Scotland’s Best Kept Secret?

One of the best things about doing this blog has been the chance to write good things about bands I like – and then have people read these comments. And it’s gratifying, from people clicking the purchase links, to know that by posting tracks I seem to be encouraging people to support the artists.

That’s all well and good but I’ve wanted to go a bit further for the bands I like and have considered for a number of months trying to put a show on in Dundee. So I’m delighted to be able to announce that on Friday 21st November I will be promoting a band I regard as being one of Scotland’s best kept secrets.

That band are De Rosa and the venue will be Hustler’s on North Lindsay Street. More details of the rest of the bill, timings and prices for the event to follow shortly but if you’re in the vicinity I can promise you a great night.

Coincidentally ūüôā I was up late last night to see the band perform on a 4 band bill at Rubix at the GRV in Edinburgh. The venue wasn’t huge but it was busy throughout with people obviously out to see every band and the sound was pretty good throughout.

Woodenbox with A Fist Full of Fivers were first up with half a dozen songs with a strong Americana influence. And a saxophone. For the most part I’m not a huge fan of the sax but it was given a supporting rather than lead role by Woodenbox and worked quite well. I enjoyed them.

I also enjoyed Kid Canaveral‘s punky pop tunes. They rattled through their short set of potential pop gems and supplemented the songs with a nice line in between number banter. It was undemanding but still great fun.

Eagleowl were something completely different, slower, more dreamy.¬† They initially featured just a guitar and double bass (although they were supplemented later on by a harmonium) . Unfortunately it’s perhaps the one time all evening that the sound wasn’t ideal since the guitar was fairly dominant in the mix to the detriment of the other instruments with the vocals floating over the top. I like the guitar playing though aand will catch them again when they play with Malcolm Middleton in Dundee later this month.

And so to De Rosa. You’re thinking ‘he’s going to talk them up’ and you’re right but not because I’m putting them on myself but because last night they were simply wonderful.

The live set is now almost exclusively made up of tracks from next year’s second LP but despite the relatively unfamiliar material they are given a boisterous reception by a decent chunk of the crowd throughout. Highlight for me was ‘It Helps To See You Hurt’ a song which I first heard in a solo context almost a year ago. I thought it was a great song then and I couldn’t understand why it had never surfaced in the live set before now. In fact I was starting to get seriously concerned that it wasn’t going to make the LP at all.¬† But it finally made its the full band debut last night and it WILL be on the LP when it comes out in the Spring.

Another new one ‘Nocturne’ was another stand-out – it’s the third time I’ve heard the song and it’s got a naggingly insistent melody which suggests single potential whilst one second hearing ‘Flight Recorder’ with its strong hook also sounds potential 45 material. Pretty much everything else, such as set closer ‘Tinto’, the marvellous ‘The Sea Cup’ and the mighty ‘A Love Economy’ were just tremendous. Truly the only disappointment was that there were just 9 songs.

And in line with MPT’s war on talking through songs kudos to the guy on my right who told some of the talkers to shut the f*** up during the set.

De Rosa setlist (Edinburgh, GRV – 2nd October)

1. Evelyn  2. In Code  3. It Helps To See You Hurt  4. The Engineer  5. A Love Economy  6. Nocturne  7. The Sea Cup  8. Flight Recorder  9. Tinto

Not a tune as such to celebrate the imminent first MPT gig but a whole show. Here’s De Rosa’s set as a 4 piece from Amsterdam last year as available on the Fab Channel.

Sorry, WordPress don’t seem to allow embedded videos other than from a few sources so I can’t put the Fab Channel concert up but here’s ‘A Love Economy’ from the same show.

Buy De Rosa records here.


  1. Matthew says:

    You were at this one too. Crikey. Did you see a tall fellow getting in a row with a stupid Aussie tart about her either shutting up or pissing off? That was me!

  2. Hi Matthew – were you standing slightly right of centre next to the seating area? If so then I was basically standing on your left!

    If not there were 2 people telling people to shut up during songs!

  3. Actually, Matthew, I’ve just read your post on the incident so unless you also shushed someone during De Rosa then I probably wasn’t standing next to you.

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