erasing clouds

Live Review: Lone Pigeon, Pip Dylan, The Acoustic Vera Cruise @ Stereo, Glasgow, Scotland, 23rd April 2004

by anna battista

I'm standing next to the stage with a sulking expression on my face, waiting for something to happen, bored because the gig still hasn't started, when a guy comes near me. He's not too tall, he's got long hair and he's wearing jeans and a crumpled shirt. He politely asks me in a genuinely concerned voice if I'm OK 'cos I don't look too happy. Stammering, because I recognise that the guy is The Lone Pigeon, listed under the "genius" category in my mental files, I answer I'm just waiting for the band to play. He seems happy about my reply and simply says 'Right, so you're worried about the band thenů' before going back to fiddle around the stage with some instruments.

After my brief encounter with The Lone Pigeon, The Acoustic Vera Cruise start their set. They only play five songs, but they go down well and create the right atmosphere for Een Anderson, better known to the fans of Fence Records as Pip Dylan, who arrives armed of his guitar. He opens his set with "Withered Tree", though the audience responds better to the exotic rhythms of "Flamenco Bar" and to the ironic "Stan the Nissan", which recounts the adventures and misadventures of Pip Dylan's car. After singing "Pirates" and "Trip", the latter a tale of a tragicomic drug experience, Pip Dylan concludes his short, but melodic and amusing set with "Lazy Boy".

Gordon Anderson AKA The Lone Pigeon is on a few minutes after his brother (Een and Gordon are actually brothers). Quite a few years have gone since Anderson co-founded The Beta Band and penned some of the great tracks the band successfully released, but I do have a feeling he's better off alone. When he arrives and sits in front of his keyboard, everybody suddenly shuts up while Anderson plays what sounds like a long wandering hymn. While singing, The Lone Pigeon looks as if he were really suffering, pearls of sweat adorn his face, though they could be pearls of blood. A religiously solemn air hangs on the spellbound audience, while I clock the guy standing next to me joining his palms as if he were praying. The Lone Pigeon goes on for quite a few minutes and we suspect he might be able to improvise like this for two hours, but unfortunately the hieratic experience made of psychedelia, folk and pop we are living in, is broken by a minor incident. Tension arises when the Pigeon takes his guitar with the intention of playing the melancholy "Unknown Yesterday" (check out the lyrics "Yesterday was lone/so I wrote this song/just to carry onů") in a duet with Pip Dylan, but unfortunately he can't hear his chords because somebody in the audience has resumed talking and doesn't seem to be stopping. Anderson threatens to abandon the stage, but he's eventually convinced by the audience to go on playing. The hieratic atmosphere is resumed, though is less perfect than it was earlier on and it makes me suspect that it would have been a better gig if it hadn't been for a few noisy people in the audience.

Issue 23, May 2004

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Pic by Anna Battista