Min Diesel Live - Cellar 35 15/9/12

How about I start with my conclusion? SEXY DRUMMERS.

Yes. A three band bill, in Cellar 35 on a Saturday night in Aberdeen, this is what I’ve gleaned as my final, lasting impression of the night. The bands were great, the crowd were psyched and the beer was flowing, but most importantly: SEXY DRUMMERS.

Before we get on to the music let us have a quick look at them.

This is Ben from the Aberdeen based CAAPS. He was probably the sexiest drummer of the night, and that is coming from a heterosexual male, writing about a gig that included a band with a rather attractive female on drums. Ben has gorgeous blonde hair. He is quite tall, has a decent build and has solid chops. He has a great style, mixing classic boom-boom-pah boom-boom-pah with no nonsense snare rolls. No frills, just beats more solid than dried lentils. His style, while less taxing than a more complicated approach, arguably allows him to put more effort into looking sexy, which perhaps contributed towards Ben winning the top spot on the night. Throw in the fact that he shared the lead vocal duties (and has a good voice), that sort of makes him the “front man”, and everyone fancies the front man; especially one so blonde and dreamy. Sexy drummer.

Now we move onto the aforementioned sexy female drummer. Here is a hilarious picture of her:

Her name is Claire, and she plays in Glasgow based Suspire. She’s a tiny wee blonde who rocks hard. Real hard. This is not the sexiest photo, perhaps, but I can vouch for her sexiness. Her chops were damn good too. She had good groove and a solid technical style. Perhaps this makes it harder to fully utilise one’s sexiness, as she was going at it pretty damn hard. Tidy.

Lastly, we had Stu McHardy of Aberdeen three-piece Min Diesel. Here he is:

Perhaps not the best photo, but I can assure you I was very drunk by this point. Stu eventually had to acquiesce to the audience’s request for “TAPS AFF”, forcing his sexiness index through the roof. He took some gentle encouragement, but roughly five songs into the set, Stu was showing us what he’s made of as he hulked out of his t-shirt, showing off his skinny, rock-star-chic torso. I’m not entirely sure what that means, I am just trying to give the guy a compliment. He got progressively sexier in direct proportion with his sweatiness. His chops are pretty mean too. He picks out strange beats at times. Where others might favour a more straightforward beat to drive the song along, Stu picks out a more erratic – and I’d say interesting – pattern that also drives along their dirty guitar pop very effectively. Not the easiest style to look sexy with, but I imagine Stu will have plenty of babes swooning over him anyway.

While I appreciated the selection of drummers, as you may have garnered, there was a heck of a lot of good music and good times going on at this gig. Backed hard. CAAPS opened the bill with great aplomb, busting out a good 40 minute set of varied rocking jams. Named CAAPS because they “like wearing caps and they really like AA batteries” (I paraphrase), they were a really fun band to watch. It was evident that they do not take themselves seriously, which I always love seeing in a band. I do not mean to suggest that they have not put time and effort into their songs, and have good songs to show for it; I mean they want to be a fun, enjoyable band, and play with grins on their faces, with an idyllic irreverence that reminded me of The Presidents of the USA.

They opened the set with a song about how they were playing the first song of their set, and had another song about boobies. While I could not quote the lyrical content of their songs, they did have a few numbers which had a more serious air around them, and throughout their set they effectively navigated between sugary pop-rock to driving stoner-rock and back again. I would definitely recommend going to see this band on the 10th of October at The Tunnels, as they team up with Min Diesel once again in support of Dundee band Fat Goth (who are very good as well).

Second on the bill was the unknown quantity from Glasgow, Suspire. Another 3-piece, Suspire played rock music. I cannot describe it any differently. With definite nods to more classic-rock acts, they played a set of rock songs, laden in vocal harmony, that I thought were fairly impressive. At no point did they blow me away, but I did not dislike them either. They were all very competent musicians, and played their songs well, but I just could not get excited about their music. I would recommend them to an older audience, who like a no-nonsense approach to their rock, or to a younger audience who are just getting into music. I feel there is possibly something lost on a twenty-something audience who frequent gigs and want to get excited about new music. That said, they were an absolutely lovely bunch, and other onlookers seemed to really enjoy them. They appear to be really ambitious with where they want their music too take them (albeit through Sponsume, a concept I am not overly keen on), so good luck to them.

To end the night, we had Aberdeen’s own Min Diesel. A Mudhoney-esque trio of cool guys, they tore through a set of 10 songs to a very appreciative audience who were all fairly drunk by this point. I am not saying a good gig has to involve drunken people, but there was something about the audience’s response to Min Diesel, the camaraderie between spectators and performers, and the heckling, that was enhanced by the relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps I should not go on too much about The Min, as I am a huge advocate of their brilliance anyway. I will try and keep it brief, at least. Min Diesel boast a large repertoire of smash hits. There is not one song in their set that I felt was weaker than the other, and they exhibit all of this in their good natured way. There is a lot to be said for singer/guitarist Zippy’s song writing, as they always manage to keep it “fresh” with every new song they add to their set. They are certainly a messy band, but it totally works, as the songs themselves come from Zippy, with his fret-board wandering licks and spat vocals. Back up a song-writing talent like this with a solid and interesting rhythm section, and you have rock perfection. Seriously, go and see this band sometime soon (on the 10th of October, with CAAPS and Fat Goth!).

Overall, a very enjoyable night: a good fifty to sixty strong in attendance (which feels like more in the intimate proximity of Cellar 35) all of whom were enjoying the music. If you have not been down to a show at Cellar 35 yet, I thoroughly recommend that you do. 


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