Found, Dent May, Rob St.John and White Heath – Live at Electric Circus Edinburgh, Saturday 1st August 2009

White Heath

There’s a lot to talk about when describing this gig, so I will have to keep it brief as possible per band or I will end up writing a bloody novel.  It was a fucking good night though, that’s for sure, and has been very nicely documented indeed by Dylan over at Blueback Hotrod, for those of you who are photographically inclined.

White Heath

These guys are, to my view, approaching something of a watershed.  They could be on the verge of becoming a very, very good band indeed, but they have a couple of things I think might need ironing out before that can really happen.  Largely, that revolves around the eclecticism of their sound, which can be a little overwhelming at times.  Once in a while, I reckon, they simply need to do a little less.  There are certainly times when they seem to be playing over the top of one another to a certain extent – fair enough when they want to make a fuck-load of news and bring songs to a crescendo, or just play a really bloody loud song, but in between those moments I think there are times when they could do with just taking a little bit out here and there.

They do seem to be getting better and better as a band however, and their last two songs of the night in particular were bloody brilliant.  They’ve an EP release quite soon, which I am really looking forward to.

Rob St. John

Rob can be very delicate and quiet a lot of the time, and as the cackling harridans on hen nights strutted gormlessly around the back of the venue, squawking high-pitched vacuities at one another and anyone else within earshot – generally about a fifty-metre fucking radius – I feared for both the poor man’s sanity and our own enjoyment.

I feared needlessly though, because as the incoherent squealing got louder, so did Rob.  He ended the set kneeling in front of his amp in the middle of a five minute electric guitar wig-out, Owen the drummer thundering away alongside him, in a brilliantly un-Rob-like display of bolshy confrontation.  Domino is one of his most beautiful, delicate songs most of the time, but this time around it was given the full treatment, and was superb.

We’re losing the lad to Oxford shortly, I am sorry to say, and that’s a real shame as he is really developing at the moment and the capital’s music scene will be poorer for his departure.

Rob St. John – Domino

[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/RobStJohn-Domino.mp3]

Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele

Erm, can I call this music ukulele croon-funk?  It’s difficult to imagine, described like that, but I can’t think of a better way to put it.  Dent May is actually a full band, with bass, guitar and drums added to the uke, and they’re a really upbeat, wry band and great fun to see perform.  There is indeed a lot taken from fifties rock ‘n’ roll (think Hill Valley in Back to the Future), but they play it with a raucous exuberance which blows any of the associated cobwebs out of that particular kind of music.

I had a bit of an ‘oh yeah, another ironic indie four-piece’ attitude when they took the stage, I have to confess, not helped by the fact that they all looked like part of the cast of one of those clever, talky small town indie flicks which America loves so much (all that was missing was Zooey Deschanel playing a kooky, elusive girl for one of them to pine after for years while they were in the big city making it big in something nice and executive, before returning to their home town beset by tragedy and self-doubt and rediscovering the idiosyncratic but down to earth values of small towns full of unambitious and yet unaccountably wise eccentrics – I have a very active prejudice gland, it seems).  Honestly, though, they did look like that.

That was, inevitably, just me being a dick of course.  They put on a great show, their tunes were witty and totally infectious, and I will now buy an album to explore further.  As should you.

Dent May & his Magnificent Ukulele – College Town Boy
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/DentMayandHisMagnificentUkulele-CollegeTownBoy.mp3]

Found

Well, honestly, I’ve reviewed Found rather a lot recently, so apart from saying that they were excellent, I will say no more.  A great way to round off a gig though, and a thoroughly excellent night altogether.

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