I’ve now seen De Rosa more often than TV21 in the last 6 months and if last night’s trip to Edinburgh to see them turned out not to be quite as consistently stellar as the Tut’s gig a few weeks ago it was nevertheless still a good show.
The primary cause for celebration was that fact that we got a 2 song band encore in place of one solo acoustic number. That meant that this was the longest De Rosa set I’ve seen so far (although still less than 55 minutes) which gave room for most of the LP’s highlights as well as some of the newer stuff.
If everything wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders there were still plenty of highlights. I must confess that compared to the rest of the ‘Mend’ LP I had originally marked ‘Camera’ down as somewhat generic indie but it’s a song I like more and more as time passes and last night’s version was blistering. The other clear highlight from the main set was new song ‘A Love Economy’ which seems pitched somewhere between the electronic new one ‘In Code’ and the LP. Believe me, it’s great.
The afore-mentioned encore, comprising ‘On Recollection’ and ‘New Lanark’, was rather good too.
But as I said before it wasn’t quite as good as Glasgow. Part of that may be down to the fact that the main set was identical to that show thereby removing the element of surprise but the likes of opener ‘Cathkin Braes’ just didn’t quite reach previous heights. Close, but not quite there.
The other huge disappointment was the turnout. It astounds me that a band that has released such a wonderful LP is playing what is a pretty small venue and can only attract a few dozen punters. Not for the first time recently I will venture that talent is not being recognised.
Overall it was a pretty good night’s worth of music. Private Jackson were first on and were better than a lot of supports I’ve seen recently. Pitched somewhere between Buzzcocks and Fire Engines they were let down only by some rather faux New Wave vocals (too much Sarf London), which is odd because they don’t sound like that at all in between songs. Even the girl guitarist who sang roughly a third of the set was stricken with the same affliction. They’re a wee bit rough around the edges too (and the male singer could do with dumping the Franz Ferdinand look circa 2003) but they make a pleasing racket most of the time.
They closed with a hyper take on a “cheesy 80s” song. Which turns out to be OMD’s ‘Enola Gay’. Well, I did eventually recognise it and it WAS different.
Sandwiched in between the openers and headliners were the Graeme Mearns Band, who brought their own vociferous following along. (Some of whom were slightly rude too for talking through De Rosa).
Coming over as something like a funk influenced Stooges their brand of heavy funk-rock, sorry make that FILTHY heavy funk-rock wouldn’t normally be my thing. But live they won me over thanks to plenty of charisma from Mr Mearns himself, some impressive musicianship and, hell, some good songs. Sorry, good filthy songs. And they looked like they were having a great time as well, which always helps. Definitely worth catching live.
De Rosa setlist
1. Cathkin Braes 2. Camera 3. Evelyn 4. Steam Comes Off Our House 5. In Code 6. Father’s Eyes 7. The Engineer 8. A Love Economy
Encore – 9. On Recollection 10. New Lanark
A couple of songs from last night’s bands:
De Rosa – Camera (live bootleg)
The Graeme Mearns Band – Dancefloor
Buy ‘Mend’ here. Please, I’m begging you!