Review: Putting the fun back into funereal

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MUSIC Luna King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow Luna are not so much the sound of the suburbs as the closest thing the 90s have to the Velvet Underground. Their wiry and often brutal guitar sound (so New York, so CBGB) and the delicate, sometimes painfully mournful vocal delivery all add Warholian overtones. Their filmic sound is matched by the cinematic obsession evident in the material itself. Song titles include Chinatown and Bobby Peru (the black -toothed psycho played by Willem Dafoe in Wild At Heart). They've even turned their hand to a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's Bonnie and Clyde, although they decline a request to play it tonight, presumably because Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier isn't around to sing the Brigitte Bardot parts. This kind of clever referencing could mean an over-analytical approach to pop, yet there is little po-faced about this four-piece, whose on-stage banter seems intent on putting the fun back into funereal. Even when fragile frontman Dean Wareham's guitar sound is at its most haunted, his surreal - even barmy - lyrics lend mirth to proceedings. Lord knows what they have to laugh about, though, having metamorphosed from the cultish and barely successful Galaxie 500 into the cultish and barely successful Luna. This lack of glory is inexplicable. On record Luna are compact, clean, exciting, electric. Live, they are all of the above with sugar on top. For around an hour they play to their own and the hushed crowd's content, often bathed in lighting of deep, passionate hues that suit heartfelt songs like Dear Diary and a brilliant Superfreaky Memories.


A collection of AHFoW related releases on Bandcamp

A collection of AHFoW related releases on Bandcamp
Bandcamp releases

On Fire | 30

A 30th anniversary celebration of Galaxie 500's masterpiece

On Fire 30 CD sleeve (design: John Conley)
Buy On Fire | 30