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Cancel The Astronauts

Miasma / Cancel The Astronauts / The Jellyman’s Daughter – The Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh – 7th February 2014

The focus of this show for MPT was the return of Cancel The Astronauts – their first show as a four piece.

The feeling of a new start was emphasised by the fact that five of the seven songs played were new, whilst even one of the two oldies, ‘While I Was Sleeping’, was given something of a makeover.

Without Michael’s keyboards, the sound was more direct and unquestionably darker. Matt’s lyrics in the past could often be contrasted with the brighter music but this time the musical setting seemed made for the words. It was a heavier sound too with Chris pounding away on the drums at the back of the stage. It’s fair to say that much of the newer material isn’t as immediate as previous hits.

Only the last couple of new tunes (including ‘Be Fast’ debuted with the five piece last year) seemed closer in mood to their previous material.

All things considered it’s a promising reboot and I’m looking forward to future shows.

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The Jellyman’s Daughter

The other 2 bands were completely new to me but were something of a mixed bag.

Opening act, the Jellyman’s Daughter were a charming boy/girl two piece with the backing coming courtesy of an acoustic guitar and a cello.

Emily and Graham have complementary voices and make the most of the acoustic format (cellos can rock too, you know). They even covered the Beatles at one point (you could almost feel the collective ‘uh-oh’) but their torch version of ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ dodged all the obvious traps.

The Jellyman’s Daughter were a really nice discovery. Unfortunately I wasn’t so positive about the headliners, Miasma.

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Miasma

Their set was effectively split in two with a poppier opening half  before a rocked up finale but overall I just found them lacking a spark.

I definitely preferred the pop tunes but these were delivered in a fairly straightforward manner. Nothing wrong with that but I do feel someone like, say Euros Childs, would have done something rather more interesting with them.

The rockers too felt a little undistinguished – not bad but just a little bland for my tastes.

If the headliners may have been something of a disappointment but on the whole it was an entertaining night out – which usually seems to be the case at shows at the Wee Red Bar.

More photos from the show here

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