Saturday, 2 August 2014

Broken Records with Kid Canaveral and Book Group

Queen's Hall  - Saturday 2nd August 2014

As the press office at the Queen's Hall put it "This is a homecoming show by Edinburgh's Broken Records to celebrate the recent release of their eagerly anticipated third album Weights & Pulleys. As well as a full performance featuring the new material and old favourites, the night opens with special musical guests Kid Canaveral and Book Group and will be the best way to kickstart your 2014 Fringe."

Broken Records release history:- 
Until the Earth Begins to Part (2009), Let Me Come Home (2010), Weights & Pulleys (May 2014)

I knew little of their first two albums (on 4AD records), but recently heard "Winterless Son" on BBC 6Music late one evening and more or less went straight out and bought Weights & Pulleys the next day. The new album was recorded in Edinburgh, and with the support of the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, it was released through their own newly created label, J Sharp Records. So I was looking forward to hearing not just the new album, but some of their back-catalogue too. Even better, as an added bonus, one of my favourite live acts, Kid Canaveral (full band) were supporting, along with another local band, Book Group.

Rory Sutherland fiddles up a storm
Broken Records has increased in numbers and it was a 9-strong band that entered the stage area accompanied by a single strobe light and rising excitement and cheers from the crowd. Two drummers (two!), horn section, strings, multiple guitars, keys and extra bass made a marvellous sound in the small Queens' Hall venue. 
Along with the massed instruments Jamie Sutherland's voice was strong and the opening song Ditty (We Weren't Ready) was a real show kick-starter. This was followed by Winterless Son. The crowd were dancing and the sound was great - not to mention the light show. This is the first "indie" band I've seen with such a slick setup, lights, instruments, sound equipment - even a "guitar roadie" constantly re-tuning the guitars. I guess this might hark back to their 4AD days?

The band have been tagged with various labels over the years, comparing them to Arcade Fire, The National and even Springsteen amongst others, but I think that the combination of good songwriting and their varied set of instruments (accordion, violin, trumpet and trombone) makes them unique, but they definitely should work on keeping that individuality. The new album is mostly glorious with several stand-out-on-first-hearing tracks. The others grow with more listening.

Set-list was:
BR Set-list

Kid Canveral

I'd just seen David Canaveral last weekend doing a lovely acoustic solo support for the Leap at the East End Social gig, but was looking forward to the full line-up and some of their more up-tempo and electric guitar driven tracks.

The Kids in full flow

They kicked off with the slightly unseasonal but rather fine Low Winter Sun, followed by Without A Backing Track, with Kate Canaveral on lead vocals and David, Rose and Scott doing the driving rhythm. The recent single Who Would Want To Be Loved was next, combining some lovely Kate and David guitar with the irresistible lyrics “You start to feel that you’re destined to drown in your kitchen sink, and nobody waits forever because everyone dies eventually.

After the heart-achingly beautiful Her Hair Hangs Down, David turned to the audience and looking at the possibly slightly inebriated guy in the cowboy hat who was dancing to every single song, he said with a big grin "D'you know, I think that's the first time anyone has danced to that song at a gig"

This was a really smooth but uplifting set from Kid Canaveral, and as they finished up with a great full on version of A Compromise, and despite considerable audience appeals for "More!" they exited the stage and the lights came up - no encore. The price of being a support act I guess.

KC Set-list: Low Winter Sun, Without A Backing Track, Who Would Want To Be Loved, Her Hair Hangs Down, Skeletons, Sometimes and A Compromise.

Book Group

Previously know as Bad Books, but were forced to change to Book Group due to an existing Manchester group of the same name.

Book Group

Described as "thunder drums + pop fuzz hooks. Prone to use of megaphone", this was my first hearing of Book Group. They were entertaining. The songs were pretty catchy and seemed well written, but the sound was not always great, particularly on the vocals.

Listen to Some of the tracks from their recent EP "Tantrums" here 

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