O2 Love Music Column – August 2013

Preview by Darren Carle | 31 Jul 2013

For over thirty years now, The B-52's (O2 ABC, 12 Aug) have poised themselves as the ultimate intergalactic, surf-pop, party band. It’s a notion that has papered over some dark times (the death of founding member Ricky Wilson in 1985) and some cringe-worthy ones (their stint as The BC-52’s for the dire Meet The Flintstones movie). Thankfully, the sixteen-year hiatus between 1992’s reasonable Good Stuff and 2008’s Funplex helped settle the dust and give the Athens, Georgia oddballs the respect they had earned. Their first two albums, particularly 1979’s eponymous debut, remain classics while the latter pop breakthrough of Cosmic Thing will ensure this appearance will be a night of pure, unfettered fun.

With an early discography as long as your arm, it’s perhaps no wonder Lonnie Liston Smith (O2 ABC 2, 22 Aug) has worked with so many influential names or become such a wide-ranging influence himself. Notably, Smith worked with Miles Davis and free-jazz exponent Pharoah Sanders before stepping up to his own career with The Cosmic Echoes, releasing some fifteen albums between 1973 and 1986. A daunting back catalogue, but Smith is perhaps best known for A Chance for Peace and A Garden of Peace, which have been sampled by the likes of Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige amongst others. Respect due then, so be sure to pay yours on the night.

No Mean City (31 Aug-28 Sep), a month of music with its heart in Americana, returns to the city of Glasgow once more this year, kicking off with a mighty launch day mini-festival on 31 August. For the Sake of the Song will see genre-blurring Three Blind Wolves rub tails with psychedelic trip-mongers Haight-Ashbury. Warren McIntyre, who runs label Mecca Holding Co., will also prep up the bill with his band Starry Skies, along with some classic garage riffs from Glaswegian quartet Blindfolds. It should prove the perfect kickstart to a whole month of events taking place across the city throughout September. [Darren Carle]