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London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage

There is no greater example of crud rock genius this side of [B]Jim Osterberg[/B]'s left testicle.

London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage

Few sane folk could ever quibble with The Verve's famous dictum on splitting up, which held that all farewells should be sudden. But now Ligament have added the entirely reasonable proviso: "And preferably bloody loud, too."

In a world starved of primal rock savagery, this is nothing short of calamitous: Ligament in the house for the last time. There are various theories as to just why Camberwell's troglodyte power trio are hanging up their impressively notched sleaze baton, but to judge from this final outbreak of casual violence, devoting more time to their topiary skills isn't one of them.

Whatever, it takes a special band to drag Mogwai away from gestating their next record and onto a tiny stage they last graced some three years ago. Show-stealing is way off the 'Gwai's agenda this evening, yet so assured have they become that it's hard not to pity any band which has to follow them, especially when they play just one song, 'My Father My King', their already legendary Jewish hymn, and bathe in it for more than 20 delirious minutes. Next stop Songs Of Praise.

But the real strong devotion tonight comes from the mighty Lig, who party like it's 1989 down the Fulham Greyhound forever. Had they been American, frankly, they'd have been huge; a similarly elemental crew like, say, The Melvins aren't fit to sniff their oxters, plus the Lig are good-looking. Essentially, Ligament do rock as stew: boil it down, then rattle the bones. They don't so much play their instruments as dismember them. Singing? Screaming's far more fun. Quiet bits? Only if we can have painfully unquiet bits too. The songs all sound the same? Because no-one in their right mind would want it any other way.

And yet that, alas, was that. Ligament have left the house. But not before playing 'National Ligament Day' one last time. There is no greater example of crud rock genius this side of Jim Osterberg's left testicle. See you on the reunion tour.

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