Identity crisis

You usually only get one stab at making yourself a star in the music biz. Such is the fickleness of fame that trying to forge a second career tends to be greeted with cruel indifference and the nagging suspicion that your best days are behind you.

To take some recent Scottish examples, in relative terms there has been little fanfare for anything that has been put on the table post-Beta Band, post-Bis or post-Mull Historical Society, putting to one side their actual critical merits.

The ashes of Arab Strap have thrown up a scenario few would have predicted, with Malcolm Middleton’s solo career giving him a platform to show just how talented a songwriter he is, while Aidan Moffat has gone through five different nom de plumes in what increasingly seems to be a desperate attempt to distance himself from what has gone before.

Perhaps the trick is to lay the foundations for your second project while at the peak of your first one. Biffy Clyro singer Simon Neil is enjoying a fair bit of exposure with MARMADUKE DUKE, in which he (just) manages to get away with an entire album of in-jokes and schoolboy French. The ability to come up with irresistible songs such as the Daft Punk-esque Rubber Lover certainly helps.

One of The Pop Cop’s most keenly-anticipated new chapters is that of former Delgados man Alun Woodward, now masquerading as LORD CUT-GLASS. His debut album is out in June and if the little music he has made available for public consumption is anything to go by (think skewed pop), it could well be a record to cherish. Here’s hoping.

Just to prove that reinvention can work, you need only look at the commercial success of DOVES, who haven’t done too badly after abandoning their previous incarnation as a dance group. We caught them at the Glasgow Barrowland this week and while they no longer close their sets with old Sub Sub tune Space Face, it certainly wasn’t missed.

Kicking off with Jetstream from their latest offering Kingdom Of Rust set the pace for a pulsating night which saw new material, particularly the album’s title track, received well. However, it was rousing renditions of crowd-pleasers Black And White Town and the anthemic Pounding which really got the fans going.

The best was definitely saved til last as the boys signed off with There Goes The Fear, which was met with a fervour that’s sure to keep the band’s love affair with the Barras fully intact.

4 Marmaduke Duke – Rubber Lover
4 Lord Cut-Glass – Even Jesus Couldn’t Love You
b May 16, Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline (tickets)
4 Doves – The Last Son

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