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Fan Reviews | Edinburgh


It’s not often that I have any desire to head to the big smoke these days. Not only have I grown weary of densely populated areas, but the current chaos caused by the never-ending tram works to the city centre fill me with such dread that I have generally opted to give Edinburgh as wide a berth as possible.

That was until I heard The Cult were coming to town.

Utilising the city’s Park & Ride facility, we avoided having to drive around in endless circles by dropping the car off at Ingliston and busing it straight to Lothian Road. After a few swift pints at The Shakespeare we headed to the Old Picture House to see The Cult perform their 1985 Love album in its entirety as well as an encore of some of their greatest hits.

I hate the way venues try and drain more beer money out of you by having you wait for hours for the band to come on. If they say the gig starts at 7 pm, then why the fuck do I have to wait until almost 8:15 pm just to see the goddamned support band? Fortunately we anticipated that this might be the case and arrived just before eight, but after enduring almost an hour of the droning dirge that was pretentiously called Aqua Nebula Oscillator, an over-priced plastic pint of Edinburgh piss-water was required to take the edge off.

Seriously though, not only were Aqua Nebula Oscillator utterly shit, but they had no stage presence whatsoever with the guitarist standing sideways to the audience and playing to the drummer for their entire brain-numbing set. Without sounding overly dramatic, Aqua Nebula Oscillator are the worst fucking band I’ve ever heard play live in my entire life - and I’ve heard some shit bands in my time. In my opinion, there are only two places where a theremin belongs: one is at a Led Zeppelin gig 30 years ago and the other is in the hands of comedian Bill Bailey.

But, by 9:30 pm all that changed with Astbury, Duffy and the boys blasting onto the stage with their opening track 'Nirvana'. Quite frankly The Cult - who have now clearly become national treasures - have never sounded better. I’ve seen them perform in Glasgow the last couple of years, and Ian Astbury’s voice sounded supersonic-Elvis-powerful in comparison to both those gigs. It was also good to hear Billy Duffy’s 1955 Gretsch White Falcon for the whole gig as well - a key element in maintaining that distinctive Cult sound methinks.

Visual footage being projected onto the backdrop behind the stage was also tastefully and clever presented, syncing in nicely with each track being performed. One could almost describe it as being some kind of experiment in occult sigilization with mentally stimulating imagery being flashed up like something emanating from one of Brion Gysin’s Dreamachines. I’ve never been a great fan of filmmaker Kenneth Anger’s work, but having now seen sections of it being presented whilst listening to The Cult, I can tell I’m going to have to watch Lucifer Rising and Invocation Of My Demon Brother again. Maybe this time I’ll just turn the sound down and listen to the Love album when I do.

It irritates me when I read reviews remarking that this was merely another “reunion” of an eighties band and that “revisiting a classic album” has become “2009’s favourite excuse for a tour”. Quite frankly, Fiona Shepherd of The Scotsman hasn’t a fucking clue what she’s talking about. Firstly, looking back over The Cult’s 25 year history, splitting up and reforming seem to be part of the band’s creative process - having split up and reformed on at least 3 separate occasions now. Anyone who has ever played in a band will know that writing original material is not exactly an easy process without the occasional volatile explosion and personality clash. Secondly, The Cult have been performing together for the last 5 years, releasing Born Into This in 2007 and touring extensively over the last few years. They are hardly Spandau Ballet or some piece of shit uniting for a one-off gig at Retrofest for christsakes!

As for Shepherd’s comment about Astbury remarking that the crowd looked like a bunch of bankers - well, that’s because most of them did ya dumb cunt! When I looked around at the crowd on Wednesday night, I thought it was a particularly shameful sight (and I’m pushing 40 myself). On one hand we had the tired, over-weight, mid-life crisis that had sold their soul to the man and was trying desperately to revive something of their youth before going back to the office to die in despair; and on the other hand we had the ageing goth rocker who had never quite grown up or moved with the times enough to stop looking like an overgrown fuckwit.

I also have to say that this particular crowd in Edinburgh looked especially jaded, with only a handful of people actually getting into it. This, in my opinion, had nothing whatsoever to do with the band’s performance since the crowd at Glasgow’s Carling Academy a year earlier was bouncing so hard the wooden floor almost caved in.

“Stop taking cocaine and alcohol,” remarked Astbury at one point, “take LSD and mushrooms instead!” Personally, I don’t think it’s the cocaine and alcohol that are the problem, but probably poor diet, parenthood, prozac and a piss boring job that is sucking the life out of these losers. No wonder Generation X is being renamed Generation XL.

Anyway, to wrap up, my only criticism is that they could’ve dropped Aqua Nebula Oscillator from the line-up, decreased the ticket price by a fiver (and that includes removing TicketWeb’s bullshit service charge), and increased the set by an extra half hour. Hearing a couple of tracks from Dreamtime would’ve been nice along with a little more material from a few of their later albums.

For that reason I give The Cult four stars instead of five.


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Save The Wolves PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 October 2009
wolfsave.jpgStop the North American Grey Wolf from ending up in the endangered species list once again. 

Urgent Action: Yellowstone Wolf Pack Killed

Yellowstone National Park’s famous Cottonwood Pack has just been destroyed -- all the adult wolves have been killed, and the surviving pups will likely die without the rest of their wolf family.

The Cottonwoods are just some of the latest victims of the federal government’s likely illegal decision to eliminate vital protections for our wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the northern Rockies. Unless we are successful in urging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to reverse this bad decision, hundreds more wolves will be killed.

Please sign our petition and urge Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to immediately take action to restore protections for these amazing animals.

The Cottonwood wolves are not alone. They’re among the more than 60 wolves already killed in the region -- a disturbingly high number for a hunting season only weeks old.

I was there when the first wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, and I have personally guided Defenders members to watch the Cottonwood Pack. It is particularly heartbreaking to see one of America's greatest conservation victories slip from our grasp because of a policy mistake. But there is still time to correct it -- and if we act quickly, we can still save the lives of literally hundreds of wolves in the region.

Our wolves need your voice -- and the support of as many others as possible who care about the future of these magnificent animals.

Sign this important petition today. We will personally hand-deliver your signatures to the Department of the Interior as a powerful statement that America supports a lasting future for our wolves.

The next few weeks will be crucial for our wolves in this region. The truth is, the future of wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the northern Rockies is at a crossroads -- and it will take the voices of caring wildlife supporters like you to make a difference.

Last month, a federal judge ruled that we are likely to win our lawsuit to restore protections for these beloved wolves. But with the lives of hundreds of wolves at stake, we can’t wait for the final ruling on our case -- a ruling that will likely not come for many months.

Please sign our petition to Secretary Salazar today.

The Cottonwood wolves were not the first victims of the flawed delisting -- and they certainly won’t be the last. The time has come to correct the unacceptable error made by the Obama administration that continues to erode one of the greatest conservation victories of the last century. Please lend your voice to help save our wolves.

Together, we can ensure that wolves will be an enduring part of America.

Thank you 
Posted by Anne Holmberg  
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