Guillemots / Operator Please - Fat Sams Dundee
Dundee's Fat Sams has played host to countless bands over it's 25 year history and recently added a new medium sized venue to attract larger acts.
I headed along to watch Guillemots in the new venue, shooting next door before hand to catch Australia's Operator Please as they were supporting Futureheads.
The Queensland teenagers have spent a good part of the last year or so touring the UK, with our paths crossing on a few occasions. They're a fun band to watch, delivering female fronted, spikey, shouty pop in three minute doses with added violin! Things seemed to be running late onstage with first support Dananananackroyd having to knock their set on the head early.
I was clock watching slightly as I was worried I'd miss my three song photo pit allocation for Guillemots but lost all sense of time once Operator Please took to the stage to blast out tracks from album "Yes Yes Vindictive", including recent singles "Leave it Alone" and "Get What You Want". They even managed to have time for a cheeky cover of Devo's "Whip it" mid set adding to the fun on offer.
I eventually decided it was time to go and made my way to the back of the venue, hanging back to hear a little more. Within seconds the intro to the bands's excellent single "Just a Song About Ping Pong" rung out, sending me back to the front for a further enjoyable three minutes!
The track is getting re-released as a single later in the year so hopefully more listeners will discover the band through it. I really had to leave at that point so I was disappointed that I would be missing the band's final song and one of my favourite tracks from the album "Zero Zero". The song reminds me of early B52's without the male vocals and is a bit of a classic.
Any song that can make the phrase "I've, been, doing, DIRTY LAUNDRY!" sound exciting deserves your attention anyway!
I finally popped next door to the larger venue for Guillemots set, ending up having plenty time to spare.
I wasn't happy with my Operator Please photographs due to poor lighting and this light show was even worse delivering every lighting state a camera hates, making my three songs in the photo pit a wasted opportunity.
I was still enjoying the show though as it had been a year or so since I'd last seen the band so was looking forward to sampling the live versions of songs from sophomore collection "Red". There were a few on offer during the evening including current single "Falling Out of Reach", "Last Kiss" sung by bass player Aristazabal who prowled at the front of the stage during the songs performance and earlier single "Get Over It".
Although the venue wasn't packed by any means there were enough fans down the front to guarantee the band a great response throughout the evening, including numerous shouts for Sam Sparro's "Black and gold" the track the band covered in the Radio One live lounge. Unfortunately the song hadn't made the set list but nobody seemed to really mind the omission.
I started going to see the band live towards the end of 2005. My mind may be playing tricks on me but at these early shows every third song seemed to resemble some sort of long jazz wig out so you'd have to wait patiently for something with a tune to come along again.
Luckily the band have a strong collection of songs to pull from these days making it a far more pleasurable experience! Guillemots still aren't afraid to experiment though, enhancing single "Annie" with military drumming and stripping down fellow 7" "We're Here" to a solo outing for Fyffe, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.
It was a brave move in a potentially noisy arena but he managed to calm the masses, delivering a lovely rendition of the track to a hushed audience. The show ended with current album opener "Kriss Kross", featuring Fyffe on bass and Aristazabal on keyboards. It's my favourite track from the new album so was a great "end" to the set.
The band returned for the inevitable encore, kicking things off with the truly wonderful "Trains to Brazil". I was glad the band finally played it as the girl next to me had the spent the previous hour or so shouting "Trains' inbetween each song like a flippin' stuck record.
The climax of the evening came in the form of epic song "Sao Paulo", a track that lasts around 11 minutes, with guitarist MC Lord Magrão conjuring up seagull sounds from his guitar with the whole song building to a percussion heavy ending, with band and crew banging anything they could get their hands on!