Slint offshoot - The For Carnation unfurl their wares..

Saturday. The day after the night before. First up, for those who have made it out of the chalets in time at 4pm, are Glaswegian post-rockers Motor Life Co.. Their take on US college rock is admirable, but in reality the cobwebs remain Friday for them to have any real impact at this early hour.

Any cobwebs are not so much blown, as blasted away by Ganger, making their last ever live performance. By the time both bassists are punishing their instruments in unison, and drummer Martin Bullock from Mogwai has added his weight to the proceedings, Ganger cultivate the kind of noise that almost every band here aspires to. Inevitably, everything finally breaks down, and the band leave the stage to a wall of feedback, everyone staring on in stunned silence.

The deafness caused by Ganger is soothed by the timely ambient noodling of Pan American. The Labradford vocalist sits firmly behind an enormous bank of equipment, happy in his own little world. In a usual gig environment his lack of anything resembling a live ‘performance’ would be like pulling teeth. Following the sheer terror of Ganger however, it is the perfect tonic.


It could be argued that without Brian McMahon, and his previous band Slint, Mogwai and perhaps even All Tomorrow’s Parties would not exist in the same form as they do now. The For Carnation are the grandfathers reincarnate, and this is their UK birth.

Imagine what Massive Attack would sound like, four albums in, if Tricky hadn’t run off to work on a solo career. Nothing is simple. Every note precise. Designed to have an impact.

McMahon‘s deep, drawn out vocals hit you where you feel most vulnerable, and leave every member of the biggest crowd of the day so far looking at their feet, feeling totally alone. The For Carnation provide the most unsettling music of the weekend so far, and we are all the better for it.

Paul MacNamee

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