William Henry Miller

Pale Imitation Festival launched last night with a blistering show at Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh.

The promoters managed quite a coup in tempting the Bad Books to reform, even if the passage of the years meant that it was impractical to get the full line-up together although stand-in bassist Russell brought something subtly different to the show with his basslines and backing vocals.

Playing many of their classic hits, the Bad Books demonstrated that the fire still burns brightly and they even cheekily stuck in one of the newer Book Group numbers, the rather excellent ‘The Lowdown of a Loud Sound’.

The Bad Books played:

1. Summer of Lunches  2. Seedlings  3. The Lowdown of a Loud Sound  4. A Rough Wooing  5. BOP  6. Year of the Cat  7. Victory Lap


The Bad Books

Having foolishly vacated a space near the front (for fresh air and some liquid), I was always going to struggle to engage with Jonnie Common’s set with virtually no view. But regardless of that, given what came before and after, it was always going to be my third favourite set of the evening.

The evening was brought to a tumultuous climax with a raucous set from William Henry Miller. A raucous set of Meursault covers, the majority of which, in fact, rather cheekily were unreleased songs.

The set was pitched at a level which might not have matched up to death metal that their drummer was to claim afterwards but it certainly took Meursault material into much rockier territory on a sustained than ever before. All the new songs were ferocious whilst the gentler moments came from the oldies ‘Mamie’ and passages of ‘Dearly Distracted’. The most unexpected song though was the last – a savage garage instrumental that sounded nothing like Meursault at all.

William Henry Miller played:

1. New Boy  2. I Will Kill Again  3. Gremlin  4. Settling  5. Ballad of Meursault  6. Mamie  7. Fib  8. Dearly Distracted  9. (instrumental)

All things considered then, it was a spectacular launch and there are many more evenings of a similar standard to come starting with FOUND, Adam Stafford and Mike MacFarlane tomorrow evening (Saturday) at the same venue.

*** UPDATE *** Photos of the show added here.