The Telescopes (4 stars)

The Telescopes

Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Sat 11 Apr


While fellow noisemakers of a similar vintage such as Kevin Shields and Jason Pierce can still perform before audiences of hundreds or even thousands two decades on, The Telescopes’ Stephen Lawrie remains such an anonymous figure that he can assemble his own stage kit without attracting comment or recognition from the crowd. Whether or not that’s galling, the man who essentially is The Telescopes now – and who enjoyed his most flushed period of success as a member of Creation Records’ roster in the early 90s — should be getting a share of retrospective kudos.

For someone whose career was largely based on distortion and racket, he’s also a master of the solo acoustic setting. Over six songs, including the bitter ‘The Perfect Needle’, the mantra of ‘Silent Water’ and the overtly psychedelic ‘Flying’ and ‘Wish of You’, his gravelly but perfectly-tuned voice calls out the words like incantations, extended periods of silence replacing the more customary torrents of feedback. The latter was in evidence here too, though, courtesy of a truly stunning two-song encore with Glasgow’s St Deluxe acting as backing band.

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