Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Alan Vega at ATP (Photos courtesy of Tony Thewlis)

Otto's twice in one month? Is that legal? Well, dear friend, legalities be damned, for SUSQUEHANNA INDUSTRIAL TOOL & DIE CO. will be taking to the cozy confines of Otto's Shrunken Head Tiki Bar & Lounge twice in the merry month of May for a double dose of our patent pending "ballads, boogies & blues"... THURSDAY, MAY 3rd / Special bonus show! / Otto's Shrunken Head / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in 'ol Manhattan, NYC / Two mucho grande shows, from 8:00 sharp 'til 10:00 / No cover! / And, in our regular last-Thursday-of-the-month appearance...
THURSDAY, MAY 31st / With free prizes & Raffle Girl! / Otto's Shrunken Head / Two shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover! Vaya con dios- Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Taking a breather from his exhaustive gig schedule, Mr Duff has filed the following report. Cheers Colin.

"Lindsay mentioned his displeasure at not making the Scientists gig at the Spitz so here’s a brief report…

To be honest, I took the trip mainly to see T-Model Ford, but as he was on Saturday, Robert Belfour was on Friday and The Scientists were on Thursday, I decided to make it a long weekend. Of course, the fact that T-Model was sold out and I didn’t have a ticket added an element of risk but I’d never seen The Scientists so it wasn’t going to be a wasted journey.

I’d never saw anyone play at the Spitz before either and there’s a pretty good record fair in the Spitalfields market. I’ve had a drink downstairs but this was my visit to the actual venue. It’s a nice place, with sign urging people to be considerate in their conversations so you can hear the music. All the greater shame that it’s under threat.

Caught the last 10 minutes of Blood Safari. They’ve been trumpeted as making sounds like The Gun Club and The Gories, but sounded to me more like Eddie and The Hot Rods at 45rpm. All a little too macho to really be in that company. I popped back downstairs to quickly empty my bladder passing Kim Salmon on the stairs. Making my way back up, I heard the opening screech of Swampland and rushed in. The sound was fantastic, I always thought that the sound of the records would be difficult to recreate live but the noise of the twin guitar attack still cut through without sounding just like noise. I suppose these guys have been doing it long enough to get it right. The new drummer girl fits right in and has the touch to keep that unique bass/drum throb rolling. It’s difficult to pick highlights from a show where everything seemed so effortless, but Atom Bomb Baby and Blood Red River got the biggest cheers. I’m glad I saw them here with about 150 people in the room than at the mega-scale ATP over the weekend. Funniest moment? Kim trying to persuade the crowd to buy a live CD, then realising he was talking to a snooty vinyl crowd and turning it back on them by saying “I know you only buy vinyl but you don’t know what you’re missing until your hear Tony breaking all six strings at once” Seeing The Scientists, highlighted what had been missing from the Drones show in Glasgow a few days earlier. I thought the Drones had perhaps been a little tired when I saw them, but in comparison, it wasn’t energy that was lacking - it was the self-assurance with which The Scientists make the same kind of intense noise which made them the fiercer beast at close quarters.

It was a tough weekend in all. I had seen Einsturzende Neubauten in Glasgow the night before at the Tramway. A terrible venue for rock and roll where you could hear idiots talking about their plans for the weekend, even over the volume that Neubauten operate at. Robert Belfour was great, seemed in good health and played a neat focused set of distinctive country blues. I smiled sweetly at the girls on the door and eventually got a ticket for T-Model. I never saw him before, he played Edinburgh a couple of years ago but I was out of the country at the time. This was easily the highlight of the weekend. He played an absolutely perfect set of hard punk one-chord/no-chord stomping blues. The songs were mostly indistinguishable from one other and bore only a slight relation to the recorded versions. How he achieves this when the sound is so simple I don’t know but he played for almost two hours. Not a moment too long.

Back to Edinburgh on the Sunday and saw Ute Lemper at the Usher Hall, for a (slightly) different vibe. Perfectly played, very civilised Weimar Republic cabaret. A good way to wind down from a rock and roll weekend. I even caught the bus back to Glasgow without a hitch…"

Scientists photos from ATP by Vanessa Exton