Solescience at Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Thu 17 May; Mixed Bizness at the Arches, Glasgow, Fri 18 May
As if to embody the smeared boundaries between gig and club culture these days, Chicago’s Greenskeepers are a band who play live music that’s deeply entrenched in the purely house style their home city made famous. It’s no surprise that the quartet - vocalist Nick Maurer, keyboard player Mark Share, bassist Coban Rudish and ‘electro-percussionist’ (read DJ) James Curd - are difficult to pigeonhole.
‘I’ll always be a Chicago house guy,’ says Curd, who started DJing when he used to skate in a club which had its own built-in halfpipe. ‘I’ll always be a DJ first, whereas Nick’s more influenced by punk and skate music, while Mark and Coban were in funk and jazz bands before. That’s nice, because we can sit in the studio and make house one day, and punk the next.’ It’s a curiously eclectic blend, one which their last album Polo Club gives a good flavour of, with the band appearing in such disparate locations as John Peel’s Festive Fifty and the soundtrack of Grey’s Anatomy.
Curd says the band enjoy playing club dates like these more than straight gigs, but he also points out with a rueful smile that his band’s set goes down far better in places like Europe and Australia than in the US. ‘Why do I think that is?’, he ponders. ‘Well, I think America’s just a bit late with electronic music in general nowadays. You hear house music in the shops and streets in the UK, whereas America has a more conservative culture that way. The party shuts at 2am, when it’s just starting in Britain.’