Review of the year - music
The year kicked off in vitriolic style with The Hold Steady at the Cathouse. Now the paunchy book and vinyl nerds have a god to worship. Bow down people, here’s Craig Finn. Similar idolatry occurred at Barrowland for LCD Soundsystem’s umpteenth show in the last 18 months. James Murphy stil managed to generate a Friday night frenzy on a chilly Monday.
Running contrary to the indie vibe, Brian Wilson blew the tight trouser brigade away at T in the Park while Kanye West provided the highlight of T in the Fringe with an intense, no frills, greatest hits bombardment. As comebacks go, the return of Bis made more than a few weak at the knees. The same could be said for Heaven and Hell: no Black Sabbath classics but enough rock to justify endless horns in the air.
Whether you saw them in Glasgow or Edinburgh, there was little argument that the mighty Battles showed just what could be done with a bunch of raggedy technology, endless ideas and a very high cymbal.
There used to be no party like an S Club party. Now it’s very much a CSS party these days. The catsuits and song titles are only part of it and they’ve played here loads over the last 12 months and have never disappointed. Following that hedonistic trend were Justice at the Arches, Daft Punk at Rock Ness and Brit rap oddballs Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip who made the night of Scotland’s victory over France even more memorable with a show at Tut’s.
Honourable mentions go to Art Brut at Oran Mor who did their star jumps crouched to avoid the venues low ceiling, Sonic Youth and Slint doing their classic albums at the ABC, M.I.A. (mostly for the stage invasion), Roisin Murphy, Regina Spektor, The Twilight Sad, Von Sudenfed (mostly just for turning up), Jarvis Cocker, Hot Club de Paris, Gallows at the Barfly, Klaxons on the NME tour plus Biffy Clyro, Arcade Fire and Bloc Party all at the Barrowland. Lest we forget, the spectacle of Aereogramme’s farewell shows in the summer were a reminder that you don’t always know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.