steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


Dirty On Purpose, A Northern Chorus, and Aberdeen City

Mar 5, 2006

@ Sala Rossa

part of April 2006 update

La Sala Rossa was pretty barren on this chilly Sunday night, a disappointment for the still-young annual Under The Snow festival. Still, the line-up was a good one, so our small group of dedicated listeners embarked on a concert experience that surely would never be matched...

Rarely does the first act steal the show, but tonight it was Dirty on Purpose that took the crown. They play a dreamy, fuzzy sort of rock that comes up both spacey and revving. They got the hooks to grip you and a fine set of songs. Look out for the EP. "Mind Blindness" was my personal favourite, but my comrade really dug the song with the bowed guitar. The guitarist was refreshingly humble afterwards as well. These guys could be on Clairecords in the close future; keep an eye out.

A Northern Chorus was the band I came to see, as I've been dying to check them out live ever since their 2001 debut (which, interestingly, seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet in the wake of their new one, Bitter Hands Resign). I missed the first two songs as I was busy stealing matchbooks in the restaurant downstairs (as well as eating some delicious and affordable wedge fries), but the rest of the set was decent. The live presence wasn't great, but it was nice to see the trademark cello-playing and boy/girl vocal harmonies in person. The band seemed visibly disappointed by the poor attendance, something the Under The Snow festival might want to consider next time around (where was the promotion?) - though I suppose it was, after all, a Sunday night.

Now's the time to mention the between-sets DJ, GY!BE alum 1-Speed Bike. He played a couple of brief but intense sets that, despite the lack of dancing, completely tore up the place. Pretty inappropriate given the bands they were segueing between but hey, who's gonna complain?

Aberdeen City was the flashiest of the three acts, and the most rock-centric. They reminded both of us a LOT of Interpol, but had more Radiohead­esque vocals. Loads of potential here, though they were bland at times and a few of the songs were too long (the second-last one, for example). One of their guitarists was especially notable because of his ecstatic, manic stage presence - he was jumping around like a wildcat and must have broken three guitar strings over the set, resulting in frequent mad dashes to switch guitars. This was good stuff but it could have been a bit more interesting.

Overall, the show made for a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday night, and certainly opened some eyes to a bunch of exciting new bands. At the very least, this was miles better than sitting at home watching Family Guy. For sure.

Matt Shimmer