Review – Homeless World Cup Fundraiser – The Liquid Rooms, 28/1/12 (The Edinburgh Reporter)

Review : Homeless World Cup Fundraiser – The Liquid Rooms – 28 January 2012

January 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment



After some solid support from Seven Deadly Sins, The Litigators kicked off this charity night in earnest. Organised in aid of the Homeless World Cup, the night was spearheaded largely by lead singer Michael McNelly who brought together some of the city’s finest acts.

Starting with the melodic ‘Blue Birds’, the recently formed four-piece set about introducing the crowd to their unique and rising sound. Despite this being their drummer’s live debut, the band put in a near flawless performance, with tunes to match their effortless playing. ‘Candyman’ is a classic in waiting, showcasing some rabid guitar lines and the type of cyclical chorus that should be echoing throughout this summer’s festivals. The more tender side of McNelly’s voice is exposed on tracks like ‘Stop Being Untrue’, which shows that The Litigators have a bit of everything in their locker. Closing track ‘Optical Illusions’ is the type of song that infects your mind, with the chorus still in your head days after hearing it.

And with that parting gift the band left the stage to allow McNelly to perform the beautifully haunting ‘Lipstick Woman’ solo in what was a fitting end to his contribution to the night.

Not to be outdone The Dark Jokes took to the stage with a verve that seemed only enhanced by the support act’s phenomenal performance. And in Phil Ramsay they have what can only be described as the consummate live performer. Combining the swagger of Brown or Gallagher with the type of trumpet playing that could enliven any song, the man demanded the attention of the crowd. He was a brass God tonight.

And the rest of the band can play as well. ‘Garden Path’ sounds like what you hope a Scottish BRMC would make. The frenetic ’3 Years In A Chinese Asylum’ reverberted with a madness that was only enhanced with each repetition. Standout track ‘Yellow Menace’ showed the band at their brooding best, pairing Scottish soul with global musings.

Perhaps it was unfortunate that The 10:04’s had to follow two such blistering performances. The ever incendiary capital stalwarts never quite managed to hit the same peaks as their predecessors, but still put on an enthralling show for the Liquid Room crowd. Their floating but fragile new single ‘SOS’ showed eveything you needed to know about the band and the fact that they are destined for big things. Hopefully they will be able to open the door to some of the other superb bands that shared the stage with them tonight.

Scotland are currently Homeless World Cup Champions. And the night was a gig to do them proud.

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