erasing clouds

Live Review: Terra Diablo, We Rock Like Girls Don’t, Red Bee Society @ King Tut’s, 22nd May 2004, Glasgow, Scotland

by anna battista

It was Scottish writer Alexander Trocchi who, in his Cain’s Book, defined the term “cool”: generated by the drug slang, it indicated a feeling of well-being the body felt under the effects of heroin. But tonight Red Bee Society redefined the meaning of the word: being cool for them means to make music that sounds like a pop/rock hybrid with dance-y nuances reminiscent of epic Ennio Morricone soundtracks. Their evocative set opens with the new single “When We Talk of Horses” and includes “Canaan Land,” which could have been the soundtrack for a Sergio Leone spaghetti western, the first single “Two Cops”, which instantly makes you think about the love and hate tattoos in Elmer Gantry’s The Night of the Hunter, and the funky “Naturals Know”, delivered with the kind of energy that sends an audience straight to heaven.

We Rock Like Girls Don’t are three viciously and immensely rocking girls. Think of The Slits and you’ll have an idea of what they sound like. Sporting T-shirts with slogans such as “I Hate Girl Bands”, they deliver their tracks, among them their debut single “Rock‘n’Roll Freak”, with impeccable energy and rage, their only fault is that some the songs sound too similar.

The energy left by We Rock Like Girls Don’t is still hanging in the air when Terra Diablo arrive. Fans push themselves as near as possible to the stage to try to take pictures of their heroes or simply to adore this young band that has already ascended the rock pantheon. The cacophony of their fiery riffs and angry, visceral vocals invests us and assaults our ears in a Foo-Fighters-meet-Mogwai-meet-Biffy-Clyro way. The angst quotient is very high throughout their bewitching set as Ian Fairclough furiously sings the band hits’ “Swings and Roundabouts” and “Satellites”, but also “Control”, “Let Me Know” and “Distraction”, concluding with “The Smoke”, the 2002 release that won the band the acclaim of fans and critics. Terra Diablo have been unanimously hailed as one of Scotland’s brightest talents by the music press, after this gig, we can only add that they truly are.

Issue 24, June 2004

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All pics by Anna Battista.