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The Mirror Trap / Rush Hour Soul / Luna Webster – Buskers, Dundee – Saturday 21st February 2015

It must be a little bit strange being in the Mirror Trap right now.

Twelve months ago they were gearing up to releasing their second LP after a year of being largely ignored by the wider scene in Scotland. Speaking to is this music? prior to the record’s release they seemed a little fatalistic about their prospects.

Even if ‘Stay Young’ turned out to be as excellent as their live shows suggested, it still didn’t receive the wider acclaim that it deserved. But the band received an enormous boost in being asked to support for Placebo on a tour of Russia. In a matter of weeks TMT went from launching the album at a free show at Duke’s to playing sell-out arena shows and becoming an overnight Cyrillic Twitter sensation. That’s a hell of a jump and an astonishing change in fortunes.

Today the band are (literally) preparing to head off for a massive UK and European tour again as support for Brian Moloko and co. But first they had the little matter of launching their new E.P. ‘Silent Men’ at Buskers last night.

I was curious to see what impact the Placebo support has had on the band. Simply put, are The Mirror Trap a better band because of the experience? I’m not sure but only because to suggest so underestimates how good they were 12 months ago.

But the experience of playing on the bigger stages has definitely helped them as performers. Before Russia they were an energetic band on stage but the experience of playing on (and having to fill) those bigger stages means that they were always threatening to escape the cramped confines of the Buskers stage.

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Alongside songs from the new E.P. there were quite a few other (presumably) new tunes in last night’s set. Like the ‘Stay Young’ tunes, all sounded brilliant in the confines of Buskers but equally sound like they have the potential to fill much bigger venues. If there’s been any pressure to come up with new material to match the venues that they’re about to play, on last night’s evidence, it only seems to have had a positive effect on their songwriting.

I’ve little doubt that the coming weeks will introduce the band to a much wider audience and it really will be fascinating to see just how far that takes them.

On taking the stage Rush Hour Soul looked a little familiar to me, but my impression from the set was that I hadn’t seen them before. On checking the blog, that seems to be the case.

They were a perfect warm-up for the Mirror Trap but, for me at least, never threatened to upstage the headliners. After a positive start, they lost me for a couple of songs but picked things up again and finished strongly.

There was a nice fluidity to their playing with the guitar providing plenty of heft. In which light it seemed a little odd to finish with a cover (of Weezer’s ‘Photograph’) which was a little at odds with their own material. Still, on balance, they got the MPT thumbs up.

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I’ve not a great deal to say about the marvellous and delightful Luna Webster‘s set other than I enjoyed it a lot. Despite the acoustic guitar, it’s clear from her songwriting that she’s not your typical indie songstress and I’d love to hear these songs with a more extravagant backing.

But for the meantime, as a solo act, she remains an engaging live presence.

The Mirror Trap’s new E.P. ‘Silent Men’ is released on tomorrow (Monday 23rd) and doubtless will be available on their many dates over the next couple of months.

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