Broken Records – Live, Ponana Edinburgh, Monday 4th June, 2007

Broken Records

Well, I mentioned these lads a little while back, and was sufficiently impressed with their set that I went to a largely empty (they’ve not been playing together very long) PoNaNa on a Monday night just to hear them again. I really don’t like clubs/pubs like PoNaNa very much at the best of times, much less on a drizzly Monday, so this should give you some impression how highly I rate Broken Records. I am not, I must confess, convinced by the name entirely, but hey, who’s asking me in the first place.

They are sort of a mix between Calexico and Beirut, and I know those are rather lofty comparisons, but on the evidence of their songs so far I don’t think it’s excessively hyperbolic. Anyhow, how else would you describe their combination of raucous Americana with slightly ghostly atmospheres and a kind of manic European carnival folk mayhem? I have five recorded songs of theirs at the moment and have only the vaguest reservations about one of them. The rest are brilliant.

Their performance at PoNaNa was excellent again, despite the venue. They have so many instrumental possibilities that a cacophonous morass is all too much of a danger, but they never slide into that kind of structureless noise. Generally, it all drifts in and out perfectly, creating music that is energetic, but still quite subtly textured. Looking at their MySpace page, they’ve a Radio 1 set with Vic Galloway on Monday at half seven, so I’d really try and listen if you can. And if anyone knows how to record that session and get some mp3s then please bung them this way, as I’d love to hear them. They’ve also got a few gigs during the Festival at a venue called understairs@EuroScot which looks more than a little dodgy, but given virtually every outhouse, dog house and greenhouse in the city gets pressed into service in August I suppose needs must.

If you’re a record label, my guess is that they’ll be signed before the end of August, so I’d move sharpish if I were you.

Broken Records – Lies
Broken Records – Kathy
Broken Records – Out on the Water