Sunday, 16 October 2011

Gig Review - Bill Wells And Aidan Moffat @ Paisley Arts Centre

Paisley Underground is a programme with is running over three nights. October 7th saw the elder spokesmen of the disgruntled generation Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat play Paisley Arts Centre. Their album 'Everything's Getting Older' is still my favourite offering of the year so far, and with Paisley Council intent on reminding us that Christmas is coming by putting their decorations up in October, it doesn't seem likely to be bettered.

Wells, Moffat and the band make their way onto the intimate stage. It's been a while since I last sat in the small theatre, and on that occasion Widow Twanky threw sweeties into the crowd. So no sweets this time, but lots of witty remarks, humour and plenty of musical genius.

Set opener 'Ballad Of The Bastard' allows Moffat to ease himself in with his sore throat. Straight from the start Moffat had the crowd in his hand, teasingly mocking the stream of latecomers into the theatre. The next track is the haunting 'Dinner Time' which gets more creepy everytime I hear it.

Moffat forgets to introduce the band's now infamous cover of Bananarama's 'Cruel Summer', however I'm sure we all recognised it! Feeling rather confessional (a theme which will crop up again) Moffat explains that his sheet music and lyrics on stage are the musicians version of a comfort blanket. 'The Copper Top' is a sublime piece of music, and the sound is perfect in the small theatre. That the venue used to be a church and still has graves in its grounds is all the more fitting considering the songs video.

'Keep Me In Your Heart' follows, with the rantings of 'Glasgow's Jubilee' up next. It's a more stripped back version than on the album, which as Moffat explains is due in part to the lack of a drum kit. However, there is the promise of a Christmas show in Glasgow, which is unannounced so far.

The penultimate track 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' is the heart warming yin to the cynical yang which peppers Moffat's writing. It's affirming and a timely reminder that despite the bad things which no one prepares you for, love really is "the greatest story ever told".

One of the highlights of the evening came in the encore when Moffat had a sudden onset of the giggles, performing 'Man Of The Cloth' the story of a sobering accidental confession which occurs after a halloween party. It's a great song, and the resulting hilarity is understandable given the lyrical content. That and set closer 'Box It Up' are available on forthcoming 'Cruel Summer' EP.

Great gig, great night, great laugh. Have a listen to 'If You Keep Me In Your Heart' below. And purchase Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat's album 'Everything's Getting Older' here. Thanks.

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