Glasgow show review

I’d last seen Kula Shaker with my nephew, Dave, at the University Union in the mid-Noughties incarnation, so I knew how good they could be live. However, initially on Monday night, the signs and portents weren’t overwhelmingly good: Mills is far too good a guitarist to fluff his riffs, exactly, but there were a couple that, shall we say, he caught just in time; ‘Mountain Lifter,’ being played live for the first time, had to be restarted. One of the most pleasing elements of the gig, actually, was that he admitted to being nervous, just before going into the other excellent track from the new album, ‘Infinite Sun.’ Rock star vulnerability: a rare thing.

Part of this was down to your man having a broken rib to contend with: ‘You should’ve seen the other duck pond,’ he joked, before proceeding to disprove all claims of ‘decrepitude’ by  giving a 24-carat-gold plated, full on, turned up to 11, performance of guitar heroics throughout that included leaping (it seemed) ten feet in the air mid-solo, chucking the Strat up in the air and catching it, and finishing half the songs flat on his back, blasting the final notes from a perilously prone position. I mean, any of you who’ve never actually strapped on an electric and tried to play it, borrow a friend’s and feel how hefty a block of solid wood the bugger is: it bangs against your ribs at the best of times, so to put on the show for us he did was actually pretty physically brave.

Aside from the two new songs mentioned above, the crowd got the hits they were looking for, with a heavy reliance on ‘K’ (6 songs) and ‘Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts’ (5). There was the inevitable cover of ‘Hush’ to great acclaim (Incidentally, Gavin Allen of the Mirror, Hush was originally written by Joe South for Billy Joe Royal (Wikipedia tells me) and Deep Purple did the most famous cover, when Husker Du were still at the rusks stage. Just saying.) One of your blog’s personal favourites, ‘Shower Your Love,’ got a new treatment, the rolling sus-4 chord intro making me think for a moment there was a cover of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ on the way (next time, Crispy, if I can call you Crispy).

It was one of those gigs that just built and built, from the aforementioned early-tour rustiness. Mills does carry it all on his shoulders – keyboards, drums and bass are there to back his single guitar, and there were times when you wondered if another guitarist playing off him would have lightened the load, at least (consider this my job application, Crispers…). On the other hand, the one time the keyboard player picked up an acoustic, for ‘Ophelia,’ Mills spent half the song gesturing at the sound guy to turn him down, so maybe he’s best just doing it all himself.

As the band unrolled classic after classic, leaving the stage after a climactic ‘Tattva,’ you wondered what they had left in the tank. Any doubting Thomases were soon quietened by a three-number encore of ‘Hey Dude,’ ‘Great Hosanna’ (my personal favourite) and ‘Govinda,’ the crowd participation in the last one so thunderous that a smiling Mills told us we’d ‘just taken the roof off’ at the end.

Source: Foals v Kula Shaker – the result by andrewcferguson

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Published in: on 21/02/2016 at 10:38  Leave a Comment  
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