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Gig Info:
Lineup: Luscious Jackson
Performance Date: 28 September 1993

Country: Scotland
City: Glasgow
Venue: The Plaza

Other Bands/Artists at the Show:

  • The Breeders
  • Urge Overkill


Venue changed from Barrowlands to The Plaza.
Not Available
New Musical Express, 9 October 1993
Paul Moody

Rawk! This way...
A figure im a purple buckskin jacket, leather trousers and a low-brimmed stetson is slouched elegantly on a charter flight somewhere between London and Scotland. A plane full of grey-haired businessmen look on disdainfully. It is Nash Kato, singer and guitar-handler with Urge Overkill in his day-time guise as Midnight Cowboy. Later, he will go on stage in Glasgow dressed as a Spanish waiter and thrash the daylights out of a glitter-spangled guitar.
So F—art, let's' rock! 1993, and strange combinations are shooting up everywhere. Even 4AD Records have become tangled up in it all. Just as the entire indie universe has spun off its axis into a million splintered influences, so the once stately home of all things ethereal has grown from the label that spawned the Cocteaus and, erm, Dead Can Dance to one capable of turning its aesthetic eye towards the hoary face of (potent) stadium rock and nurturing it until it explodes.
The Breeders Safari was modelled on old footage of Black Sabbath, and even arch-gloomsters Redhouse Painters have tentative plans to release a Kiss cover ('Shock Me') as a single. Accordingly, the prospect of Kim Deal and company (American label: Elektra) heading out on tour with such unashamed glitz rockers as Urge Overkill and Beastie Boy-connected New Yorkers Luscious Jackson seems to make a great deal of imperfect sense.
Next stop, the Plaza. A crumbling dancehall still hungover from the '50s, it is flooded with plush carpets and seemingly wallpapered with mirrors. Nash Kato is impressed. The problems only begin with the small question of the mixing desk. LUSCIOUS JACKSON, inexplicably forced on at 7:30, find themselves wrestling with a three-quarters empty hall and a sound engineered from the outskirts of hell.
Singer Jill (thrift store dungarees; sky high vocals) finds her funk-filled bass loops disappearing without trace, and so guitarist Gabby finds her scratchy Tom Tom Club-esque rhythm accompaniment thrust into the (flickering) spotlight, before her amp splutters to a halt under the pressure.
An irrepressibly grooved up 'Angel' crawls from the wreckage intact, and everything finally falls into place with an a cappella version of 'Life Of Leisure', where the girls give up completely and sashay through a decidedly ironic En Vogue routine. From there on the highlights of In Search Of Manny ('Let Yourself Get Down', 'Keep On Rockin' It') come with a redressed sound balance and the now packed Plaza melts at their feet.
Before long, URGE OVERKILL emerge draped in silk shirts and medallions. Their songs are so swathed in the comfy armchair of flash '70s Americana and the warm rug of irony that they can hardly move. Even though there's only meant to be three of them, fourth man Chuck Treece is on bass duties simply because the other two CANNOT FACE NOT PLAYING THE SOLOS THEMSELVES. They are, as you've probably guessed, wonderful.
'Crack Babies' and a whizzing 'Tequila Sunrise' are a splurge of foot-on-monitor theatricals and sequinned riffola, but new single 'Positive Bleeding' is proof of a golden seam of all-out rawk melody which serves as proof that, if all is as it should be, their faces will revolve around MTV screens worldwide forever. Whether they will seems to rest on what the people who consume such fare as their staple diet think of it being dressed not in its usual blue collar earnestness but in a tailored sense of camp. Answers on a postcard, please.
Preparations are made for 'Sister Havana' (intake of breath; bracing of upper body) and the impossibly great 'Heaven 90210' but they never arrive. Instead the soon-to-be earls of suave scramble off with a disjointed thrash through 'Erica Kane' and 'Stalkor' and head for their dressing room in a theatrical sulk.
A long wait then, until THE BREEDERS, who dispel almost all the doubts circulating about their inability to re-create the same splenetic power of their records live. Kelley (only departed from her full-time job as a computer analyst last summer, and still something of a six-string ingénue) seems to spend more time admonishing the crowd than coming to grips with chord structures, but Kim's charred growl and formidable chain-smoking presence ensure there's rarely a chance to lose interest.
A screwed up 'Hellhound' and 'Flipside' calm first-night-of-tour nerves, but an irony-free stomp all over Aerosmlth's 'Lord Of the Thighs' brings the hardcore rock contingent out into isolated waves of, erm, headbanging. One youth, barely 15, works himself into a frenzy inside, of all things, a Kiss T-shirt. 'Cannonball' is preceded by an enormous growl from Kim and when Josephine's bass crackles into life in its wake the entire place lapses into a temporary frenzy. The upshot is an over-excited outburst from Kelley, whose amp reaches a volume unknown to the human ear, and she is publicly wrist-slapped by Kim as a reward.
"This is a folk song," is the introduction to new single 'Divine Hammer', and, suitably enough, it's the most structured and together moment of the set, bathed in the peculiar harmony of Kim and Kelley singing almost identically throughout. It's proof, if any more were needed, that regardless of the vague disappointments provided by Last Splash, The Breeders are capable of delivering delirious pop singles from the most frazzled of angles. Encores of 'Roi', a noise-centric trip through The Beatles' 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun' and 'Doe' finally prove that in spurts, The Breeders have a rock heart lurking inside them that seems set to grow the longer they're out of the studio and re-learning the songs live.
Afterwards, in the hotel bar, Kim is keen to prove the joys of chainsmoking and on demonstrating how a generous intake of Jack Daniel's always makes the prospect of an approaching European tour more palatable. Kelley matches her swig for swig. The swaggering male ghosts of Aerosmith, AC/DC and rock skullduggery everywhere look on terrified. And as for that Kiss T-shirt? There's plenty more where that came from...