Fuck-Off Machete / De Rosa / Paul Research / Rieser @ Swamp Bar @ Edinburgh
F.O. Machete close the evening on top form, delivering a typically blistering half-hour of serrating, sandblasting belters.
A recent thread on a popular Scottish music forum entitled "Onstage No-nos" springs to mind during Rieser's (**) set, as they make a good fist of ticking off the entire collection: 1) in-jokes with mates 2) asking the crowd to walk 10 feet forward 3) backing into the crowd (who are 10 feet from the stage) while playing guitar 4) introducing a song as "a new one" to compensate for any mistakes 5) bass solos. All these are forgivable if the band rocks, unfortunately Rieser are characterised by cloying "boyband" harmonies and empty lyrics, unconvincingly grafted onto tight if unimaginative rock.
The likeable Paul Research (***) has the name and look of one who was around during the original wave of 70s punk then spent the Thatcher-era down the disco. Playing a lone guitar over a hi-NRG 80s synth and drum machine backing, while casting his silhouette over a video projection, his set is an intriguing amalgam of electro and punk. After a nervous beginning, he soon settles into some Joe Strummer moves and tasty guitar playing, as the audience warm to his enthusiasm and honest charm.
De Rosa's (***) set is a tad overlong, cutting into Fuck-Off Machete's slot. That aside, they are serious about their craft, imbuing all their songs with sustained intensity. A few are comprised of several slightly disjoined parts, emulating Radiohead, but slightly losing the audience in unnecessary noise-making. Their acoustic-led numbers mine a rich seam of folk-inflected rock, with indigenous accents married to stirring melodies while referencing Scottish places and events like a scuzzier Mull Historical Society - Hattonrigg Pit Disaster, Cathkin Braes, We Are the Engineers.
F.O. Machete (****) close the evening on top form, delivering a typically blistering half-hour of serrating, sandblasting belters. While Nashii Noramly's precise diction can only be compared to Bjork, the three-piece produce a singular sound, gaining huge contrasts between breathy vocals over thumping drums, before bass and guitar crash in for the shouted choruses. An ironic cover of Olivia Newton John's Physical is rendered positively filthy when put through the Machete grinder. A sweaty, pulverising delight. [Iain Radcliffe]
Played as part of Tigerfest 2006 http://www.tigerfest.baby-tiger.net/http://www.baby-tiger.net/