Eef Barzelay is Coming to Scotland

Clem_Snide_056 Dammit if Scotland was this cool all the time, even I would be on my internet soapbox demanding independence and insisting that hating the English and wanting independence is absolutely not the same thing as wanting independence because of hating the English. Definitely not. Promise.

Basically, if Eef Barzelay wanted to play here more often I’d be happy to rebuild Hadrian’s fucking Wall myself, frankly. I discovered his music when Clem Snide released their second album, Your Favourite Music (a fairly literal title, in my case) over ten years ago, and I have pretty much been a bit of a fanboy ever since.

Inevitably you ebb and flow a little, particularly with someone who releases this much stuff, but across such a big back catalogue of Clem Snide work and three solo releases Barzelay has released three or four of my ‘favourite albums ever’ (an admittedly long list) and probably over a dozen of my favourite songs.

Anyhow, he will be playing two Song, by Toad gigs in Scotland early next month, joined by solo sets from Meursault‘s Neil Pennycook and Chris Otepka from the Heligoats. Monday the 14th of October is the Glasgow show, at the Partick Bowling Club (don’t ask me – it was Adam Stafford’s recommendation) and then on Tuesday 15th the same lineup will be at the Voodoo Rooms, in the Speakeasy. All tickets can be found here, and venues are sub-100 capacity, so move fast.

The gigs are going to be fucking great, and I have to confess I am suffering from a little bit of giddy child syndrome about working with Eef. I can’t think of any other songwriter who can be as caustic, as cutting and yet as gentle and sad as he can. And in fact I might go as far to say he might be my favourite lyricist of all time. That might be a tough case to argue, because there are a lot of great lyricists out there, but even as I think about it now it would be a difficult statement to contradict.

Clem Snide and Eef’s music can be bought by subscription these days – probably a wise move for someone who is more a cult concern than a mainstream wannabe – something to which you can sign up here. The latest Clem Snide album is called Songs For Mary, and I’ve embedded it below, but you can buy the album here. It sounds dismissive to say that it’s typical Clem Snide, but it is, and by now you know full well that I think that’s a very good thing. They’ve lapsed into a consistent style now, and it’s stylistically pretty much indistinguishable from the last few they’ve done, but that really doesn’t matter when the songs are still so strong, and still so affecting.

I don’t know about you fuckers, but I am really excited about these shows. You should come along, you really should.

“If you’ve never seen a bullfight, guess who always wins.”