Last year – if my memory serves me – the Gimme Shelter night at the Bongo Club consisted of three bands: Foxface, Broken Records and Frightened Rabbit. Not a bad wee showcase of Scottish music, but last night’s mini-festival at The Caves was a huge step forward.
The cream of emerging alternative music north of the border turned out in force for a seven-hour, two stage shindig. It being a Saturday night, I was not really there with my reviewer’s cap on, so I can’t give any of the bands a fair or full critique.
We turned up rather late, and then had to wait a long time for the first band – Wake the President – to ready themselves. They boasted fine pop songs and the kind of woolly jerseys your grannie used to knit, but failed to really command the room.
Venturing upstairs to the Lounge Stage was like walking into a comfy pub somewhere ‘up north’. The music was of the acoustic folk variety and the lucky ones who found seats were blissfully slumped, while the rest of us crammed around the bar.
After a pitiful attempt at a charity music quiz, it was back downstairs to catch De Rosa, the first genuinely impressive act of the evening. Their earnest indie has definite echoes of Aereogramme – without the searing guitar riffs.
The beer flowed and time passed, and before we knew it Broken Records were on stage. The main attraction for most of the punters, they roused the rabble expertly with their rollicking Balkanized indie. Last song Slow Parade was a fitting finale.
If we’d stayed we could have enjoyed a DJ set from Steve Mason and another from FOUND, but the promise of a kebab proved too strong to resist, and off we went into the Arctic-cold night.
So out of 15 acts we saw, er, three. Still, kudos to the organizers – again.