Burn The Maps

Autumn Harvest – Brown Bear and the Bandits / Burn The Maps / Bungo Dingo / The Basics – Corn Exchange, Cupar – Saturday 6th October

An afternoon of so called entertainment and a desire to eat meant that I didn’t arrive at Autumn Harvest until most of the acts having already played. So I didn’t see anything of the afternoon’s half a dozen acoustic sets nor the full band sets in the evening by Philight and  Ambulances.

Instead I arrived during the Basics, who apply rock at its most simple level – voice, guitar, bass and drums. Which isn’t to say that their name is entirely accurate, rather the whole thing is driven by a rather good guitarist who enlivens the songs without becoming too flashy.

They remind me in some ways of the Electric Sugar Children  and like the ESC, I enjoyed them quite a lot.

The Basics

The likely direction of Bungo Dingo’s set seemed easy enough to predict from the bassist’s Ramones t-shirt and the singer’s Mohican. And sure enough they’re a tight punk-ish trio. Most of the set seems to be covers, most sounding fairly faithful other than punked up versions of ‘Walking On The Moon’ and ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’. Yet they seem to have their own originals too and I think I would have enjoyed them more had they stuck to the latter.

Burn The Maps were next and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Initially they reminded me a bit of Frightened Rabbit. Not so much in sounding like Frabbit but certainly aiming for a similar slightly Celtic-tinged epic indie sound although they headed towards a slightly rockier direction towards the end of a satisfying set.

Thing is, over the years I’ve heard plenty of bands staking a claim for this sort of territory, but Burn the Maps seem to have the songs to stand out from the crowd. Best band of the evening without a doubt and one I’ll keep an eye open for in future.

Brown Bear and the Bandits

Headliners were Brown Bear and the Bandits. I probably should have known a bit more about them than I do but pretty much came to their set cold.

They sounded a bit like a hyperactive Violent Femmes but with a jagged post-punk funk backbone at times. It made for a slightly hit and miss set for me – when they were good, they were very good but other songs sounded like disparate elements melded together and these tunes never caught fire for me despite energetic performances.

But there were definitely some good songs in there including encore ‘Truth or Dare’ and the instrumental. In all honestly I can’t say I’d go out of my way to see them again but wouldn’t be averse to coming across them on a multi-band bill to see if they might grow on me.

All in all it was a pretty good evening, made all the better that it was just a 10 minute walk from home.

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