Errors @ Duty Free
Sick Note @ Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Thu 26 Jun
Sunlight, oxygen, small blue pens from Argos . . . it’s true that all the very best things in life are gratis. Add to that list the selection of no cost delights that is Duty Free, Cabaret Voltaire’s grass roots championing music festival, which returns for its third annual stretch of on-the-house shows in the capital, in association with your favourite Glasgow and Edinburgh events bible, The List.
Twenty-four bands, ranging from Dundonian folk punks Luva Anna to Falkirk-based melancholic Americana dabblers Y’all Is Fantasy Island are confirmed across nine dates spread over four weeks at the Cab.
Standing out among the standouts will be Glasgow quartet Errors, whose mathematically minded mix of electronica, acid house, post-rock and pop has finally yielded a predictably brilliant, positively uncategorisable and bafflingly named debut album, It’s Not Something but it is Like Whatever, which was released early in June on Mogwai’s Rock Action imprint.
Having Mogwai as their post-rock sugar daddies has presented all sorts of plusses for the band, as Errors’ synth and programming man Simon Ward explains. ‘They’ve always been good, getting money for tour support and stuff like that, which is especially good considering they’re only a small label,’ he says. ‘They’re totally easy going guys – they didn’t pressure us in any way, so we fannied about for three years.’
Album sessions, at Castle of Doom studios with Mogwai guitarist John Cummings in the producer’s chair, became so mind-warpingly involved that basic speech collapsed, the upside being the record’s endearingly curious title. ‘It’s just something someone said during mixing,’ Ward reveals. ‘It was at that point where it was like we’d regressed into ape-like creatures who couldn’t form sentences anymore, and everything we said came out in a mush.’
Ward gets a fix on his words long enough to pin down Errors’ most genre-defying of sounds: ‘I’d like to describe it as acid pop but I’d probably be lying slightly,’ he says. ‘But maybe I’ll say that anyway, because I like it. Acid pop crossed with something quite unhappy.’ Free unhappiness – you can’t say fairer than that.