Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Sun 13 Apr
When Josef K named their solitary album The Only Fun in Town in 1981, it was as dry a statement on Edinburgh nightlife as a band named after a Franz Kafka character could muster. Almost 30 years on, ex-Josef K vocalist Paul Haig is still looking for that elusive good time on his equally arch Go Out Tonight album. Its release also marks Haig’s first full live gig since 1989, and, after 15 years producing instrumental soundscapes, the album sees the artist finding his voice again in a full band situation.
‘It had to be done,’ says Haig. ‘I get very nervous about these things, but I’m trying to approach it all in a more relaxed manner and not get too freaked out by it.’
It’s been something of a low-key renaissance for Haig. 2007’s Josef K compilation, Etymology demonstrated their key influence on a new generation of jangular-guitared young men. Following his Cathode Ray project, Haig played special guest star at a tribute to his late friend, collaborator and former Associates singer Billy Mackenzie, then with Nouvelle Vague who’d already covered Josef K’s ‘Sorry for Laughing.’ Record-wise, Go For It is a rapid-fire follow-up to last year’s Electronic Audience album.
‘It’s incredibly bizarre,’ says Haig. ‘It almost seems like yesterday, but nearly every indie band you hear sounds like they could be from 1981. At least I know now I’m not writing into this abyss. Etymology even got reviewed in Playboy magazine. Now that’s weird.’