Big Business and FlipperEdit this event
- Garage, Glasgow »
From the back of the Garage, somebody's androgynous child is cackling like a deranged banshee, plaguing this seminal San Franciscan outfit's set with nonsensical tourettes. _"They call them Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning!" _This kid is wrong. Wrong show, wrong speed.
Flipper front man Bruce Loose looks suitably confused as he spits predictable diatribes about_ "all this bullshit music today" before blissing out to the low-end grooves of one Krist Novoselic. Krist looks shattered; no longer does the bass swing low and side to side while the giant Seattleite's eyelids flutter backwards in euphoria; he looks more like he's having a kip standing up. It wasn't supposed to be like this. It could be the jetlag, or maybe he has more Government than Grunge on his mind these days, but Flipper's surprising incorporation of 'Scentless Apprentice' _into their setlist must surely get the old juices flowing now and again, no?
Soon enough two more of Kurt Cobain's old band mates, Dale Crover and King Buzzo, join this weathered posse of punks onstage. Whether they're playing Fecal Matter or Flipper songs is a mystery, given the obscurity of their respective bootleg-riddled back catalogues. No matter; at one point there are seven musicians onstage (three handling percussion), laying down a dose of tinnitus-baiting punk-rock that doesn't agree with these acoustics. Nevertheless, arms are flailing, heads are nodding in silent but unanimous approval, and you could call this something of a draw as the old guard trundle past the finishing line.
It's appropriate that The* Melvins come fresh from playing The Nightmare Before Christmas. Slinking back onstage to join the tail end of *Big Business's brief yet frenetic two-piece assault, Buzzo looks like something that Tim Burton once drew. With his animated stance, he sways menacingly, flipping a colossal greying afro from left to right to the incomprehensible lairy dirge of_ 'The Talking Horse'. Keeping with the symmetrical tone running through the night's proceedings, Jared Warren mirrors Buzzo's image (cloak, fro, the lot) while Coady Willis and Crover flawlessly trade fierce beats with duelling drumkits. This smirking playfulness, mixed with the trademarked bombastic snarl of Buzzo's voice, ensures that the venue detonates right on time when 'The Hawk' _erupts into the heaviest moment that Meshuggah never had.
They might have been at it for over 20 years and have almost as many albums to their name, rinsing the world's supply of bass players in the process, but tonight The Melvins kick around the hypothesis that they're not only peerless nowadays, but they've still got the beating heart of a band in its prime.
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