Lydia Lunch, veteran of and witness to the New York punk scene, was last seen in these parts taking the Edinburgh International Festival’s Light on the Shore season by the scruff of the neck with her uncompromising spoken word testaments. Now she returns to Scotland to pay tribute to pioneering primitive synth punk duo Suicide.
Music review: Lydia Lunch, Classic Grand, Glasgow ***
Lunch is a suitable steward of their legacy, being their friend, contemporary and creative kindred spirit. She came not specifically to celebrate the driving pulsing death disco side of Suicide nor the trippy electro lullaby almost-accessible Suicide but the primal howling Suicide, with a brutal, minimal, animalistic gut punch of a set.
Lunch’s vocals were not as distorted or otherworldly as the late Alan Vega’s. She alternated between microphones for either a dry sound or a simple echo, reinforcing her point by striking her music stand and the venue pillars with a single drumstick and was backed by her own Martin Rev – the French musician-producer Marc Hurtado, who collaborated with Vega on one of his final albums, Sniper.
Hurtado provided the visceral machine music backdrop with throbbing sub bass, supplementary battle cries but little of the blues that infused some of Suicide’s signature work – until the finale of Frankie Teardrop, a nosebleed electro chronicle of desperation not so far from Lunch’s own pen portraits, which elicited cathartic whoops in the crowd but no encore, suckers, as Lunch declared: “There is nothing on this planet to follow Frankie Teardrop”. - Fiona Shepherd