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The Creeping Ivies, The Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh

March 12, 2013 Gig, Reviews 2 Comments

By Kenny McMurtrie

March 12, 2013

Lux is dead; Long live Lux. Imagine therefore if you will Poison Ivy gaining a few inches in height and joining forces with Lightning Beatman. And them both becoming Scots. Got that?If so then you will have grabbed the nub of what makes The Creeping Ivies tick and the rest of the world bop along. Duncan Destruction hammers the bejesus out of his snare & floor tom (the one duff note in the whole performance being a cymbal seemingly lacking a mic) whilst Becca Bomb sings and churns out some seriously driving riffage on guitar. With their Stay Wild album set for imminent physical release on Deadbeat Records (you can currently obtain a virtual copy via here) tonight’s set was naturally composed of rousing versions of cuts from that, the earlier Rock ‘n’ Roll Party and Ghost Train eps and forthcoming single ‘Black Cat’.

I’d gone along tonight expecting to witness a Dundonian version of The Kills but can safely say that what I ended up experiencing was a far more down to earth (“real” even) example of primal rock ‘n’ roll delivered by a duo who practically wear it as a second skin.

Prior to Becca and Duncan tearing the place up there came Universal Thee, who’ve got a bit of a Conor Oberst meets Art Brut thing going on. Some nicely delivered harmonies from James & Lisa Russell, particularly on songs ‘Feeling Fragile’ and ‘Honest Love’. Labeling them as indie wouldn’t properly do justice to the varied sound the quintet produce as there’s a grounding in older more traditional rock in the mix along with hints of folk & country so you get a fair old range for your money when seeing them.

Sandwiched between the aforementioned acts were Saint Max & The Fanatics (previously reviewed here) who were at least five times as wild live as you’d have expected from their recorded output. Also a lot more ska-like, with Max sounding a lot less like Smiths era Morrissey than on record. Introduced by a rather demented spoken word piece the quartet delivered a lively set (including a surprising version of Boney M‘s ‘Ra Ra Rasputin’). Max is the obvious focus of our attention as he skips around the floor space whilst playing and regales the audience with quips and anecdotes (none though as potentially embarrassing as James Russell’s mangled one about child prostitution). There’s an infectious energy about the man but also something bizarrely compelling about the drumming Fanatic’s grinning phizog (as well as a passing resemblance to Mo Tucker). This is an act you need to see in a bouncing crowd chanting along with the chorus of ‘Let Em Have It Sunshine’ – “We know much better than the folks at home” Oi!

Apologies now to opening act Linse who we managed to miss. Tonight’s show was put on by The Sound Project so keep an eye out for more of their events in the future.

 

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