Friday, February 23, 2007

Edinburgh Castle Review

JOHN Lennon famously invited the habitues of the royal box to rattle their jewellery when the Beatles played the Royal Variety Performance more than 40 years ago, and Scotland's hottest rock tykes' explosive racket must have shaken the Scottish crown jewels in their secure casing.

The Dundonian quartet played the Queen Anne Room within the hallowed walls of Edinburgh Castle in the latest of T Mobile's Street Gigs, staged before a privileged audience of fewer than a hundred souls. "The View's on fire," hollered the appreciative select few, and indeed they were sufficiently incendiary to break two bass strings during the blistering opening salvo of Comin' Down and the big hit single, Same Jeans.

Months of touring have moulded the band into a fearsome live unit, inciting the compact and bijou crowd to such an extent that one fan had to be escorted from the throng to curb his enthusiasm, before being returned to continue in more muted fashion at the rear of the room. Gran's For Tea was enhanced by the presence of Mary, the gran in question, down at the front, but the high-speed ska romp through the foursome's cover of Squeeze's Up the Junction lacked the original's subtle nuances.

Last year these boys were barely able to drink legally in their local pub, the Doghouse - not that they have shown themselves to be hindered by such restrictions. On Wednesday they rocked Edinburgh Castle to its foundations with a devastating rendering of Wasted Little DJs that belied their youth.

Odd place for a street gig, though.

COLIN SOMERVILLE, The Herald 23/2/07


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