Cactus and Cardigan and PAWS at Madhatters on Friday 24th April 2014.  Pictures and (Not) a review.

Peter Bacon of Cactus & Cardigan
Peter Bacon of Cactus & Cardigan

Pedant alert: this is not a review. Alas I was unable to stay until the end of the PAWS set so a few words (mostly stolen from the bands own on-line info) and some photos to mark what was a seriously good night at Madhatters.

I’ve always been fond of three-piece bands and the particular energy they generate, so a couple of power trios in a venue like this will always appeal.

We have to thank Cactus and Cardigan for travelling south (although to be honest there isn’t much north of Caithness) – I had heard a lot of good things about them and I wasn’t disappointed.

Heavy metal noise rock featuring (of course) huge riffs, heavy lead noodling, drum and bass that will haunt your hollow organs and a death metal vocal roar.

Much is made of their lyrics, I have to be honest I have no idea what Peter Bacon was actually singing but it was a remarkable performance. Meanwhile Marc Sutherland and Jack Macphee on bass and drums were much tighter than a wizards sleeve.

Cactus & Cardigan-2
“Marc Sutherland and Jack Macphee on bass and drums were much tighter than a wizards sleeve.”

PAWS made a long overdue visit to their ‘home’ town, but hey, they have been working extremely hard as an impressive gigography will confirm.

PAWS-5
A long over due return for PAWS

That experience and work ethic is brought to bear during a relentless hi energy performance featuring fifteen of their finest tunes.

Warning this bit is plagiarised;

”PAWS bash out infectious, lo-fi, garage pop-rock that can quickly shift from cute melancholia to an unnerving territorial roar.On top of the pulsating noise the 3 piece produce sit dreamy melodies that bare the bones of their author. Lyrical topics slide between sarcastic self-analysis and brutal home truths”.

They have earned a series of well deserved accolades including being placed at number 4 in Spin Magazines Top 50 acts at SXSW Festival 2013 and their first album ‘Cokefloat’ was nominated for a SAY award that same year.

They are nothing if not consistent; their second album ‘Youth Culture Forever’ has just been nominated for a SAY award this year.

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“infectious, lo-fi, garage pop-rock that can quickly shift from cute melancholia to an unnerving territorial roar”
PAWS-8
Josh Swinney on drums
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“All I can say is that if you were not at the Paws gig your an idiot…fab music, great craic and I can say I was there !!!!” Nigel Graham of Union Vinyl

The band have just announced that they will be recording their third album in the summer, checkout their Facebook for more details.

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Life-long engagement with music and a truly eclectic taste (although prog-rock and metal will usually have me scrambling for the off button). If pushed, I would have to say the Velvet Underground are one of the most important band’s of all time. Although I consider myself first and foremost a photographer, as regards reviewing I guess I cut my teeth in the vibrant fanzine scene of the 80’s. Around the same time I started taking photographs and, to be brief, performance and photography were made for each other: perfect match.