Review – The Gold Lions – Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh – 17/11/12

If Deap Vally are taking back rock for the girls, then The Gold Lions are definitely staking their claim for the boys.

Making music that sits somewhere between the intimacy of early White Stripes and the power of The Stooges, the Edinburgh duo have being making waves following a string of recent festival performances in the city.

The opening track sums up everything The Gold Lions are about, hitting like of a howitzer shell of blues rock goodness. Their music may come drenched in the sound and soul of early ’70s Guitar Gods but they are  much more than the mere sum of their influences.

Next song ‘Dark Side’ swings like a sledgehammer, starting off with a simple drumbeat from Rupert Lee before Owen Robertson’s rugged riffs kick things into another dimension.

‘Elsie’s House’ is an altogether rawer affair, with drumming so powerful it could flay you alive. Indeed it is Lee’s volcanic energy throughout the gig that helps raise the duo up being some kind of sub-Black Keys wannabees.  Slow and steady or fast and ferocious – you’re likely to hear it all within a few bars of each other. Indeed the song has got as much tension as Felix Baumgartner’s recent space dive, with the atmosphere being built with layer upon layer of guitar fuzz before erupting into supersonic bliss.

And there is brain behind their undoubted brawn too, as the lustful ‘1000 Ships’ ably demonstrates. This howling lament drills its way into your brain with some subtle shifts in pace, boxing the crowd in with some Spector-esque walls of sound. Packed with more than its fair share of good advice for young Lothario’s, the ever true “You’re like an apple/Whose fallen from a tree/So much potential/Brought down by gravity” is perhaps its slickest.

It’s no easy feat to keep a crowd dancing for an entire gig but it’s one The Gold Lions manage from the first snare to the final crackles of reverb. In fact Robertson has caned it that hard that his guitar has paid the ultimate price and calls for an encore have to be ignored. Combining primal power with precision soundscapes he better find himself a new axe soon – The Gold Lions have plenty more venues to shred.

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