Posts Tagged ‘ Voodoo Rooms ’


Martin Metcalfe and The Fornicators

Getting the notoriously fickle folk out of Edinburgh out on a Sunday night is no mean achievement, so from the moment I entered the packed ballroom of the Voodoo Rooms I was pleased to see that not only was the venue packed but there was also a great atmosphere to help things along the way.
Expectations were high and when Metcalfe took to the stage with his trusty band of cohorts and launched into a storming version of the Jacques Brel classic ‘Amsterdam’ expectations were met and the night was off to a great start. The visuals playing out on the backdrop more than adequately complemented the musical treats on offer and Metcalfe, whose voice is as strong as ever and in fact seems to have acquired added timbres lending extra emotional impact, rampaged through a set rooted in acoustics with an electric appeal. Rummaging through an impressive back catalogue drawing on numbers from both his Mackenzie and Angelfish days the hour long set captured emotional tension with musical gravitas.
Impressive moments-‘Amsterdam’ aside, which luckily was not him peaking too soon- included ‘Mummy Can’t Drive’, an impressive number about Deacon Brodie and an encore of ‘Goodwill City’. My personal favourites were ‘The Rattler’ anmd especially ‘Now We Are Married’ which was nowhere as big a hit as it should have been and took on a poignant realisation which only comes from experience and life.
Towards the end of the set he was joined onstage by old band-mate and close friend Paul Hullah who was suffering from slight ‘nervous exhaustion’ or may have been suffering from ‘inebriated jetlag’, having had a stopover in Istanbul a few days ago. It was a relaxed moment which could have strayed into shambolic territory but somehow redeemed itself and was in my opinion quietly brilliant as it showed that technical capability means nothing when those onstage are actually enjoying themselves.
All in all this was a great gig and showed that Metcalfe is still relevant and able to hold an audience’s attention. As for getting a full house on a Sunday night in Edinburgh, that is a success in itself!


Just an Observation

Anyone who tells you there is nothing going on in Edinburgh obviously doesn’t have my invites list and is just as obviously not even bothering to look. Tonight is a perfect example of this with two very different events taking place and overlapping neatly with each other so that a select and well co-ordinated few are able to attend both. First up is that bastion of literary delights and exquisite musical outings that is Neu Reekie at its regular Summerhall base which tonight features, amongst notable others, Momus and The Band of Holy Joy.
At roughly the same time in the town centre-The Voodoo Rooms in West Register Street-the Fini Tribe Soudsystem will be kicking up a storm on the flashing dancefloor in the venue’s French Quarter in the latest instalment of Rammed. A lot of talk has surrounded this event and it will be followed up by a live date to be announced very soon. A fabulous collaboration between several creative types with musical style chopping and changing almost randomly but somehow all sewn together seamlessly, Rammed aims to drag clubbing from its past and into the future.
Certainly not a night to be staying in re-arranging your wardrobe, washing your hair or praying for something decent on the television as it would be more than a shame to miss either or both of these events. Go on treat yourselves!
Not that great nights out are exclusive to the weekend. Tuesday night saw a great solo performance and gig by Sterling Roswell-formerly of legendary space rockers Spaceman 3- at the Parlour Bar in Leith. A totally outstanding performance which the only criticism I have is that it did not go on for longer. The extremely pleasurable and charming Mr. Roswell also gave me a vinyl copy of his band Rosco’s album ‘The Call of the Cosmos’ to review which I shall endeavour to do over the weekend post Rammed and in recovery mode. Certainly the tracks I have heard online seem like just the ticket to assuage my Friday night debauchery as an aural decompression chamber complete with massage.
This coming Tuesday March 4th- Tuesdays are the new Saturdays it would seem- sees a one night showing of a film inspired by Goldfrapp’s beautiful new album ‘Tales of Us’ at the Cameo. This film is followed by a satellite link up to a live show which will be shown simultaneously around the world. This is a worthwhile night not just for fans of the group but for anyone who recognises how important they were for diverting their own, as well as that of others, musical direction in the first ten years of this century, even if their influence has diminished slightly since those halcyon days. ‘Tales of Us’ does see a return to form, of sorts, after their first disappointing album 2010’s ‘Head First’, so seeing how this band who has one of the most strikingly visual performers in the business will interpret their new music visually will be very interesting.
Elsewhere whilst there is serious carnage in the Ukraine there is also carnage here as big businesses, politicians and the like -this week the BBC and Standard Life are the main culprits- all keep throwing their toys out the pram every time the Yes vote for Independence seems to take an upward swing. What none of them seem to realise is that this upward swing is directly related to all the threats, bullying and scaremongering tactics of the naysayers as the Scots are quite rightly sick and tired of these sort of tactics and underhand practices which really only galvanise them into seeing Independence as their only means of escaping them.
Right it is never too early to start getting ready to go out-mentally prepared I mean, although the physical act will not be too far behind- so am off to get ready for a night of mayhem and dancing. Let the weekend begin!
The below link is the visual Rammed Fini Tribe flyer.


Just An Observation Friday June 6th


At the time of writing summer seems to be making a rare appearance with blue skies and sunshine proliferating over the last week. Aside from the inappropriate ratios of clothing to flesh and alcohol to body weight-typical of Scots although it would appear not wholly exclusive to them- there has not been much to complain about over the last few days.

 Unless of course you count the ongoing strains of the Bongos which invaded the confines of my living space via a few trustafarians at last weekends Meadows festival which certainly brought on a new condition henceforth known as ‘Bongo Rage’ in me. I don’t know what it is about a bit of grass combined with dreadlocks, lager, burnt food all topped with sunshine and open air that makes people with no talent think they are Mickey Finn (from T.Rex who also possessed little in the way of talent but at least looked amazing) and feel the incessant desire to pound away on the bongo skins aimlessly for a whole weekend.

From my flat which overlooks the Meadows the resulting sound was like a constant migraine niggling away at my psyche with little relief until the Monday morning. Trying to enter the spirit of the thing I actually ventured over to see if I could soak up some of the atmosphere-usually I decamp to another part of town during this weekend- and whilst it was a reasonably pleasant experience, no doubt enhanced by Sundays glorious sunshine, I can truthfully report that bongos are even less bearable at close quarters. In fact the visual horror of seeing a bunch of hippies flailing around minus rhythm or style may have taken things to a new height of irritation.

 This weekend sees the return of the dreaded bongos at Leith Links festival which although I am pretty sure I am not attending  I may just make an appearance at just to hurl some much needed abuse to punctuate their aimless beatings. Much more appealing however is Leith Late13 taking place next Thursday between 6-9pm on Leith Walk in 17 venues and featuring over 30 artists, musicians and performers.

 The previous evening I will be attending an opening for Atelier E.B. in the prestigious Inverleith House surrounded by the picturesque splendour of the Botanic Gardens. The company is the combined brain child of Beca Lipscombe and Lucy McKenzie and the event holds host to their new collection ‘Ost End Girls’ and whilst they still focus on their desires to promote the Scottish textile industry-combining it with Belgian manufacturing- with cashmeres, tweeds and other traditional fabrics they will also for the first time be showing a summer collection. A full report of the evening will be posted after the event but this is a worthwhile venture which deserves support and is open to the public from Thursday 13th until the 16th at the same venue-Inverleith house- so do yourself a favour and go along.

 As mentioned last week a new venture called Rammed featuring live music and DJ’S aiming to create a sonic environment is due to make an appearance in the near future. So far all I can reveal is that a date of Saturday July 6th in the Voodoo Rooms has been announced and that the headlining act is proto superstar Homesick Aldo who after causing waves on the scene over the last year or so has been locked away in rehearsals creating new material and extending his musical palette to re-launch his musical/blues experience on the public at this event.

I, myself, am hoping to hear the fruits of his labours at a private open house party tomorrow night.  I am admittedly very curious about both this and the new venture as I feel it is about time Edinburgh got back into trying to create some sort of underground scene which is both exclusive and inclusive at the same time. If you have not heard, or heard  of, Homesick Aldo then I suggest you do and a feature which appeared on this site several months ago is a s good a place as any to start. The article can be found here.

 Today however I am actually strangely excited about going to see what will obviously be an over the top camp extravaganza and exposé about glitzy entertainer Liberace, Behind the Candleabra. As I am attending with a friend who himself is a camp piece of toxic outrage who minces more than a butchers equipment I am expecting my viewing experience to be accompanied by squeals of delight, salacious cackles and attempts- most likely unsuccessful- to control his desires to highkick his way down the theatre aisles whilst all the while claiming the film to be a wonder of  modern cinema. However from the trailers I have seen thus far I feel I may have to suppress my own desires –total anathema to me usually I hasten to add- to follow his lead and embrace the moment!