O2 Love Music Column – July 2013

Preview by Darren Carle | 27 Jun 2013

Aside from enigmatic front-man Billy Corgan, The Smashing Pumpkins are near unrecognisable as a line-up for those who first came to the band via their Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie albums. The near-perpetual membership shuffle that followed their golden output was reflected in some mediocre releases, a temporal hiatus and Corgan’s bizarre foray into professional wrestling. But who wants their stadium rock giants to be stable and ‘on the rails’ anyway? Remarkably, the band have purged through those wilderness years and are currently enjoying their most stable line-up in over a decade. The result was last year's Oceania studio record, a high concept “album within an album” that also scored the group some of their best reviews in years. This accompanying show at the O2 Academy on 2 July promises to be equally ambitious, boasting a technological live show that is “something new and previously unseen.” A second half set will see classics from the back catalogue given an airing. A win-win then.

Released in 1988, Ultramagnetic MCs' (O2 ABC2, 10 Jul) debut album Critical Beatdown is regarded as a classic of the golden age of hip-hop. However, it’s taken time to reach such high esteem, with many of its glowing reviews and plaudits being retrospectively handed down. Yet even a quick listen 25 years later makes its influence on the likes of Public Enemy immediately apparent, while ten years after its release The Prodigy were using contentious samples from Give The Drummer Some as the backbone for genre-smashing, international dance hits. So, as is perhaps de rigueur these days, founding member Kool Keith will be heading up this celebration of what may well be their defining moment. Change that man’s pitch up.

So, from colossal stadium titans, to influential hip-hop outfits to, um... Bam Margera (O2 ABC2, 18 Jul). For the uninitiated, Brandon Cole Margera, as he is rarely called, is a professional skateboarder who came to prominence as part of the Jackass television crew at the turn of the century. Since that launch pad, Bam has had a scattershot career that, among many other things, lists pursuits such as a “prominent non-sex role” in pornographic movie Fantasstic Whores 4. Quite how that little release passed us by remains a mystery. Backed by his motley band for the evening, expect alcohol, nudity, strong language, personal injury and songs by Bloodhound Gang from Bam as he brings his ‘pure punk rock’ brand to Glasgow. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.