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192: HARD TO BEAT THE OLD ENEMY; Hip-hop legends run out of time but still show badboys how it's done.

Byline: John Kelly

PUBLIC ENEMY Liquid Room, Edinburgh, OCT 24 EVEN if the band's effort to give full value for the pounds 20-plus that tickets cost was thwarted when they overran into the club night which followed, two hours worth of Public Enemy and their various side projects was still one of the events of the year.

The fact that they were playing in the intimate confines of the Liquid Room was also a special treat, as the Enemy are a band which could still easily sell out far bigger venues.

They might not be all over the charts as they were in the Eighties, but they're still possibly the greatest hip hop collective of all time, and way more relevant than one-dimensional badboys such as Eminem and Jay-Z.

The old MC trio of Chuck D, Flavour Flav and Professor Griff are still together, although they've now added a DJ (Lord) and a three-piece live band who alter their sound greatly.

The old whooping siren samples are still present, but now there are meaty guitar riffs to bolster classics of the genre such as Fight The Power, Rebel Without A Pause and Bring the Noise.

Their political edge is also still intact, with newer song Son Of A Bush expressing the Enemy's dissatisfaction with their President.

After an hour and a quarter, the full band left the stage to allow Flav to play some new stuff (along with the classic Cold Lampin' With Flav) and Griff's rock band 7th Octave to take a turn.

It was all fairly enjoyable, but meant that Public Enemy themselves couldn't actually return for the planned encore.

This was a bit of a letdown, but to be fair they'd already given us everything we could have asked for.

David Pollock 22-20'S/DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS, King Tut's, Glasgow, Oct 22 DOGS Die In Hot Cars are not just the most amusingly monikered band in Glasgow at the moment. On thestrength of this performance, they're also one of the most talented.

Their noughties take on the agit-pop of XTC and The Talking Heads is full of promise; it's an engaging and fresh sound, and unlike contemporaries Franz Ferdinand, the focus is less on the image (seriously dishevelled) and more on the music.

22-20s may have been 45 minutes late and the crowd somewhat slimmer after fans of DDIHC had departed, but they took to the stage with all the strut and swagger of the young rock gods they have set out to become.

As a band, 22-20s have distilled the spirit of rock 'n' roll, added a stiff dash of British blues, and put The Stones on a swizzle stick to make the most intoxicating cocktail a heady rush that excites from the first, searing chord.

Frontman Martin Trimble sounds more like Jagger than the man himself, a snarling, saucy drawl that finds perfect expression through their bluesy melodies, while drummer James Irving has the loose confidence and charisma of a young Keith Moon.

They may call it ``nu-blues'' but it's rock in its rawest state pheromonefuelled and highly charged, it's 30 years since guitar jams were this cool.

Their live debut album, 05/03, was played in its entirety, tracks like Messed Up sounding like classics already.

A support slot on the sell out Kings Of Leon tour should see their grinding, sexy twist on rock 'n' blues convince Britain of their future greatness.

Catriona Killin JET, QMU, Glasgow, Oct 27 JET are one of the newest garage bands on the block, but there are already so many of their kind about that they're going to have to dosomething special to convince us they're a cut above the rest.

The band certainly seemed to be enjoying it, as they kept telling us this was by far the best gig they'd played on their tour so far.

It sounded like they were being honest and, from the sellout crowd's reaction, you could tell they were also having a blast.

The youthful quartet look the part, because they're about as trendily bedraggled as The Strokes or their fellow Australians, The Vines.

Their sound veered away from the traditional Stooges and New York Dolls reference points of most other garage pretenders, though, as they came across with the attitude of Oasis and the full-on rock pomposity of AC/DC or a younger Aerosmith.

With guitarists Nic Cester and Cameron Muncey sharing vocal duties, they ploughed through a selection of top-drawer tunes that really did make the hairs stand up.

Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Rollover DJ and Get Me Out Of Here were frantic rock assaults, while Lazy Gun was a more laid-back, psychedelic number.

The acoustic encore of Move On probably threw most people with its frayed sensitivity, but a storming cover of Elvis' That's Alright Mamma closed things in suitably rocking style.

John Kelly CAROL LAULA, The Pleasance, Edinburgh, Oct 25 THIS Scots singer-songwriter's career has taken a strange curve.

Rising to prominence over a decade ago, Laula's highlight was surely the time she was invited to support Mary Chapin Carpenter and Sarah McLachlan at the Carnegie Hall in NewYork. After reasonable success on the Scottish scene, though, she took a break to go to university, and no-one has heard much from her since.

Until now, that is, because her new album, To Let, is due before the end of the year and this gig was a chance to showcase material from it.

Playing in the rather intimate confines of the Pleasance cabaret bar, she was certainly on home territory seeing as half her family seemed to be in.

Probably because of this, she was even more confident and relaxed, and took time to tell the audience the stories behind her songs (though she claimed she usually hates singers who do that).

With only her acoustic guitar and a friend on stage playing acoustic bass, the scene was definitely set for a tender musical experience with Laula's fantastically strong and varied voice.

Songs such as In A Dream and Little Anthony about a boy who grows up to be a serial killer and not, as Laula states, her own brother were broodier and more reflective, but it was an unexpected cover of Radiohead's Creep which really tugged the heartstrings.

She also did upbeat, though, with a country-rocking version of Chasin' Whisky bringing this rather lovely gig to a suitably rowdy end.

John Kelly THE SELECTER, The Venue, Edinburgh, Oct 26 EMERGING from the same ska scene that brought us The Specials, Madness and Bad Manners in the late Seventies/early Eighties, the Selecter have weathered the years well.

In addition to the four musicians onstage, lead singer Pauline Black was also joined by vocalist Rhoda Dakar, who originally sang with the likes of the Bodysnatchers and the Special AKA.

With Black's well-worn porkpie hat and all the blokes' Fred Perry shirts, they transported us back to the distant days of decent eighties fashion.

High points were undoubtedly the band's greatest hits, which included tunes such as Too Much Pressure and On My Radio.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 31, 2003
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