An anthemic barrage of early eighties Manchester vibe puts you in the direct firing line of Edit/Select who were first on tonight. The lead singer giving us the low key semi monotone sounds of Iain Curtis but with a hint of more balls to back him up from the rest of the outfit. It was like having a bucket of cold water thrown over your head to get you started, if that water was made up of heavy guitar with morose, and thoughtful undertones. Eventually when I had dried off I realised, don't be fooled by the heavy noise, they carry a big stick but speak softly.
ides, plural sounding name but there is only one of them, a platinum blond with a guitar and some heavy shades of the Cowboy Junkies left me drifting into a pleasant coma of sorts. It was a welcome change to hear the low key discernible lyrics of a one women act with out all the noise and racket of the usual rock band with the whole shooting match.
With a quiet confidence Ides carried her set and kept the audience captivated enough to stand or sit around and get up on the down beat vibe of low key heroine/crack den chic that walks the thin line of depression and falls just about on the right side of it so that your just about tapping your foot and getting into the positive vibe. All Good and I am relaxed.
Red Kites I wasn't expecting these guys, so let me just say thanks. Thanks for creating a distinctive cohesive sound in such a back room environment. Thanks for having enough on stage charisma to actually see you as engaging individuals who clearly new your onions. Thanks for kicking out enough jams to make me tap my foot, click my fingers and forget where I was and actually at a concert. And generally thanks for being good old-fashioned good and making me hope you put yourselves on the map.
I hear so many bands who struggle to create a clear, audible sound with peaks and troughs and moment of punctuation, or maybe I'm missing the point of live music, is it meant to be gritty and rough around the edges, with lyrics although not audible clearly morbid. But Red kites, were practiced, honed, skillful and they even chucked in a Guitar solo, it feels like I so rarely see anyone having the courage of skill to do that, maybe I need to get out more?
They apparently have a shared love of intense folk, there were hints of Mumford and Sons in Moteh's voice, but luckily backed up with the balls of Liam’s Guitar, (Why did I keep thinking of Queens of the Stone Age?) and lifted by Andy's uncompromising drumming, they weren't going to go soft on us, there's no knit your own Yoghurt in these folk anthems.
The Machine room have been very hotly tipped as faces to watch, and so were much anticipated having trekked down south from Edinburgh. They played to a packed house at the Rattlesnake in Angel back in September and were hoping for more of the same tonight.
There's definitely some of that characterful morbidity of the Scottish music scene that had me thinking are these guys the new Arab Strap? Is that lead singer going to do the whole gig crouched on the floor with that tiny keyboard? Someone get him a table or prop him up or something, they were not out to overtly impress anyone with spin and gloss.
The lead singer, funny guy, clearly had enough of the crowd following him and liking him to give off the air of Robert Smith, only in white. They were mixing up enough variations on instruments other technology to keep us interested as to what was coming next. The stand out track for me was the last that had a catchy electro backbeat that got me moving and made me feel great.
The Machine Room have a great track record and with a bit of fine tuning to their live set are undoubtedly heading in the right direction to make it to the next level.
FSS used one of their stand out tracks “Girly” as their backing track to the promotional video which you can check out here, however there must be a good reason why that was missing from the set tonight.