Sucking It In – Cancel The Astronauts album party

Electric Circus, Edinburgh, 30th November 2012

Cancel The Astronauts / Letters / Shooting Stansfield – Electric Circus, Edinburgh – 30th November 2012

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen them so often in the last 18 months or so but, until last night, I genuinely don’t think I’d really realised just how good Cancel The Astronauts now are. I mean, they’ve always been good but they now seem to be on a different level.

You want songs? These guys have got them by the barrowload. Last night’s main set was the perfect example of this. Ten tunes all drawn from the LP (including a couple of lesser played ones) and they’re ALL top drawer stuff, whether it’s the epic ‘Animal Love Magic’ with its new, truncated intro, the infectious pop of ‘I See’ or the thunderous finale ‘While I Was Sleeping’.

Other highlights included ‘Seven Vices’, detonated by Kieran’s ferocious guitar, and the crowd participation on the acapella finale to ‘I Sold My Soul’.

And even when they’ve done almost all of the LP, they’ve actually got several options for a well deserved encore. But digging out Let’s Go Expo’ for its first outing in months (at least in my company) was pretty much perfect.

There seems to be an urgency about the band live at the moment, driven on by Chris’s powerhouse drumming, which almost seems to be fuelled by a growing impatience at getting noticed. Seriously, go catch them in the New Year.

Cancel The Astros played:

1. Animal Love Match  2. Intervention  3. I See (Uh-huh)  4. Love Backwards  5. Seven Vices  6. Making Dynamite  7. Lekking  8. Promises of Strangers   9. I Sold My Soul (This Is What I Got)  10. While I Was Sleeping

Encore – 11. Let’s Go Expo

Shooting Stansfield

Shooting Stansfield

As was the case with the single launch last year at the same venue, CTA also provide two excellent support acts.

Shooting Stansfield opened the show and probably operate at a sweet point in the Scottish music scene midway between alt-folk and Celtic rock. Their set was full of classy songs but I would have liked to have heard something a little quirkier. Good stuff certainly but I didn’t always feel absorbed by their set.



Letters meanwhile were difficult to pin down. A slightly unusual set-up for a rock band, with a cello included and keys, they variously brought to mind (as no more than vague reference points) the likes of dEUS and Babygod.

I liked this elusiveness and had made up my mind to buy the E.P. after three songs. Yet the last couple of tunes were even more slippery and I wasn’t sure that I got all of it.

On balance though a thumbs up and if the EP works out expect to hear more about it soon.

Of course it would be remiss to ignore the Kid Canaveral DJ set which ranged from Abba to the Cure, from Grandaddy to, er, Toto. (Did they play Slayer after I left?) And, yes, modestly, also Kid Canaveral in the shape of a first (as far as I’m aware) public outing for the single ‘Low Winter Sun’! If you want to know how the band feel about their new tunes, you only had to look at David as the tune was playing.

‘Animal Love Match’ is available in all good independent record shops and from the band online.

Photos from the show here.


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