Sunday, 9 October 2011

Detour - Stellar Sounds at the Glasgow Science Centre Planetarium, 08/10/11

Last night Lynn and I headed along to the Glasgow Science Centre for a rather special gig, curated by the lovely chaps at Detour Scotland. The gig, more of an occasion, was in the Planetarium at the Glasgow Science Centre and was being marketed as 'live music, a gig under the stars.'

Miaoux Miaoux and Remember Remember were the lucky artists hand-picked by Detour to play in this special little theatre. 

We arrived at 7.15pm and after a walk round the venue the doors opened and we headed inside where we had a lovely chat with Halina from Glasgow Podcart, another creative collective who (alongside Detour) are working wonders for unsigned and independent music in Glasgow (and Scotland). The place would be a lot duller without them.

After a quick drink and some more mingling we headed into the Planetarium where Ally McCrae from Detour introduced us to Simon from the Science Centre.

We leaned back in our seats and Simon told us to gaze up to the ceiling. Not hard to do as the seats were at a 45 degree angle. We gazed at the 'night sky', only it was a little cloudy, so Simon instructed us all to breathe in and blow the clouds away. Simon was hilarious, he had a lovely manner.

The stars appeared and Simon gave us a quick lesson, pointing out several stars and systems.

Although we both enjoyed Simon's lesson and his humour, it was time for some music and Miaoux Miaoux was first.

Julian had tailored his set superbly to fit the setting. The room was almost completely dark, save for a few lights glimmering on stage and the universe projected on to the walls of the Planetarium thanks to a huge ball in the middle of the room that resembled the thing Luke Skywalker received his first lightsaber lesson on. 'With the blast shield down I can't see a thing.'

Miaoux Miaoux's set was largely instrumental, other than the gorgeous 'Snow'. There was a welcome return to the set for 'I Am A Microbe' from the debut album 'Rainbow Bubbles'. The slow guitar riff and beats built up into a gorgeous sound that was perfect for the venue, it really captured the mood.

Gazing at the ceiling during 'Cloud Computer' I got lost in the hypnotic guitar melody and the laser effects just added to the 'space' feel. I've never seen nor heard Julian play his old song 'Cherry Blossom Traffic' before, but it was brought out the closet for the night and it was outstanding. Sampling some old Norwegian folk song for vocals, the beats were squelchy and huge. It was a great set, with Julian ensuring that each song flowed from one to the other, there was always some sound. 'Hrvatski' was another highlight.

A half hour break allowed me to beat Lynn 2-1 on the giant Connect 4 game and play with some other scientific games before we headed back in for the second act.

Remember Remember are one of a handful of bands that I have been meaning to check out for ages. Their name has been banded about to acclaim, yet I just hadn't got round to listening to them. In some ways my laziness worked in my favour as it was a great way to be introduced to the band, although afterwards I kicked myself for not having gone to see them earlier.

Remember Remember absolutely blew me away. A 7-piece who I imagine must have records by the Velvets, Axelrod, Love and up to the likes of the Chemical Brothers and Primal Scream in their collections.

Inventive, playful and clearly talented, this curious bunch brought guitars, glockenspiel, saxophone and various electronic gadgets to a packed stage and proceeded to play the shit out of everything in an incredibly melodic inspiring manner. At times they reminded me of Sigur Ros, gentle melodies turned into huge expansive soundscapes, at others it was David Axelrod on the more groove based stuff.

The music and the setting left my wild imagination to run riot, suddenly I was in a show at the Factory in NYC back in the 60's, the projections and the lysergic music combined perfectly.

They ended with a song called 'John Candy' that was just sensational, if I could have got up off my extremely comfy seat and danced I would have. It got to the stage where I wanted the lights to come on so I could watch the band creating this melting pot of sounds. 

I bought their new album 'The Quickening' after the show on lovely gatefold vinyl (with a download code) and I've played it twice today. I can't wait to see them live again.

Top marks to Detour, the Science Centre, Miaoux Miaoux and Remember Remember, this was....a night to remember remember (excuse the pun).

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