So on Friday I nipped down to Caberet Voltaire in Edinburgh on a whim, to check out a few local bands. I came into this gig with exactly zero knowledge of any of these bands, except for the description on the Cab Vol website and came away very pleasantly surprised, as all four bands put on a great show. Not bad for a fiver.
Kicking things off were the rather ridiculously named, Portalooth and the Musketeers. Opening with a rocked up cover of Eminem is not really my thing, but following that they manage to not murder “No Sleep to Brooklyn” so that is a definite plus, while their own material – which continues the ridiculous naming with tracks like “Desmond Stole My Eyeballs” – is incredibly good fun. It’s rock rap, but more in the vein of Rage Against the Machine than Limp Bizkit and it’s done pretty damn well. They finish with a cover of “Killing in the Name” which is a bit cliched when you come to this kind of music, but then again that is still a cracking song.
Up next is Being Octavius, who also pull a Beastie Boys cover out of the locker as they open with “Sabotage”. Their own recordings are a bit more in the pop punk vein, but with more of an edge than your traditional Blink 182 crap. Anyone who has paid attention will know that that is really not my scene, but once again it’s incredibly enjoyable to watch and the bands enthusiasm is easy to see. A cover of Sum 41’s “In Too Deep” get’s everyone moving and it’s the second set of the night that can be ticked off as a success.
Following the exhuberance of the opening sets is A Modern Masquerade who appear to have been previously known as Indigo Winter. Their very Queens of the Stone Age inspired alternative rock, is probably the most mature music we see tonight and they feel a bit more like a polished band ready for the next step. They play the least amount of covers so far, but do throw in an Arctic Monkeys song towards the end, which they declare will be one of their last ever covers. The final track see’s the lead singer entering the crowd to get everyone moving and it works a treat. 3 out of 3 at this stage.
Headlining tonight and also playing their first ever gig, are As I Was Hunted who bring a metalcore vibe to proceedings. Lead singer Zoe Baines already feels like a star and she deals with interacting with the crowd with ease, even when they have to stop for a few minutes because they need a new guitar strap. The set itself is solid, they throw an Amnity Infliction cover in their and their own material sounds as strong as you can expect from a band this early on in their career. The crowd certainly seem up for it and despite Cab Vol for some reason sending a bouncer into the pit to stop that kind of stuff (seriously don’t book metal gigs and then be a dick about it) there is a fair amount of movement before he decides to get involved.
This gig was incredibly good fun. I went along with very little in the way of expectations and came out happy with how I had chosen to spend my evening. If you click on the name of each of the bands involved it should take you to their Facebook page and I can heartily giving them all a look as for four relatively young bands, there is a lot to like here.