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192: live music.

Byline: Jim McGhee

Counting Crows Barrowlands 22nd August

Adam Durwitz must be one of the unlikeliest frontmen, yet one of the most engaging; open, friendly and disarmingly honest ("I'm taking a shower in myself here, it's gross!"), he had the crowd eating out of his hand. Counting Crows have a hard core of fans who know every word to every song; these little stories of relationships and everyday life have clearly found their way into the hearts of their fans. Highlight of the set was an opus length version of Goodnight Elizabeth. If Durwitz writes musical stories, then this is his War & Peace. The Dylan influence is unmistakable, not merely in the lyrical structure but in the phrasing and arrangement of the songs. Unfortunately it's not quite enough to prevent the Counting Crows becoming bogged down in an AOR mire that really doesn't reflect their considerable abilities. There's just one plodding country rock track too many, the songs seem somehow to meander along and many lack the hooks that made Mr. Jones such a classic.

While Counting Crows have retained a loyal following who made August And Everything After a bestseller, they need to write more memorable melodies in order to avoid becoming the American Bluetones.

Catriona Killin

Soundtrack Of Our Lives T on the Fringe 26th August

"If you got nothing to say, then we're taking over," announces mad eyed frontman Ebbot Lunbergh, early in the gig. For once, here's a band whose self-belief is justified.

They have built up a formidable reputation live -

they are, quite simply, astounding.

It's not just that they can do the mad psychedelic hippy grooves; it's not just that they've got every rock'n'roll riff ever written, off pat. It's the fact that they are utterly tight, a musical and visual spectacle that none of this year's models (with the possible exception of The Coral) can hold a burning cross to.

To see Soundtrack of Our Lives, is to take a rollercoaster, acid-spiked, ride through the rock'n'roll hall of fame; the Stones, The Who, early Floyd, even AC/DC are here. Lundbergh and pretty boy frenetic guitarists, Barjed

and Person have reinvented the wheel and they're going to take you along for the ride.

Get on board because if they're not the soundtrack of your life already, they should be.

Catriona Killin

Matthew/Mink Lungs/ Carson, Barfly, Glasgow, August 22

HOW bizarre that headline band Matthew played to the night's smallest audience - a paltry assembly beefed up by several members of the supporting bands.

Trouble was, many of the crowd had travelled from Fort William to see rising local heroes Carson.

And by the time Brooklyn's wacky Mink Lungs had finished, many were already on the road home.

A pity because Chicago four-piece Matthew were superb.

Highlights included the edgy album title track Everybody Down, the plaintive In Your Car and the single Streams, featuring Jason Sipe's Zep-style guitar riffs.

Although compared to Radiohead, Matthew's swirling, melodic sound has all the grandeur of U2.

And Brian McSweeney took his voice to heights to which even Fran Healy might aspire.

Jim McGhee
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 30, 2002
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