Remember Remember, Miaoux Miaoux - Glasgow Science Centre, Sat 8 Oct 2011
Fantastic electronica double-bill in impressively apt surroundings
It’s a simple enough idea. Two nights of live music (Saturday and Sunday) inside the Glasgow Science Centre planetarium, with the performances broken up by lectures from Simon, the centre’s laser pen-wielding resident stargazer. Simple but brilliant. Programmers Detour assembled four fittingly spaced-out acts for the two bills, Miaoux Miaoux and Remember Remember on the Saturday, and Happy Particles and Meursault on the Sunday. In particular the swirling, psychedelic wormholes entered by Graeme Ronald and his full band Remember Remember, were the ideal soundtrack for watching shooting stars fly across the revolving firmament.
Back to Simon though, who you got the impression was more used to cajoling schoolkid fans of One Direction into astrological banter than fans of progressive electronica. Still, his light-hearted insistence that the evening was more about science than music and also, at one point, that the audience all needed to hold hands set the right tone for the event. This was about experiencing awe in an age of irony and scepticism, a goal that was just about achieved. Seated in the planetarium’s reclining seats, the audience was whisked out of the city into the light pollution-free countryside, and taught how to spot bright planets like Jupiter in amongst twinkling stars like Sirius and Betelgeuse.
Simon’s brief introduction over, he was followed onstage by one-man poptronic wonder Miaoux Miaoux, who live-looped drum samples and the metallic strumming of his electric guitar as easily as if he were in his own bedroom. His set pulsated with lively versions of tracks from his 2007 album, Rainbow Blues, and ended with ‘Snow’, the closer to his 2010 ‘Blooms’ EP, on which his small but perfect voice shone through the electronic hum like a beacon.
Graeme Ronald enjoyed breaking the spell, introducing one of his opening songs with a Stephen Hawking computer voice proclaiming ‘the universe is enormous’. This schoolboy mischievousness couldn’t disguise his and the rest of the band’s relish at the assignment at hand. They summoned all the depth and beauty of recent album The Quickening onto the stage with them, allowing themselves to be carried away by the shift in focus upwards. In the darkness, the contrast between the driving drums and twinkling glockenspiels of ‘Ocean Potion’ was all the more acute, and there was nowhere to hide from the ache of ‘One Happier’s bittersweet piano line. Above the performers the shapes of mythical characters from the zodiac flashed up between the star patterns – just lights from a projector, and just a band playing on stage, yet so much more than the sum of those parts.