Fossil Collective @ Sneaky Pete's Edinburgh
Gig 29: 28 May 2012
And so I may be getting a little bit obsessed with this new found love of live music but when I got the opportunity to go to Scotland for a couple of days there was no way that I was going to pass up the opportunity of seeing a gig north of the border. The organisation of the trip was ludicrous, as I had expected a full week in Edinburgh last week which came to nothing, and today I found myself up with the lark at 5:00 sneaking around the house so as not to wake the sleeping children and incur the wrath of Mrs P.
Then after a panicked security check in in Birmingham, queues through to Franky and Bennies, I arrived in Edinburgh finally for my trip, after settling in for 3 hours I was off to Glasgow, and having been there for about three hours I was on my way back to Edinburgh. I had actually covered planes, trains and automobiles (taxi and car) today quite comfortably by the time the end of the working day closed and I checked in at the hotel. By this time, having skipped lunch due to travelling the 5:00 am wake up call was beginning to take its toll, so I cried off going out with my colleagues and went to my room. Looking out of the window however I was confronted with the following view, a view so amazing I would be kicking myself if I had stayed in watching Dara O’Briain on Dave, so I tweeted the band I knew was playing in Edinburgh, found out they were on at 9:00 and set off.
Having planned ahead for this eventuality I had google map directions to Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh. When I got to the end of the directions and found no venue of any sort, merely a closed cinema, I junped in a taxi and arrived at SP’s just as the support Blank Canvas kicked off their final track, which was a reasonable support band effort but nothing I could do justice with for a review.
Grabbing a beer from the bar (no pumps, so a bottle of Tyskie had to suffice) and I was leaning up against the pillar right in the middle of this tiny venue, pretending to be engrossed in my blackberry I watched as a couple more people entered and the band discussed whether or not to start and at 9:20 they kicked off. When the took to the stage, suddenly I remembered why I was keen to see these guys again having supported Ren Harvieu, not just because they had a great range of beards, from Desperate Dan to bum fluff, not because the drummer (or yuke player previously) player was the spitting image of Jimmy Carr with a beard, but.....these guys had been the best support act I had seen this year, with in particular the harmonies that they came up with being phenomenal.
As they kicked off the gig I found I had a nice spot front and centre with no one to block my view, which was nice given the giants from the St Etienne gig on Saturday and within seconds of the first song it felt like despite there being a limited crowd around I was listening to the start of a really special band.
To give a feel for how sparse the crowd was you could hear the pedals being changed by the band in between songs with a clear click.
What can I say about the songs apart from the fact that they sounded perfectly formed without the band having released a note, great harmonies coming from the lead singer, drummer (Jonny who had escaped the yuke) and keyboard player (resplendent in bowler hat) meant that every song was stand out. There was a nice mix up when the set list, helpfully written out in Italian by the Italian contingent of the band, was misconstrued, and again it all added to the warmth of the gig. If I was pushed I would put the band close to Doves, but with better harmonies, the fun and warmth of Doves shines through, similarly for Elbow when they aren’t being too serious in their songs. The single that’s due out in June, possibly called let it go wrapped up the set, and has been a staple on the ipod (sorry but taped off myspace) since seeing them support Ren, and the choice of cover was interesting and a great take on Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘The Power of Love’ – hopefully also to get an official airing.
The one thing that was slightly surreal was the announcement by the band that it was their first gig in Edinburgh, and thanks for coming (no surprises so far) followed by, ‘Particularly these 2 at the front who have made the journey from Birmingham’ Aldridge we then found out specifically, and the guitarists from Hall Green. Armed with this knowledge of a Brum massive in the house, I felt I ought to make myself known at the end of the gig, and fuelled with a number of Tyskie’s I managed to avoid the ‘I love you I do’ initial gambit, to find out that this bands talent seems to have them on a great upward trajectory, with some live radio potentially to come and play listing. Plus getting the band to sign a Tote bag (where would we be without Tote Bags) and embarrassing myself when stating to the Italian member of the band that he didn’t sound Italian after he said 2 words to me followed by a few sentences of pure Italian accent to make me smile sheepishly.
I left Tote Bag clutched in hand, warm Tyskie glow Reddie Brek like around me wondering whether I would be able to get Mrs P to come along to the free show at the Yard Bird in Birmingham, touch and go it will be, but as the drum playing Jimmy Carr impersonator is from Middlesbro, anything is possible.