The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is well underway by the 10th, and on this Saturday there were music gigs by no less than Withered Hand (with support from Second Hand Marching Band), Sparrow & The Workshop and Art Brut. In all honesty I did spread my requests around and would have happily attended all those gigs (and paid for them), but it came to be that I found myself in the Liquid Room Annexe for a special Kid Canaveral show.
The Liquid Room Annexe reminded me of those pre-fabricated classrooms from my school days, except in this one noise was permitted, very loud noise. And how they got the capacity 300 people in there, I have no idea but it made for one hot, sweaty night. Unfortunately there was some lost sound in the dead spaces of the annexe in the corridors you walk through to get to the stage area and it was extremely close quarters due to the capacity, but other than that for a pre-fabricated venue added on for the Fringe month, it was an alright venue. It was a shame to find the gig was there though as The Liquid Room itself has some of the best sound on the circuit.
First up on the night were the boys from Campfires in Winter, who sure do get around. This was my third seeing them in a different venue in the last three months and I stand by all previous statements that they are a band to watch, who've got a bright future ahead of them. The venue's dead spaces did rob them of some of their loud, epic rock so it didn't sound quite as amazing as the King Tut's show had but it was still a well-oiled performance from a young band on their way up. I am sure I'll see them around again and have more pleasant words to say, especially as their new September EP gets ever closer.
Next up was Ballboy, their set was more sedate than the epic Campfires rock show but an equally good warm up for the crowd. Somewhat Plimptons-esque the older guard of the crowd are well involved throughout the set and the front few rows is having a blast. My highlight of the set was 'Something's Going to Happen', which plays to all the bands' strengths and is well received by the now-packed out crowd. Near the end of the set the band play a quieter tune, pointing out to the crowd that the first part of the song starts with a "Shhhhhhh!". This is because this gig was plagued by a sadly typical Saturday night crowd, one where many people would talk right through the acts. It's so disappointing how often this happens and it ruined much of my enjoyment of Ballboy.
"Thanks for coming, we knew you had a lot of other choices tonight.", David MacGregor of Kid Canaveral states to the sold out room mid-set. With many a gig and lots of other options at the Fringe, you can really tell how grateful the band are that so many people turned out for their show. And they give us a truly wonderful and memorable performance to make sure we don't question our choice at all by the end of the evening. The band perform an effortless live show build on the strength of their second album, with some older hits holding up the middle. Things got particularly special when the Cairn String Quartet joined the band on stage, for such beautiful tracks as 'Without a Backing Track' and 'So Sad, So Young'. The latter was once again plagued by the talkers and KC made no qualms about telling them to shut it throughout the set. When you go to a Kid Canaveral gig as press, it can sometimes be hard not to get swept up in the party atmosphere, where everyone is having a dance (KC are one of those bands who don't need to tell you it's a dance song, because their entire set contains them) and a good time, and remember you need to actually take notes and write about this later. You would have been hard-pressed to find someone in the crowd not singing and dancing along to hit single 'You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night' and 'Good Morning', whilst the sophomore album tracks are wonderfully received, if with a little less dancing. Ending the set on the beautiful 'A Compromise', Kid Canaveral prove that they are a band best experienced live and that they are growing and developing from their early beginnings into a force to be reckoned with on the Scottish music scene.
Whilst this gig suffered from many talkers in the crowd, the lineup and performances made it a brilliant gig for a Saturday night. There were many other choices that night, but this one was dance central and everyone went home very happy that they chose to spend their evening in the pre-fabricated venue off the Cowgate.