Errors, Marionettes & Min Diesel – Lemon Tree – 26/02/10
Having failed to find out any information concerning running times for the evening, all I had to go by was an 8pm doors opening time advertised on a poster in Bruce Millers that I spotted while buying lunch. Past experience of the Lemon Tree doors opening has shown they can be a bit latchy and suggested that turning up 15 – 30 minutes after 8 would be a safe bet in order to avoid the freezing weather – my gig-going companions duly agreed and so the Prince of Wales it was for a couple of pre-gig pints.
The Lemon Tree have perhaps become a bit more organised in recent times, as we arrived to find the first band, Min Diesel, had started about 8:20 so we had missed the first song, with most of the second one also having passed by the time tickets and beers were purchased. Min Diesel are a trio of local lads and have been on the go for around a year.
The instrumental arrangement is guitar/vocals, bass and drums, I never made their last gig but have heard people mention Mission of Burma as a comparison – there may be something in that in terms of the guitar sound but that was about it for me – they also recalled for me other American alternative bands such as Sebadoh, Pavement and Guided By Voices, and more locally shades of early Teenage Fanclub. The vocals were at times a touch flat but this was in keeping with the slightly shambolic but endearing nature of the music. The guitar playing was great and the bass provided a solid enough backbone, but I think it’s fair to say the drummer was having a nightmarish time of it with the kick drum constantly on an escape bid towards the front of the stage and a mic that had a mind of its own to make backing vocals a chore. His frustration was summed up by the sticks taking a pelt off the snare drum at the climax of their final song which was audibly out of kilter. Drum kits with a mind of their own are by self-experience a total nightmare and I think this threw the band at times but I hope it didn’t put off the crowd in general, I think there is promise there and will definitely check them out again (try and get a gig in The Tunnels and get that big brick in front of the kick drum!).
Another local band, Marionettes, were next up and again it’s the first time I’ve seen them. Pretty straightforward indie-rock with synthesiser flourishes is their thing and it has to be said they do it well and with confidence. Not being familiar with them before tonight I don’t know if it’s the norm but I noticed a shift in style between the first and latter half of the set – one of my companions mentioned Arctic Monkeys when I asked what they sounded like, initially I didn’t really see it but towards the end the comparison was a fair one. The first few songs reminded me of something but for the life of me I can’t remember what and it is still bugging me…
Headline act Errors hail from Glasgow and are now onto their 2nd album, ‘Come Down With Me’, on fellow Glaswegians Mogwai’s Rock Action label and material from this album makes up the bulk of tonight’s set, along with a few from debut ‘It’s Not Something But It Is Like Whatever’ and a couple of single tracks.
Errors do electronic music in a post-rock style. That’s the best way I can describe it. 3 sets of keyboard/synth/sampler racks (I’m basing this on very little knowledge of such things, no doubt some clever soul can tell me exactly what the equipment was!) line the stage front and the band trade between these and various guitars as required with a frankly excellent drummer driving things along behind. ‘Bridge or Cloud’ opens the new album and also the set tonight. It’s a good track on the album but definitely gains a lot in the live setting – in fact, having seen Errors previously I definitely feel that playing live they have a power that is not captured on record. Another new one,’ Supertribe’, is followed by what was for me the best song of the night, ‘Beards’. It’s the closing track of the new album and starts with a repetitive bass line that recalls Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’ of all things (or maybe this is just my mind doing weird things to me) before becoming a Krautrock-tinged epic that would have sat happily on either of the first 2 NEU! albums. The next one up,, ‘Songos’ started with some amazing guitar that at the time reminded me of something and I recall thinking “must remember to make reference to that” but again, can I remember what it was now in the cold light of day. Curse you, Tennents lager. Maybe I should take this a bit more seriously and take a notepad or something along with me. Oh well, early days…
A couple of older tracks, ‘Toes’ and ‘Salut! France’ are followed by more new tracks, ‘Sorry About the Mess’ and ‘Germany’ before closing with old favourites ‘Mr. Milk’ and ‘Pump’.
Overall this was a good night, I got something out of all the bands and it ranks as an enjoyable night in the Lemon Tree, in that it was busy but not horrifically so, leading to a decent view and reasonably swift bar service. Manners have changed since I was a young ‘un though, at one point I was waiting at the bar and directed the barmaid towards a young lad next to me who I knew was there before me and he never even acknowledged it… Godzilla Blues