclectic sound with reports of equipment leaping, tribal make-up and even the odd roasted hog on a spit. ‘Sometimes we’ll dress up, clown around and allow ourselves to fall prey to the night,’ adds Shinowa. ‘The older generation got Queen, Madonna and Prince so if current critics believe that the passionate consumers of music today should be spoon-fed an indie band/singer-songwriter ghetto comprising of artists so safe and self-conscious that half of them appear to be falling asleep on stage, then its a tad selfish. I have always wanted to entertain from more of a theatrical place,’ she says. ‘Be a master of illusions’.
The Noisettes also play an acoustic in-store at Fopp, Union Street, Glasgow, Thu 8 Feb, 5.30pm.