As interesting venues within Edinburgh go the ex-Veterinary School of the city’s university ranks pretty highly. Where else can you see a gig in what used to be a dissection room or the like? Fitting too that tonight’s bill features two lots of animals, albeit one of them is plastic.
Having found Eagulls to be one of the highlights of my first trip to Wakefield’s Long Division festival back in 2013 I’d a fair idea of what to expect from them in the flesh (hence why the trip along was made). Given the worthy press & praise they’ve received since then & for the release of their debut full-length last year what did come as a surprise was the size of the crowd that had bothered to show up. For a three band line-up, with a headliner rising like the Leeds lads are, the door price was practically what I’d have expected to pay for the same level of show a decade or more ago. For there to be barely 100 punters along was highly incongruous.
Those that had taken the time to make it to the show though witnessed a fine, if largely unintelligible, performance from the quintet, who rose above the recurring technical niggles and George Mitchell’s throat problem manfully. ‘Nerve Endings’ and the bulk of the Eagulls album were run through in short order whilst new songs ‘My Life In Rewind’ and, particularly, ‘Dead Roses Bloom’ amply showed that they’re still hard at work in the creative department and that there’s been no drop off in quality. Do yourself and them a favour and see them if they come to town.
First on stage tonight were Glaswegian trio Halfrican, sportily clad in matching training tops and short shorts. Calling to mind the likes of Violent Femmes, Pixies and very early Therapy (as well as Journey on new song ‘Tell Me’) theirs was a tight set raced through with gouts of energy and enthusiasm. They’ve a split single coming out on Gerry Loves Records in a couple of weeks (‘Down To Fuck’ being their track on the release) and you can hear their previous double A-side release on Glasgow’s El Rancho on soundcloud here.
The meat in tonight’s sandwich were stalwarts of the Edinburgh scene Plastic Animals, who’ve thankfully it seems been getting a lot of such gigs of late. As laidback between songs as ever they enjoyed a thunderous level of sound for their seemingly short set of well crafted shoegaze & beyond, including ‘Holiday’ and ‘Floating’. No announcement of upcoming shows or releases but we did get to find out it had been Alanis Morrisette’s birthday earlier in the week (mainly because it’s the same day as singer Mario’s).