Archive | March, 2013

Live Review – Johnny Marr, ABC Glasgow

Johnny MarrThe ABC Glasgow is packed tonight and the crowd are in fine form chanting “JOHNNY, JOHNNY, JOHNNY F***ING MARR!” Rising to a crescendo, the man himself takes the stage with his band for his first solo tour as a frontman proper, following the recent release of his solo debut album, The Messenger . “My mum won’t like that, but I do” retorts Marr and it’s clear he’s in the mood to enjoy this show as he launches into the lead track from the new album, “The Right Thing Right” quickly followed by one of many Smiths classics played tonight, “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”. This receives rapturous applause from the audience.

All songs from the new album, bar one, are aired tonight which is good as for the most part it is a strong collection of songs, and in the case of New Town Velocity, up there with any of his earlier classic work with The Smiths. Halfway in and another great Smiths track, the raucous and evocative “London” (the B-Side of Shoplifters Of The World Unite) is brought back to life. This emphasizes one of the main points about The Smiths, a classic singles band, that to them, every detail from artwork, to how the band were mentioned on the sleeves, B-Sides mattered enormously. The fact that one of their greatest songs, “How Soon Is Now?” began life as a flip-side is testament to the effort that they put into each and every detail of their career.

The band encore with a cover of a cover, The Clash’s definitive version of “I Fought The Law” followed by “Getting Away With It” from Electronic, the band Marr formed with New Order’s Bernard Sumner in the late 1980s. The best however is saved to last as Marr and his band deliver a beautiful rendition of “How Soon Is Now?” and end on the brilliant “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” conveying wonderfully the feelings of longing and escape that encapsulated so many songs by The Smiths.

Live Review – Stu Larsen @ The Caves in Edinburgh

Caves Logo for FeastAs I make the brisk walk across Edinburgh’s city centre towards The Caves I am cold, my legs tired and I am regretting not getting the bus. However my self-loathing is put massively into perspective when I consider whom I am about to see. Stu Larsen gave up his humble nine to five bank job in Queensland, Australia three years ago to pursue a life on road. He has travelled across the globe venturing to such places as far afield as Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and thankfully Britain. This must seem like your average jet set tour plan but consider that he has done this as an unsigned artist and most of his travels are done in his self-driven van.

The gig kicks off with the warm, country fuelled music of Andrew Mill and The Stolen Pirates. The mix of banjo, guitar, fiddle and his rich voice really set the scene for the evening, creating a welcome atmosphere that the crowd loved. He did however take a break mid-set to allow highland poet Donald Ker to give the audience some of his favorite rhyming tales. This would be one of their last gigs before Andrew and Donald set off on a tour of the southern states of America.Up next is Esther Swift a singer songwriter with a difference; you might expect she would have an acoustic guitar, piano maybe even a ukulele. Nope, a full sized harp is her instrument of choice. A classically trained musician with a beautiful voice pulls the gig goers in with her subtle melodies.

Stu Larsen takes to the stage and as he kicks into his first song it becomes apparent that his nomad lifestyle is clearly his greatest muse. A personal favourite of mine being San Francisco a tale of travelling north listening to music and being on an adventure. He mixes his music with tales of the road that are just as intriguing as the music and the man himself. He takes note of his surroundings in the historical caves, a perfect backdrop to his music.

Larsen also throws in a few treats for the audience by inviting Esther back up on stage for a few numbers and the rest of the support up to sing along with the gigs last song. All in all a great performance from Stu Larsen complimented by the hand picked support acts.

Live Review – Redolent @ Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh

Cabaret Voltaire ScrabbledBeing Redolent’s debut gig this was the first time I, or anyone else for that matter, had seen them perform in a live venue. However, you would be mistaken for thinking that they have been performing together on stage for months as they turned in a solid and thoroughly entertaining performance.

Taking place in one of Edinburgh’s best known and loved venues, Cabaret Voltaire provided an intimate and not too intimidating arena for the band to debut their tracks to the audience.

Great vocals from the singer mixed well with their blend of intricate guitar picking and interesting and changing rhythms. A mix of solid bass playing and driving drums provided a great platform for the guitars to shine through and take centre stage on the tracks. The bands use of dynamics created interesting changes in the songs and kept the audience on their toes.Blog Stage Image

Full of nervous energy at the beginning, the band seemed to relax into the gig very quickly and throughout the show they had a great command of the stage. They did not just play through their set but gave a performance that was entertaining, well executed and most importantly full of good songs.  Due to a couple of small technical difficulties the sound was a little muddy at times, although this was nothing major and did not take away from the performance of the band.

All in all Redolent’s debut gig was a triumph, with the band showing great potential and promise for the future, whilst looking like a band that has already worked out how to perform well with each other.

Have a listen to the demo of their track “Useless”. Its another great tune which has, for some reason,  a picture of a redhead lying on the grass to go with it. Go figure!.

Live Review: Of Monsters and Men @ the O2 in Glasgow

Okay…so the big question about Of Monsters and Men ‘s gig at the O2 is not ‘how did this band having only formed in 2010 and having  released only one album have to get this gig moved up from Oran Mor to the sold out O2?’  Nor is it ‘how does the tiny Icelandic community (only 320,000 of them) keep producing these amazing bands with such individual sounds?’.   Nor is it ‘how can this new band have fans from every age group, social class, colour from young hipsters to old folkies;  from 12 year olds to guys in tracksuits and bad bad haircuts?’

No. The real question is – just who is having the most fun, us or the band on stage?

Because they were having the time of their lives.

As the first chords were struck and harmonies sung, the band had us totally in their hands and we were in very, very, safe hands.  Live, they managed to really rock out and then rein it in for the soft lullabies and handle each as if they had been doing this for decades.  They managed to keep the harmonies and warmth of the songs whilst still bringing them alive on the stage.  This was far from simply hearing an album played live, this was a band giving a new expansion to each and every song.

And what songs! From the hit single Little Talks to the sweet ballad Sloom, every song was welcomed and luxuriated in by the fans.  Seen live, you realise just how sing-a- long most of their tunes are.   These are the songs that your neighbours will learn to love as you drunkenly sing them, loud and proud at 3.00am of a Friday night.

They have been winning plaudits all over Europe and the US with their festival tours, and by end of the gig, every one left the O2 with a warm glow. It was just like those old ads for Ready Brek (kids- go ask your dad)

If you weren’t there? You probably should’ve been.

Live Review – Ded Rabbit @ the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh

Ded Rabbit Live @ Jazz BarFeast went along to Chambers Street to see Ded Rabbit, who are an indie rock type of band. They have the usual set-up of guitars, bass and drums but introduce sax into various songs which adds a bit of spontaneity to their approach. The tunes are infectious and really catchy without being too polished or in the least bit predictable, pushing and pulling in various directions but never seem to overstay their welcome.

They put a smile on my face and are they are at ease about how they deliver their songs.Tonight amongst other songs they play tracks from last year’s ‘Ice Cream’ EP which is great and well worth searching out. They have an ability to combine several influences whether it be funk, jazz, indie, prog and somehow bring them together to produce something original that feels totally natural but has an intensity and excitement which is infectious. Given this, the packed audience really warms to the band and many, including me, have become fans of Ded Rabbit.

See them for yourself when they play Henry’s Cellar Bar on Friday 15th March.

Studio Session: Pirate Sons

Pirate Sons at Edinburgh College

Garage rock outfit Pirate Sons dropped by the Edinburgh College studios recently to record a few tracks, and they shot a session video with EdinburghUndersound.

Originally formed in New Zealand by front man Ceallaigh Corbishley. Pirate Sons began as a two piece ‘lets bang on stuff and see how it sounds band’ not really taking their musical venture that seriously. After the addition of a bass player who couldn’t (at the time) play bass, the band were now ready to take there musical careers to the next level and progress as a band.

A move across the pond to Scotland’s capital city has lead to a line-up change and with it has come the development of their unique in-your-face-energetic-fuzzed-out rock sound that is synonymous with the charismatic three piece.

Now comprising of a Kiwi, a Scot and an Englishman the band are serious as ever and continuing to secure themselves in the local scene as a hardworking, creative act and a band to certainly watch out for after a string of track releases, a video release and a bunch of reputable gig slots supporting The Fire and I, The Minutes and a recent headline slot at the Official Glasvegas gig aftershow party.

Think The Cribs meets The Black Keys before they both got a bit too big for their boots. Described as ‘buzzing’ by The List.

Check Tom, Ceallaigh and Angus out live at Broadcast in Glasgow on 08/03/2013 as main support for SOS.

Currently recording new material due for release May 2013, keep updated with their goings on at


Dirty Dirty Rascal by Pirate Sons Recored by Greg Dodgson & Joshua Taylor. Mixed by Hubert Aniolek Go to Feast Soundcloud to hear more artists