Thursday, 18 December 2008

Gig 23

The Ark, Edinburgh
Setlist A Physical Husband, Pictures Of Biggles,It's Abnormal Tamagotchi Girl, Agenda For Change, (We Were) Always On Our Own, Cindy Does It Better, Golden Girl, Christmouse, Selling The Party.
Sound- Fergus. Reception - Warm

Streamed : Check out this ustream Video:

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

More Russian Compliments for ERODED

From me: I could hardly find any more or less complete information about them on the web, therefore will only describe my own blind experience and reflect on the images they generated. Will try not to slip out void screams of delight and admiration, as they don't really need them. But still, I haven't heard such strong, brutal, and yet expansive and sincere songs for a long time. They are languorously distant, not from this world, like aliens from the last century or ghosts rattling us (me), with pale faces and in stiff jackets (suits) of indistinct colour, and also with profound cheekbones. It is a magnificently vintage album. Don't think everyone should like it though - the music is nervous and it brings one strange satisfaction, but don't get me wrong. In essence: electro-pop in guitar smoke, non-trivial melodies and overall maturity.
They all look at me out of a dark corner and wait...

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Beloved Tram-works

The nuisance continues. Apparently, we will all forget about the inconvenience once the trams are up and running, we will be thrilled and pleased that we have been given such a wonderful gift. This is contrary to what has happened in Dublin, Sheffield and Barcelona - the only people who think the trams were worth the bother and expense do not live in these cities. In Dublin, vox pop says the trams are only good for those that live along the route, but only a small benefit, and none at all to the rest of Dublin. In Sheffield they are seen as a dangerous nuisance and no advantage over the buses. In Barcelona it is difficult to find anyone who knows about a tram there, they all take the underground train, which is great. I know this because I have spoken to people from Dublin, Sheffield and recently visited Barcelona.
Here is a video from Leith Walk

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Higher and Higher

One of the more unexpected songs performed tonight by The Moody Blues, starting their British tour at the Playhouse in Edinburgh. They were great; a bit unnerving seeing Graeme Edge getting helped up and down the stage stairs.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Gig 22

Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
Setlist: A Physical Husband, Pictures Of Biggles, It's Abnormal, Pink Storm, Tamagotchi Girl, Agenda For Change, Freiburg (CH) '98, Golden Girl, Mouse In Love, Selling The Party
Excellent sound, thanks to Leonora ( see "Mills & Boon")
Very good crowd response with some dancing.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Golden Girl

Dancing Mice Live , summer 2008. A tribute to Justine Greening

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Ukraine DM: Elegantly skroenny, wonderfully staromoden

Two reviews of Eroded, from Kiev.

On a: Nothing on the Internet putnogo they are not found, so will speak only about their personal experiences and blind them generated images. Standings not to derail the empty cries of admiration, for they way they do not. But still, I have not heard so strong, brutal, but all honest songs. They are dry and tortured, not from here, if aliens from the past century or ghosts, frightening us (me), others pale, hard-coloured jacket inaudibility and deep bilge. The album is wonderfully staromoden. And do not think that all like, music nervousness, and delivers a strange pleasure, but hope for your understanding. In essence: elektropop in guitar haze, nontrivial melodies and overall maturity. They all looked at me from a dark corner and waiting ...

The quartet of Edinburgh Dancing Mice releases third album - given its originality and potential, even strange that we have heard little about those Scots earlier.
Extremely ingenuity of the arrangements for the elegant decadent new-wave. Very intelligent, on university-educated, slightly pizhonsky who knows the price of good manners, exactly - secular. It is elegantly skroenny. Sometimes very small blurry light psihodelikami.
Vintazhnye Synthesis, saxophones, literally valsiruyuschy rhythmic figure, but elastic basses, silk intonirovanie of irresistible nartsissa-frontmena and shaped his poetry, safe melodic hook - all this suggests Roxy Music (and also solo Ferry), Talking Heads, or, now , A bit neglected Russian group Obermaneken.
Cases of reggae / ska-knikseny, fankovy gruv or blur embientnaya electronics only add hate smart, and I would even say, the luxury good pop music Dancing Mice.

Gig 21

The Ark, Edinburgh
Setlist: A Physical Husband, Pictures of Biggles, Wounded Woman, Pink Storm, It's Abnormal,
Mouse In Love, Selling The Party, Golden Girl.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

TIE Edinburgh: Save the 10

At the TIE show-and-tell regarding the Leith walk tram route this evening , it was revealed that in order to get people to use the tram, three bus routes are to be axed, the 10, the 12 and the 22. For readers who do not know Edinburgh bus routes, the tram route duplicates much of the 12 and 22 routes, but not the 10. This will cut off Leith from Polwarth, Craiglockhart and Colinton... so no Ocean Terminal for the unlucky citizens of these suburbs. Save the 10.
Also, it is not commonly known that the "Interchange" intersections shown on the tram diagram are in fact "Interruptions". What wil happen is, passengers on the bus routes to the North end of Leith Walk will have to get off their bus, get on the tram up to St Andrew's Square where they will be able to get on another bus and resume their journey. This is justified as a marvel of travel planning.
One thing of note, the TIE staff had swapped name-badges. Perhaps this started as an office jape, but is reveals the underlying contempt they hold for the citizens of Edinburgh.
Verdict: White Elephant cum Vanity Project cum Gravy Train. No surprise there then ( see Scottish Parliament building)

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Gig 20 - The "Eroded" Launch

Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
Setlist: A Physical Husband, It's Abnormal, Cindy Does It Better, Tamagotchi Girl, Pink Storm^, Wounded Woman, Chosen Hills, Crusader Castles, Madonna, Pictures Of Biggles, Kelticfunfair, Golden Girl, Selling The Party.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Monday, 7 April 2008

Review of "Eroded" :

Dancing Mice Eroded (Squeak Audio)
There’s something very appealing about this album, from its orange and white faux Penguin artwork, to the curious song titles, blurry, indecipherable band pictures and the curious, wordy lyrics printed on the inner-sleeve. I’d assumed that this was a debut album, having never heard of the Dancing Mice before, but it’s actually the Edinburgh based bands third. It’s a weird, wonderful and sometimes confusing album, quite poppy in places, very odd in others, but almost always charming and enchanting.
It’s hard to find solid comparisons for the Dancing Mice. There’s definitely something of an 80s influence in there, with an array of antique synths on display but Dancing Mice aren’t retro-ironists, borrowing sounds from a much mocked musical era with their tongues poked firmly in their cheeks. Eroded takes in electronic pop, weird folk, psychedelia and post-punk, melding them into a quirky, erudite style with some cool pop hooks.
Opening song, ‘It’s Abnormal’ begins with some primitive buzzsaw guitar and a thumping drum machine before being joined by some sweet keyboards and Ian Deary’s rich, distinctive vocals. In the space of a pop song Dancing Mice throw in heaps of ideas and twists and turns, mixing the everyday and otherworldly in a fresh, enervating manner. ‘Cindy Does It Better’ is curious sounding with its clipped funk bass and creepy, insinuative melody that give the song a sense of ennui, of failing to make progress as Deary sings
Leave behind the songs
Make the freeze
Start another project
Fail to please
On the road to nowhere.
The lyrics and music express the utter desperation and frustration of a band seemingly unable to break out of obscurity, in part, because of their unwillingness to remain static, to please their existing fan base.
‘Tamagotchi Girl’ soars and swoops with a barely contained glee, the quirky but catchy melodies driving a long the songs queasy, seasick feel. ‘Pink Storm’ is a beautiful, delicate song, more subdued than its predecessors as it builds up an eerie, fractured atmosphere with a muted rhythm and lovely saxophone. Deary’s voice and the music are elegant as he describes the loneliness, futility even, of the writer’s life:
From the inside he can see that the writing’s overblown
Capture the thought and the next til the memory is gone
Nothing to do anyway
Just this plenty to say.
The songs instrumental section is simply stunning with its sublime guitar playing giving way, in turn, to a lovely keyboard line.
‘Wounded Woman’ sits quite awkwardly after the elegiac ‘Pink Storm’. It’s incredibly manic, hyperactive even, with the instruments and vocal almost tripping over themselves as Dancing Mice batter through the song. It contains some neat melodies and a mad interplay between the overloaded guitar and synths. ‘Chosen Hills’ slows the pace back down again with its acoustic beginning. It has an electro-folk feel, even featuring a recorder. ‘Chosen Hills’ has a sinister feel while, simultaneously, being an incredibly pretty song full of cool changes and textures. ‘Crusader Castles’ mixes a vague eastern and reggae-ish feel in a beautiful song that ponders questions of identity and reality as Deary sings
The stars spell out his names
He clears his eyes
And wonders what is real.
The lyrical imagery conjures up links between the medieval crusaders and the contemporary war in Iraq with lines like ‘The new crusaders / Uniform in uniformity convene’. It’s an odd, subtle and evocative song.
By way of contrast ‘Madonna’ sounds slightly clumsy and misplaced although it’s lifted by the sweet middle eight. ‘Pictures Of Biggles’ is plain weird, lyrically and musically, as it packs in a dazzling array of ideas into under four minutes. The song displays a strange mix of sounds and images mixed in with catchy melodies and a lovely sense of momentum as it swoops and soars, chops and changes, leaving me confused and exhilarated. The lyrics are both humorous and curious, as exemplified in lines such as
When he took off his locks
On his chocolate box
And found his favourites were gone.
The lyrics on Eroded often have a nursery rhyme feel to them, surreal but with depth as well.
‘Kelticfunfair’ is utterly amazing, from its atmospheric, spacey introduction right through to the dizzying climax. It never flags or falters over a breathtaking and ambitious eight minutes. It’s a gorgeous, haunting song. I especially love the saxophone, the way it sounds so beautiful and lost. Deary’s voice is quite subdued but remains emotionally charged. ‘Kelticfunfair’ has a deserted carnival feel to it as it builds up a sense of tension and foreboding with the different instruments coming and going, all adding to the atmosphere. ‘Golden Girl’ comes over like the theme music to some long forgotten 70s television show, the bass and synth giving it a tinge of jagged funk as the sense of drama and momentum builds up as the song brings Eroded to a rather cool conclusion.
Eroded isn’t perfect. Very occasionally Dancing Mice slightly over-egg the pudding but, in the main, it is a rather wonderful album, something rather special. While it sounds as though Dancing Mice may well be freaky dancing in their own strange world, Eroded should bring them to a wider audience. Dancing Mice seem to instinctively understand that post-punk means taking risks and incorporating diverse influences in innovative ways not simply recycling Gang Of Four bass lines. Ignoring the rules in favour of your own aesthetic is something to be wholly applauded. Eroded is a frighteningly ambitious, clever album that is also thoroughly enjoyable, adventurous and full of joy.
Andy Wood

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Review of "Eroded" : Leeds Music Scene

In the normal course of events, it's blindingly obvious from the outset how many stars an album is likely to be awarded. The numbers present themselves up front, and the text will follow. With this album, however, the blurb writes itself but it could have scored anything from three to five stars, depending upon the prevailing mood. In the end I've decided to split the difference, but it's one hell of an interesting offering whichever way you look at it.There have been times when I seriously thought that I'd been presented with the new Forever Changes, at others merely a well polished set of carefully varied plagiarism. In the final reckoning, however, I'd say that whilst this disc is not about to turn the musical world upon its head, it does deserve a damned good listen. I don't know much about the band other than that they hail from Edinburgh and have a sleeve artist who clearly loves his Penguin classic literature. From the music, however, I detect that these guys have assimilated an awful lot of decent sounds in their time. The vocals are redolent of an Arthur Lee reared in dreich Lothian climes, and the vintage keyboards certainly sit neatly with this ominous psych-tinged heritage. However, it's clear from the outset that this band have a record collection that extends slightly further than late 60s West Coast pop.Opener "It's Abnormal" is a punchy slice of jangly new wave guitars, but it's not necessarily a sign of things to come. "Cindy Does It Better" is like the Blue Nile being goaded from their sparse territory by a neurotic Donald Fagan. And "Tamagotchi Girl" is the first overt homage to Love; an appropriately jaunty minor key soundtracking of domestic paranoia. From here on, however, things take a turn towards the less obvious.One hears "Pink Storm" as through blocked ears, but "Wounded Woman" as if one's nose has been pushed against the speaker stack; an oddly contrasting two track departure. "Chosen Hills", on the other hand, is a return to blissed-out hippydom, albeit with entertaining references to British, rather than clich├ęd American. geography.As if to willfully confuse the listener, this is followed by a couple of tracks exploring a jaunty dub / ska / reggae vibe; unlikely to win any accolades for originality, but listenable nonetheless. Next "Pictures of Biggles", whilst largely forgettable, is scarcely the worst track recorded this year, whilst "Kelticfunfair" starts with a backward glance towards the Incredible String Band before suddenly morphing into a brooding Eno-esque soundscape. The Scots / Germanic crossover of the sound should have been predictable from the title, I suppose.And then, for the final track, we have "Golden Girl". This seems to encapsulate most of the above-listed disparate influences in a single tune. However, it has to be said that anyone expecting to put the CD back on the shelf with a hummable refrain on their lips will be left disappointed. As such it sums up the album; an offering of consistent solidity, but with no obvious singles.To call it merely workmanlike, however, would be to miss the point. To listen to Eroded is to spend 53 minutes in the presence of challenging and thought provoking musicianship and lyricism. It may not be the new Forever Changes, but at the same time I take some comfort in the fact that no-one recognized the worth of that album at the time either. Go on - buy this album: you may just find yourself with a classic on your hands once the revisionist music historians of twenty years hence have had their say.

Friday, 28 March 2008

TIE, Edinburgh : Meeting 28/3/08

Met with TIE reps today accompanied by like-minded neighbours. Much as we expected, told there was no chance that our suggestions would be listened to. TIE revealed that that they had received the objection to the siting of the stop, after affecting not to.
I was ticked off for flippancy, I had murmured that I had thought that Stalin was dead. I was referring to the systematic and deliberate wrong-footing of the public by the project managers. TIE are of the opinion that they are entitled to speak to citizens of Edinburgh thus, so I have written to my MP and MSP as follows.

Dear Mr Chisholm
Dealings with TIE, Edinburgh
I am writing to you concerning a meeting I had today, with some neighbours, in the offices of TIE, Edinburgh, regarding a complaint we have about the position of a stop, in the new street- train system which is currently under construction here in Edinburgh.
We were left dissatisfied, which, to be frank we were expecting, but a few issues came to light which I would like your opinion about. They concern the consultation process for the project, and also the involvement of the Scottish Parliament in the process, and the management of the project.
We were told that our objection was too late, but there was an air of mystery about this, one of us had formally written months ago, when something could have been done, and her objections and suggestions seemed to have gone missing. We were also told that the time to object was when the project had been presented to parliament, and that now a Bill had been passed, nothing could be changed.
However, during the course of the meeting it became clear that the plans had been changed at various points over the past few months, and it seems that the plans which were presented to Parliament were not the current ones. It left me wondering how much of the plans are known to Parliament; obviously the work has been devolved to TIE to develop as they see fit, but of course they are not an elected body, and it appears that they are answerable to nobody.
More surprising still was the assertion by TIE that although it may just be possible to object to some part of the plans, they would much rather nobody did, because if they were to make any changes, it would leave the project open to legal challenges, which they were avoiding at all costs, as any delay would make the cost ( to the public) mount up. This seems a highly questionable and improper attitude to take. This means the project is now untouchable, no matter what errors may be pointed out.
In short, although in many respects laudable, the project is in disrepute, and hence vicariously yourselves in the Scottish Parliament. I would like you to reply to these points:
1) Do you agree with TIE that the project must be protected from changes in case this leads to legal challenges?
2) Is it true that there can be no changes made on the basis of public consultation now that a Bill has been passed? If this is not the case, to what extent does the Parliament monitor the changes to plans, independently of TIE, as TIE apparently can and do make changes.
2) Are you aware that written objections and suggestions to TIE are going missing, or being ignored due to possible inconvenience.
I am not expecting you to wave a wand and move a stop 50 yards North East up Leith walk( although this would earn you a lot of respect), but I would like you to deal with the greater issues that this meeting has revealed. I look forward to your reply.

Dear Mr Lazarowicz
A couple of years ago I was canvassed on the doorstep by an agent sent on your behalf, and one of the questions asked was whether or not I felt represented by my MP/MSP and did I have any examples of good or bad practice, to feed back.
Today I had a run-in with TIE in Edinburgh, the body overseeing the construction of the long-awaited new street-train in Edinburgh, and it disappointed me so much I felt moved to write to Malcolm Chisholm, my MSP for the first time ever. I enclose a copy.
It raises the issues among others of how far -removed the public can be from the processes of parliament, through no fault of their own, and how much the reputations of MSPs and MPs are at the mercy of those that they rely on . I had hoped the Scottish Government would fare better than this. What is your opinion of matters like this?
If anyone does read this blog, take away this important point. TIE candidly made the point that they are adamantinely resisting any changes to the plans, no matter how imperfect, for by making a change it would be a public admission of fallibility, and it may open the door to legal challenges which they fear would delay the project.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Gig 19

The Ark, Edinburgh.
Setlist : A Physical Husband , Cindy Does It Better, Pictures Of Biggles, It's Abnormal, Cowboy McLean, Freiburg (CH) '98, Selling The Party

Monday, 18 February 2008

TIE, Edinburgh

The new tramline being built in Edinburgh will block the junction of Balfour Street and Leith Walk. This is the solution as sent to me today.
"Vehicles will be able to make U turns at Springfield Street (to turn south) and Dalmeny Street to approach Balfour Street from the north. "

Sunday, 10 February 2008

A Physical Husband

Here is a live recording of A Physical Husband

Gig 18

Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh.
Setlist : A Physical Husband 5, Cindy Does It Better, Pictures Of Biggles, It's Abnormal, Mouse In Love, Dungeness, The g Factor, Selling The Party

Monday, 4 February 2008

Ball and Moffoot - The Mazagon Variations

A new album of electronic pieces by Anthony Moffoot in collaboration with Derek Ball. Two minor and 2 major triads, among them using all 12 notes of the western chromatic scale form the basis of these 4 pieces, produced by manipulating a Roland JP-8000.

To investigate further, e-mail

Posted by Picasa